Posts Tagged ‘noise’

Don’t don’t honk

In what some might some might take as an admission of defeat (or at least a concession to reality), the New York City Department of Transportation has begun removing each and every “Don’t Honk” road sign from the city streets.  According to the New York Times, “the move is part of an effort to declutter the streets of often ignored signs.”   The signs also give the impression that unneeded honks were only a violation where the signage was installed; with or without a sign, unnecessary honking remains illegal throughout the city with fines starting at $350.

Don't Honk Sign

Enforcement is another matter; last year the NYPD issued only 206 summonses.  Most New Yorkers could count that many car horns in a day, if they were paying attention to them—of course, for most New Yorkers, ignoring the din of constant honking is a quickly learned survival skill.

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]

INTER-NOISE 2012 in NYC

This coming Sunday through Wednesday (August 19-22, 2012) brings INTER-NOISE 2012 to New York City, the 41st International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering.  We are excited to be presenting two of our favorite projects during the conference: our Subcat Music Studios project in Syracuse, and our contributions to an ongoing study of wind turbine noise in western New York State.

 

The theme of this year’s conference (the largest ever held!) is Quieting the World’s Cities, an especially relevant topic for a conference held in the heart of Times Square.  A free Community Noise Public Outreach workshop will be held on Wednesday 8/22 from 8:30 am – 1:45 pm at the Marriott Marquis, including presentations and discussion on the NYC Noise Control Code and noise in general as a community concern.  A top-notch panel of experts and officials has been assembled for this free workshop, and anyone with an interest in community noise (which should include almost anyone living in New York City) will find it enlightening!

Random order

Using simple, functional components like DC motors, wire, and cardboard boxes, Swiss artist Zimoun assembles building blocks of motion into massive, engrossing sonic environments. An individual motor may exhibit repetitive motion and deterministic noise, but dozens of identical systems spawn complex imagery and random sound that evoke organic phenomena from wind in the grass to running water.

Zimoun’s “Sculpting Sound” is on display through January 8 at the Ringling Museum of Art in Florida, and the artist has an upcoming solo exhibition scheduled for February 2 – March 10, 2012 at Bitforms Gallery in Chelsea.

[via It’s Nice That]

What do fireworks sound like on 72nd Street?

Getting off the train at 72nd St, on the subway platform we heard a funny sound and wondered ‘what is that?’  Well, it turned out to be the sound of fireworks above for the kickoff of the NYC Marathon.  A cell phone microphone does not completely do this justice but you can hear the reflections of sound off of the building facades and the overall reverberation somewhat.

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!