Boston Audio Society Audio Featured Links of the Month
the best audio links on the internet
of the fluid nature of the web, some of these links below will disappear,
be swallowed up, reappear in another dimension, be re-linked and
renamed perhaps correctly, and so on. I try to keep checking, but
you know... there are 26,900 links on this site that I have found
and typed myself...
|The Journal of the Acoustical Society
of America has a very nice comprehensive article about smartphone
measurement apps here:
article about what happens when you spend $843 MILLION on a concert
|Here's an interesting
DIY method of removing noise, pops, and clicks :
again, with an article How
Sound Affects the Way You Taste Food on Airplanes
December 2017, Atlas
Obscura has a unique story about an audio device that bursts
Selenophone, a Short-Lived, Highly Flammable Sound-Recording System
and, closer to home, this:
the Boston Public Librarys Forgotten Record Collection
links - April
(any April will do)
Time to get serious about frivolity.
The ubiqitous EveAnna Manley goes to an audio
meeting of The Hollywood Sapphire Group www.hollywoodsapphiregroup.com
and the further down their page you go, the better it gets. In
fact I don't have to post ALL the links because you can find them
yourselves. Amazing, an audio group older than the BAS. Whuda
Well, ok. Maybe I will post just a few links.
This one is not to be missed if you want to filter out bad sounds
from your solid state devices: www.altmann.haan.de/tubeolator
Combining electronics seriousness with fun
is what www.sparkfun.com
is all about. If you're a DIY'er you'll find it fascinating.
I'm always on the lookout for interesting
Here's a superb batch: www.cepd.com/calculators.htm
The attenuator page is especially interesting and useful.
In the previous posts I have linked to a number
of interesting if not peculiar "military" audio devices,
the latest of which is here: www.gizmag.com/lrad-long-range-acoustic-device/11433
. Quite frankly the specs are not exactly exciting, and
clearly none of the military purchasing agents responsible for
the contract has ever been to a Nickelback concert.
And one last winner, passed along by Klay
Anderson of Klay Anderson Audio fame (www.klay.com)
...this sets a new low standard, even for Craigslist... CLICK
HERE !!!! Unbelievable.
links - Spring
It's been way too long a-ramblin...
From our very own neck of the woods (Nantucket,
to be exact...) comes this story of remarkable audio restoration,
and of how Jamie Howarth has won a Grammy Award for the restoration
of a Woodie Guthrie wire recording. The story of the Grammy
Award is here: www.sciencenews.org/articles/20080209/mathtrek.asp
and their homepage is here: www.plangentprocesses.com
David Pogue, columnist for the New York times,
sums up everything you need to know about music and video wars
on the internet in this 4 minute video ditty, here: www.ted.com/talks/view/id/196
...well, maybe not everything you need to know.
I often enjoy the rantings of technical curmugeons,
hoping to be a professional curmudgeon myself someday, so in tying
into the above video and music download explanation you might
enjoy the technical musings of Robert X Cringley, posted on PBS,
Hit the ARCHIVE button and snoop around.
When paper magazines arrive, over the years
I've found myself heading straight for one section or columnist.
In Mix magazine, rest his soul, it was Stephen St. Croix. He ALWAYS
said what I wanted to but said it about 6dB funnier. In PC Magazine
it's John Dvorak's columns (and his Cranky Geeks online TV show).
The jumping off place is here: www.pcmag.com/category2/0,2806,3574,00.asp
links of the Month - July
Happy Birthday, Tesla !
General audio testing on a PC, such as oscilloscope
functions, RTA, Spectrum Analysis, measurements in the phase domain,
etc have come a long way in the last few years, easily surpassing
large/bulky/expensive dedicated measuring devices of years past.
For the fall months (and the start of the school year) I will
try to post a comprehensive list; an update to what we already
have HERE. (See the column on the right...)
But for now, there is a very interesting and
comprehensive tutorial and demo software package available from
a Japanese company YMEC Software. The actual software download
page is here: www.ymec.com/eg.htm
The tutorial, called Introduction to Simple Sound Measurement
for your Notebook Computer is here: www.ymec.com/hp/signal2/index.htm
Nikola Tesla's birthday is July 10th
and in honor of one of my heroes, here are some links for the
month. In 1958, John Weisner and I (mostly John...in fact 98%
John...) built a Tesla coil using a pole pig and a push-pull pair
of 813's, modulated with, um, noise, which managed to disrupt
much of the broadcast band and then some in the Albany / Schenectady
area for a couple of days at least. This is the 12 year old kid's
ham radio equivalent of today's hacking, not unlike climbing a
mountain because it's there. Over the years I have met
a few Teslaphiles who are almost religious in their following.
