April 1, and the traditional April Fool’s jokes once again made their farcical appearance throughout the nation; the radio/audio industry was not spared.
Moog struck early with its latest creation from the mind of the late Bob, the MF-401 Auto-De-tune. Designed to counteract the wave of senseless autotuning that has aided the careers of has-been and never-were singers. Using the magic digital technology of Authentic Vocal Imperfection, Moog’s MF-401 promises that a treated vocal will be “restored to its complete original character, scrubbing the pitch correction and leaving the vocal in all its wavering sharp or flat glory.” Take control of those perfected vocals with variable Warble Rate, Deviation Range, Emotive Overload and the hit-making Caterwaul control. No word as to when the Pro Tools and VST plug-in versions would be available.
The Sound Guy flexed his jocularity muscles by seeking to strike before a song is even in the studio. He announced the final availability of his long-awaited song doctor software, Turd Polisher Pro. Nothing less than the secret to writing hit songs, even if you have no talent whatsoever, Turd Polisher Pro uses artificial intelligence and customized algorithms such as Lyric Polisher and Tune Polisher to create the perfect song — every time! Available in Mac and Windows versions. Linux-based songwriters are out of luck, as they should be — since they depend on free stuff!
An infomercial is in the works, planned to air right after “Be a Real Estate Millionaire” and before “Make Millions by Selling Crappy Products to Unsuspecting Rubes.”
Shortwave America participated in the April 1 japery with its “From the Desk of the ARRL, ‘U.S. Congress, President Obama Demand Radio Confiscation.’” The notice outlined confiscation of radios “capable of receiving anything other than local commercial AM and FM radio stations …” The release described a raid at the Connecticut American Radio relay League offices and the need for McDonalds gift certificates to calm the distressed amateur radio owners.
Radio World itself is not immune to participating in such hoaxcraft. April 1’s “‘RF Leash’ to Solve HD Interference?” by the inestimable Dr. Mead Citron isn’t quite up to scientific snuff. You knew that, didn’t you? (Citron also gave us last year’s “Researchers Propose Energy Harvesting.”)
Axia Audio put out a press release announcing its 150th press release.
Of course it’s all fun until someone gets an eye poked out … or treats a prank as real.
In a replay of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds, a morning zoo crew (who else but?) at 99.1 WPLR(FM) in New Haven, Conn. (what is it with Connecticut and April Fools?), Chaz and AJ duped a few listeners by claiming that the recently signed health care insurance reform bill had a hidden clause enacting a “pet tax” of $100 per puppie or kitty (no mention of a goldfish exemption, gerbil allowance or parrot tax credit, however). Adding fuel to the fire, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell participated by recording clips that were used during station newscasts expressing her outrage at the tax. Other local celebrities participated in the hoax as well.
But hostile calls to local congressional offices required that AJ and Chaz, along with the station, issue a retraction and clarification before the show ended. Or so we’re told.
On the business front, The Conclave let followers know in a special newsletter that it had procured the “Radio” from the company formerly known as “Radio Shack.” Now that The Shack isn't playing up its "radio" roots anymore and has become a hipster company eyeing things like smart phones (and sporting a cool new ad campaign, natch!), it no longer needed the nominal deadweight of a dying legacy technology. Or something like that.
And who else is left to be made fun of? Google, of course. According to a release distributed on PR Newswire, Google purchased logo facilitator Screaming Logos for a cool $250 million in cash (not worthless Google stock). According to the release, a Google rep said, “Their name is so cool, we had no choice but to buy them.”
And Google itself did its bit to make April 1 more pleasant, announcing that the big company had officially changed its name … to Topeka.