terça-feira, 8 de junho de 2010


I have been writing about ambisonics for a local professional magazine. Writing on this subject brought back thoughts on the problem of spatialization of electronically produced acoustic signals. It also made me realize how this has been a recurring theme in electronic music and how badly the problem has always been dealt with. It made me think again on how this eminently elegant solution —ambisonics—, conceived by Michael Gerzon (seen here in this ca. 1971 photo setting up his first tetrahedral Calrec microphone system) solved the problem, for electronic music but also for any field in which electronically produced or broadcasted sound is involved. And all he got in return was general undeserved indifference, I’m afraid.

Only financial determined factors have prevented me from having fully embraced this wonderful technology a long time ago, but this will hopefully change.

domingo, 6 de junho de 2010

Soudscapes of war (2)

The charge of the deaf brigade continues. Now it’s the “sound cannon”. Something called LRAD whose “shrill warning tones can be heard at least 1,600 feet (500 meters) away and depending on the model of LRAD it can blast a maximum sound of 145 to 151 decibels — equal to a gunshot — within a 3-foot (one meter) range,” MSNBC says.
At these levels the operators themselves may soon be saying: “Hear you LRAD and clear! Ay least I used to...”
“Originally designed for the U.S. Navy, LRADs can emit ear-blasting sounds so high in frequency they transcend normal thresholds of pain. While they are used everywhere from Iraq to the high seas for repelling pirates, LRADS are being increasingly employed as a crowd-control device.” the Star says. 
They should also try them on rating agencies... I say!
Sound cannons were used in Pittsburgh during the G-20 summit (see photo) and the Toronto police may be using them during the upcoming summit at the end of the month. 
If you‘d like to have an idea on how these things sound click here. If you are interested in finding out more about sonic weaponry read this.
The sound cannon is the only weapon guaranteed to backfire! 

Ps- here's an article on the subject of sound and war you might be interested in.

(photo by Brian Blanco / EPA)