While a google of Tesla returns more than
12 million links (and no, I haven't quite had the time to view
them all...) some of the links are both illuminating and worthwhile.
And two other wiki articles HERE
The Tesla Memorial Society of New York: www.teslasociety.com
The Tesla Foundation of North America: www.tesla.org/
The amateur science Tesla page with MANY links: http://amasci.com/tesla/tesla.html
From our Aussie friends, there's this REMARKABLE site:
Jim Glenn's page of Tesla's patents: www.hbci.com/~wenonah/new/tesla.htm
In case you want to rent a large Tesla coil for your next party,
check this out: www.teslasystems.com
The BBC has their take: www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A486182
Tesla Technology Research builds GORGEOUS Tesla coils for
museums and such: www.ttr.com
Here are some videos: We
start with an audio modulated tesla coil video
...and another: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tKo_3DzdSU
Here's a video and story of how a Tesla Coil is built:
There's a solid state Tesla coil here: http://hackedgadgets.com/2006/04/17/solid-state-tesla-coil/
There's an interesting summation here: www.flyingmoose.org/truthfic/tesla.htm
A refreshingly different Fortean Times viewpoint here:
Then we have a Wardenclyffe Project site here:
and another article here: www.damninteresting.com/?p=703
Some fellow named Bert Hickman has a site
called Stoneridge Engineering, "Teslamania" HERE...
...while Bart Anderson has the Classic Tesla site here: www.classictesla.com
Another links page, thanks to Laura and Emily...
I saved the best for last: the motherlode
of Tesla links, here:
and THIS JUST IN:
A handsome and well done presentation! Kits! Goodies!
links of the Month - May 2007
Bob Katz and the Digital Domain
Bob Katz is a world renowned Mastering
Engineer whose accomplishments read like a who's who in the industry.
You can read all about his remarkable facility, and his inventions,
and his book,
(highly recommended) here: www.digido.com.
His site is actually quite enormous, and the
FAQ section alone, with comments by most of the other
world famous engineers, will keep you busy for hours.
He has just installed a pair of JL Audio Fathom
112 subwoofers in his facility in Florida, and here
are his comments.
links - Spring 2007
You'll forgive me if I didn't get too silly
this year for April Fool's Day. It was just too somber a time
to get frivolous. You'll have to revert back to last years' April
section, below for the frivolity.
The issue of the speed
of sound has come up many times and I thought I'd finally
do something about it. Don Davis in his book Sound System
Engineering, uses 1130 ft/sec and that is what I have
used for the last 40+ years of calculations. Considering the effort
put forth by humans measuring the speed of light, the relative
ambiguity of the speed of sound is positively amazing.
However certain anal retentive mathemeticians
have a plethora of their own ideas about this, which you might
wish to peruse...
google = 340.29 m/sec = 1116.4 ft/sec (hmmm...
maybe it's cold at Google headquarters because they're overcompensating
for the heat produced by the lava lamps...)
The Georgia State physics dept. has a lovely
I admit this is my favorite one...
Nasa has their own ideas...
In Glenbrook IL, it's 343m or 1125.3 ft/sec
The wikipedia does have a superb explanation,
which comes out to (at 68 degrees F)
343.4 m = 1126.6 ft/sec.
Mathpages.com has a complex explanation starting
with Isaac Newton and LaPlace and progressing through yet another
unique explanation, arriving at (to quote them) "...the true
value being about 1116 ft/sec" : www.mathpages.com/home/kmath109/kmath109.htm
Wolfram research has a complete and smoothly
elegant explanation here:
Pico Technology has a chart which shows the
effects of humidity, along with a cute oscilloscope experiment,
There's a quickie explanation with a (temperature
input) calculator here, and their answer at 68 degrees F is 343.6
m /sec or 1127.3 ft /sec
calculator which simultaneously outputs the speed of sound in
Miles Per Hour, Knots Per Hour, Meters per Second, Feet per Second,
and Kilometers per Hour:
There's also a handy frequency-to-wavelength
chart on my own website, here:
(only slightly shameless self-promotion;
after all, it's free)
These freq-to-wavelength charts are vely helpful
in figuring out room acoustics, especially the Allison effect,
explained here: oops, I removed
the link because it went to a scam portal. As soon as I re-find
the article I'll post it.
