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Two ambient tracks

Friday 10 May 2013, 06:40

I followed a link from Warren Ellis's Twitter feed to this posting about a half-day MP3: "Frolic in Brine, Goblins Be Thing" by Aairria. The idea of a work of audio art (I hesitate to call this "music" but I suppose it meets the definition) consisting of twelve hours of background noise appealed to me. But I didn't really want to spend the time it would take to download that (probably more than real time, because the MP3 is high-fidelity) on my slow home network connection and then make a block of time to listen to it, and I was also a bit disappointed to find out that the actual title is "Frolic in Brine, Goblins Be Thine" (a reference to the Ring movies), which I think is much less interesting than the typo.

The same artist has a bunch of other work online. I downloaded Sleepwalking and listened to it during one of my Sunday-morning urban hikes. It's about 65 minutes of basically just a humming noise. On the one hand, I definely got something out of it. There's more going on here artistically than one might expect from the description "65 minutes of humming." On the other hand, by the end of it I felt disappointed. I thought that it didn't live up to its possibilities. So the next step is, can I do better?

I got Csound and played with it for a while, and have posted the first of my results to a new account on SoundCloud. Below the cut (because I don't want to put external-site iframes on my front page) are embedded Flash players.

In the matter of the 465 Hz tone

Friday 18 June 2010, 09:41

So, you've got an audio signal contaminated with a continuous tone at about 233 Hz, with a really strong second harmonic at 465 and some others throughout the audio spectrum. It sounds like a swarm of angry bees and makes the main signal hard to listen to. You can notch it out - that means applying a filter that simply removes the frequencies in question - but since 465 Hz is right in the important part of the speech band, the result is going to sound really bad. Any simple frequency-notch filter that blocks the interference is going to destroy things you want to keep, too. Look around the Net these past few days and you can read a lot of broadcast audio people complaining about this issue.

Time for a new audio/video player

Monday 7 June 2010, 12:01

The clicky spring inside the "forward" switch on my Visual Land VL-878 audio/video player has given up the ghost. As a result, it doesn't click when I press the button; instead, the button is activated by slight pressure and very easy to activate by accident. It is technically possible to still use the player with a lot of caution, but doing so is a lot less fun than it should be.

Dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century

Monday 31 May 2010, 18:19

It became necessary for work-related reasons that I should attempt to install Skype on my home computer, so I made the attempt.