Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

A new record

Putting a new spin on the long-playing vinyl record, an editor at Instructables has devised a new method for producing LP records using a rapid prototyping “3D printer”.  Working directly from a digital audio file, Amanda Ghassaei uses the waveform profile to create a 3D computer model of the familiar LP groove, which is then built up in physical form by a UV-cured resin printer.

Despite the cutting-edge 16-micron resolution of the printer, the end result is rather crude, with a frequency response and audio quality as yet far beneath a typical analog vinyl record.  The all-digital noise introduced by the discrete print (in time, aliasing, and in amplitude, quantization) is also harsh compared with the traditional “warm” analog distortion sought after by vinyl enthusiasts and audiophiles.  Even so, one could foresee a niche market for one-off, just-in-time pressing of records to keep alive long out-of-print material (or new material that might be in limited demand).  Even though this can be accomplished with .mp3 files or CD-R discs, sometimes there’s simply nothing like setting needle to vinyl!

[via Wired]

Drop-less droplets

In a setup that’s equal parts science and Harry Potter, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory acoustically levitate liquids in midair to further critical pharmaceutical reasearch. Using a technology originally developed by NASA to simulate microgravity conditions, the pharmaceutical droplets are suspended in midair using standing waves of inaudible ultrasound generated by small speakers above and below.

By suspending a drug this way—free from any container or other physical contact—scientists can study its various forms and the ways it might be absorbed by the body. Not to mention putting on a pretty cool show in the process!

Just how speedy is sound at the Olympics?

Well, it turns out not fast enough!  Years ago, in addition to a traditional starters pistol, Olympic officials started placing loudspeakers behind the athletes so that the sound would reach each athlete at the same time.  It turned out however that the athletes would continue to wait for the sound from the actual starters pistol to arrive.  Even with the loudspeakers, the speed of sound was still slowing down the athletes furthest from the starter pistol.  While we are talking about tiny fractions of a second, with Olympic runners and swimmers, it really makes a difference.  Starting at the Vancouver winter games and this summer in London, they are using a silent pistol that is completely electronic and generates a beep from the loudspeakers only (although it does make a flash).

omega110.jpg  False start: Usain Bolt was caught out in Daegu last summer

[via The Atlanticdailymail.co.uk]

Interior Design Magazine is feeling ‘Good Vibrations’

SubCat Studios is in the new issue of Interior Design Magazine!  The studios are right next to a freight train and heavy traffic but with floated constructions, careful tuning of the interiors and close coordination with Fiedler Marciano Architecture, the studios sound and look great….If you would like to hear how it sounds, please check out the video on the homepage of SubCat Studios.

Telecool

HEARING LOOP INSTALLEDThis week the New York Times brings a promising update on the increasing adoption of the telecoil, a technology that promises to make life much easier for those with hearing impairments.  A hearing aid or cochlear implant that includes a telecoil can directly pick up the audio from a sound system, whether for a theater or a school or even a subway booth clerk’s microphone.  The signal is beamed to the telecoil via an audio induction loop of wire permanently installed in the floor; when the listener’s hearing device is trained on this signal, it eliminates the extraneous background noise and reverberation that can make intelligible listening a challenge even with a modern hearing aid.  The listener has effectively “plugged in” directly into the source—and without the social stigma that can hinder adoption of more obtrusive external listening devices.

The concept has been around for decades and is widely adopted in parts of Europe—there is a telecoil transmitter in the back seat of every London taxi—but it is only recently gaining a foothold in the US.  With the greying of the population and the fact that more than 30% of people over the age of 65 are affected by hearing loss, the ability to make clean audio directly accessible to the ear holds “clear” potential!

SubCat Studios in the Syracuse New Times

A bit more news about SubCat Studios….In case you didn’t catch this article in the Syracuse New Times, we thought we would share it.

Cover of Syracuse New Times

From Syracuse New Times