And here's another I missed: www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-wavelength.htm
There's also an entire fascinating page of OTHER calculator links
links of the Month - Winter 2006
If you do any DIY work, are involved with
equipment construction or internal tinkering, or get involved
with any older or vintage tube audio / radio / ham radio equipment
then you need this software: www.electronicsgenius.com
. Steve has an electronics store in Largo Florida that almost
defies description; imagine a cross between You
Do It and Apex
run by a ham radio genius from an episode of The Twilight Zone.
(and that's a compliment...) An immense identification and cross
reference of parts, components, tubes (including Soviet, mil and
vintage codes)...how about obscure phono stylii, you get the idea.
Get it! And P.S.: If you're ever in Sun Valley, CA make it a point
to visit Apex, and similarly, if you're ever in Winter Park, Florida,
visit Skycraft. You'll be like a kid in a candy store.
Lucky for us that the world is populated with
the occasional mad scientist. This filter design offering from
AADE (Almost All Digital Electronics) ( www.aade.com
) will keep you enchanted for hours.
For general engineering assistance, calcs
and conversions I've experimented with a few but this one wins
hands down: www.pwr-tools.com
. Barry Opdahl has done an exemplary job of squeezing a library
full of reference manuals into a convenient, fast, and useful
program, and there are 2 versions, a free one and a "+plus"
links of the Month - Fall 2006
Audioholics has a large and complex site with
forums and terrific articles. What better way to stir up the autumn
witches brew than to peruse these articles?
Well, HALLOWEEN is about SPOOKY, the
BAS is about AUDIO, and audio is about MUSIC, and,
well, music is about VIBRATION, and well, perhaps you can
see where I'm going with this... prepare to learn about SVP, or
Vibratory Physics, and their homepage... www.svpvril.com
all in keeping with the trend I started last year at this time...
and the results of my "Does Halloween affect kids?"
survey are in. Take
a look. Trick or Treat !
links of the Month - August 2006
Years ago, before they invented neighbors,
I used to play the trumpet. While researching a piece on the history
of horns, I came across a number of excellent sites that you might
From the University Of New South Wales, the
Acoustics of Brass Instruments:
and while you're there, there are also acoustics sections on Flutes,
Clarinet, Saxophone, Guitar, Violin, and more; and what visit
to down under would be complete without an explanation of the
And there is a tremendous brass blog here,
beautifully written and crosslinked:
But back to brass and acoustics, where this
history of the bugle is superb:
And in case you're at a barbecue this month,
and anyone asks you how you like your burger, be sure to say,
links of the Month - July 2006
very VOCAL microphone company !
Wow, it's been a busy summer so far, and I've
slipped a bit in posting these blog-tomes*... so why not let someone
else do the talking?
Here then www.microphonium.blogspot.com
, a superbly entertaining blog by Bob Crowley and Hugh Tripp
of Crowley & Tripp Microphones and Soundwave Research Laboratories.
Their main website is here: www.soundwaveresearch.com
* not to be confused with the Blog-Tones,
or any of the other obscure acapella groups from the late 60's
such as Methyl Ethyl and the Ketones.
I also HAD to add this link just because:
It's amazing, but someone needs to get out more.
links of the Month - April 2006
spiritual visit from I. Lirpa
Those of you who are old enough to have met
or read about the interminable Mr. Lirpa will agree with me that
ANY visit from the esteemed gentleman is an honor, all jokes notwithstanding.
For years his brilliant and weighty (literally...) inventions
graced the pages of Audio Magazine, and it is with a tip of the
historical hat that I ever so humbly present some offerings which
I can only guess were inspired by I. Lirpa's genius. Oddly enough,
a google search will only reveal scant information about this
secretive genius, yet the mere mention of his name in certain
technical circles is enough to cause joyful havoc among the constituents.
Actually most of the thanks for this month's
content go to Wes Phillips, one of the resident geniuses at Stereophile,
whos columns/journals/blogs (as mentioned below, for January 2006)
I would not miss (nor should you) and some of whose links I am
honored to pass along.
While nearly everyone makes fun of Professor
I. Lirpa, who among us cannot appreciate the scientific contribution
of such devices as the cement turbo steam turntable (and rowboat),
the shower microphone, the 5kg (antivibration) tonearm, the inflatable
audio reviewer, and the ZYX phono system? I have it on pretty
good authority that the famous Rane
PsuedoAcoustic Infector ( PDF file, HERE
120k ) was inspired by the good professor's work.
