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All Things Sound

Dan focuses on sound

This edition we’re going to focus on sound. There’s numerous links from phones that have FM receivers and RDS encoders to concert halls that are just TOO soundproof.

Just Too Damn Quiet
What happens when you have a performance space that’s been so perfectly acoustically treated that it just has no life to it? You put in artificial “hard surfaces.” The San Francisco Symphony has a performance area called “SoundBox.” It’s a great warehousy-looking space that was “super treated” to reduce reverberation from the surface, but this produced a seriously “dead space.” They came up with a creative way to fix it and actually make it a lot better. By using sampling mics and electronics, Meyer Sound was able to create the reverb the symphony wanted for the music being played and for the occasion. So the symphony can have a huge sounding “cathedral” chamber to sounding like they’re playing in a drain pipe. Well, maybe not their words, but an interesting story.

Just Too Damn Loud
Turning Kiss up in your room as a kid might have prompted mom or dad to yell out that it was too loud, but the people at this benefit concert weren’t saying that. Though Kiss can certainly fill a big venue, here they are without the makeup doing a benefit performance for vets at the “All-Star Salute to the Oregon Military.”

Dead Silent … Almost!
Looking for that perfect “last time going away gift” that the recipient will never be able to enjoy? Now a company will turn ashes (as in cremated remains) into a record. How about a truly “grateful dead” album? Maybe you like alternative and prefer the Dead Milkmen or the Dead Kennedys? I’ll give you a blank right here to insert your own joke.

Not Willie Nelson
They say “the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree” when it comes to kids. Willie Nelson has a number of kids, and one of them sings cowboy hippie surf rock (according to his website). Here’s Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas, singing one of Willie’s biggest hits.

And a link to the son’s website.

CellPhones with FM Radios
What will they think of next? From Bill Hurne, chief engineer of the Pilgrim Radio Network, comes these links to lists of FM-capable cellphones and (Bonus!) cellphones with both FM radios and RDS decoders! Thanks, Bill! It’s good to see these included. Just be sure your provider has the chip activated so it can be used.

And finally …
Here’s a fun thing to see. A little girl gives a coin to street musician — and she gets her money’s worth!

If you stumble across a good or unusual web site that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. Also, with the upcoming “Heading to Las Vegas for NAB” edition, if you have any tips or stories to share, please send them my way. My email address is [email protected].