Here then are some audio-connected and I.
Lirpa inspired musings for the Month of April, starting with the
web page where everyone gets 'those' pictures from... right here
- the Acoustic
See the King of Audio HERE.
Professor Lirpa would LOVE this hamster
powered midi music machine. What, you think that's easy? OK,
YOU build something that cool and submit it for next year!
And speaking of building things, here's a
... Audio clothing, (otherwise known as Sonic
Fabric), and at least one of the world's
largest subwoofers... ahhh, but here's the OTHER
Professor Lirpa would appreciate racecars
built out of cassette machines, here
... and as long as we're out on the open road how
about a little vinyl?
One of the reasons you don't hear much about
the professor any more is that someone told me he was working
for Sony. Hmmm, you don't believe me? Take a look at this
page from free patents online, with a PDF of the abstract
(the patent site places a session cookie
on your machine and it seems you have to access the PDF from INSIDE
In your audio travels you will surely want
to visit here
, one of the most enchanting and flawlessly done flash / audio
And if you want to beat the drums right now,
A little more animé in approach, but still self generated,
site. As long as we're on track of pointless obfuscation,
(small hint: once you get inside, mouseover and click)
We have more "Things In A Class By Themselves"
here on our own Links Page
5, about halfway down the page on the left, and in case you
missed last year's April fun, it's near the bottom of this page,
Surround Sound setup inspired by the
Maybe not quite in an audio vein, but one
of Professor I. Lirpa's students (and a genius in his own right)
is Professor Irwin Corey, whose homepage is here.
I'm sure you will see the connection.
There's more to come if I can find it, or
if you can submit it, email me here: webmaster@BostonAudioSociety.org Let's
give the good professor his own honorable page in history!
links of the Month
LINKS OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW )
Happy Holidays ! A time for rejoicing,
merriment and presents. And although 'tis better to give
than receive, sometimes (just sometimes) you have to get
yourself a present just to put the world into proper
So this month we examine various add-on
goodies to your audio system, from the sublime to the ridiculous,
since shouldn't a present be a little frivolous?
For the one audio website that's simply
over the top, above and beyond; if you're the kinda guy
who simply HAS to have 2 Ferraris, perhaps because
one is always off getting polished, or perhaps so you can
A - B them through the S-Curves, then check out
www.exoticaudio.org , and may your holiday dreams come true!
This site takes Dave Barry's line, "There is a very
fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness"
to soaring, new heights. OOPS!
sorry - as of 2007 the exoticaudio site is closed. Sorry
you missed it.
As for me, I have spent many years experimenting
and tweaking in search of ALL the holy grails of audio and
the one fabulous device that keeps my attention AND keeps
audio fun is the Aphex
204. Moan all you want about the purist approach to
audio (much more on this shortly) but the first time you
play a Miles Davis CD through this thing and hear brushes
on the snare that you never knew were there, or hear a bowed
bass playing way, way, way in the back of the studio, you
will be hooked. And the first time you play some rock n
roll CD which used to sound like it had cardboard drums
and spitting rattlesnakes for cymbals and now you can make
it sound, well, "pretty darned good", you will
really love it. I have mine on an umbilical
cord (made from Mogami 2931, here: www.mogamicable.com
) so it can sit on my lap and I can play with it for each
song. I guarantee this is the most bang-for-the-buck
fun you will ever have in audio, for an MSRP of $399, and
you need 4 RCA-RCA cables and 4 Phono Jack -->Phone Plug
adapters necessary to interface with most home systems.
I arranged to have Colin Miller at Secrets
of Home Theater and High Fidelity check one out for himself,
and he has written a most remarkable and complex review
I have also very successfully set up
3 units ( = 6 channels ) patched in the analog outs of a
DVD player; this gives you awesome control over all 5.1
channels of a home theater surround presentation, ( I suggest
doing this BEFORE any Bass Management) and does a compelling
job of improving essentially anything that goes through
it. Aphex also makes a plethora of other wonderful
audio processing devices, each exemplary in their class.
While most of the processing devices I mention are intended
for professional applications, there are many reasons to
implement (or at least experiment with ) such goodies in
any exotic higher-end audiophile ( i.e. home as opposed
to 'studio' ) system. While adjusting 36 controls might
seem slightly daunting to some, it's nothing compared with
some mixing boards with 7,000 knobs. And in all seriousness
you get used to the unit operationally VERY quickly.
Now don't get me wrong. We could spend
DAYS, if not a lifetime, discussing about what's right or
wrong about recording and mixing audio (or whether it should
be 'mixed' at all...) and the various combinations of setups,
microphones, placement, mic preamps, wire (ahem, interconnects...)
power amps, and monitor speakers that are necessary (or
not) to capture the elusive soul of the recording, ideally
in its 3-D holographic acoustic space, and preserve this
musical splendor, with all its emotional nuance, for days
or generations to come. Whew!
But what we have, right or wrong, for
better or worse, at the end of the day, is a REPEATABLE
CD (or DVD or tape...) in our hand. That CD, or DVD is not
going to change - it's going to be the same today, tomorrow,
and next week, (hence the oft-maligned "perfect sound
forever" line...) therefore you CAN experiment with
it and A-B various combinations of settings or preamps or
amps or speakers just as a listening experience in and of
itself, always knowing that you can go back to square one,
just in case.
Here's a spin... If we extrapolate certain
philosophies, such as espoused by Lexicon and Yamaha - and
I love to play devil's advocate here - we might purposefully
make original [studio] recordings which are dry and 'confined'
(perhaps just close miked), and then process this dry sound
totally "choosing" the psychoacoustic playback
space, and presumably position within that space. The playback
space would be resynthesized from algorithims made from
measurements made at all the world's great acoustic auditoriums...
or simply "invented" from front panel settings...
or perhaps drawn on a computer screen.
If we examine this philosophy from
a classical standpoint, we can then playback a piano solo
and choose whether we are in Carnegie Hall, or the Boston
Symphony - or in Smoky Joe's Cafe. We could even introduce
the clinking glasses and background conversation chatter
into the surround channels if we wished.
But imagine we play back a rock "concert".
Perhaps we want to catch the vibe from out in the middle
of the audience. Perhaps we want to experience what the
musicians hear onstage. Perhaps we want to feel as though
WE are the guitar player, standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF that
stack of Marshalls... or perhaps we want to A-B all of those
positions and then decide which we want to play again later.
Technically this is certainly possible, if not a totally
All if not most of the "party modes"
(and resynthesis modes, and anything above 5 channel surround)
built into modern home theater receivers are an implementation
of this philosophy to some extent. Of course you can get
carried away... playing the London Symphony through a "Smoky
French Cafe at midnight" synthesized reverb switch
position might not exactly be your cup of tea. Or it might.
There's a very interesting psychoacoustic
paradigm which takes over after awhile. As mentioned below,
playing with a studio reverb processor, a pair of headphones,
and a single input microphone can be wildly entertaining.
But as you slowly increase the reverb parameters, something
odd happens: as you listen, your entire psychoacoustic mechanism
seems to phase lock onto this new "sound"... until
IT becomes the norm, and turning the reverb down or off
then becomes "wrong". This whole enjoyable and
remarkably educational field of experimentation is not to
be missed by any serious student of the world of audio.
I had the pleasure of helping to design
and build what was considered one of the very few ultimate
equalizers in the world, built into the Crystal Sound recording
and mixing board, designed by the late Andrew Berliner and
an illustrious plethora of outside consultant engineers.
There were many occasions when visiting mixers and audio
engineers were literally moved to tears when they would
say that for the first time in their life (or career...),
they turned a knob and finally some electronic circuit responded
in an emotionally fulfilling way that they had only previously
heard in their head!
Equalizers are fun. Equalizers are interesting.
Equalizers are dangerous. And of course equalizers don't
make anything equal; they help to make things NOT
If an A-440 note played on a trumpet
and an A-440 note played on a guitar were "equal",
than they would both sound the same! The fact that they
are NOT equal, and have a completely different attack,
sustain, decay and release envelope, and have differing
amplitude and phase relationships pertaining to EACH
part of their harmonic structure, is the essence of
what enables us as listeners to both recognize them
and tell them apart. Imagine two identical Martin acoustic
guitars, one with metal strings, one with nylon strings.
And as we get closer and closer to the "same sound"
one of the differentiations is the panning position
in the stereo mix. If we were to hear these two instruments
coming out of the same mono speaker, we would be VERY
hard pressed to tell them apart.
So learning about equalizers and how
to use and abuse them is also very entertaining; and while
the more dramatic use would be when an EQ is applied to
each separate microphone channel, you can certainly enjoy
when the overall stereo 2-channel mix has been "fixed"
(or broken...) with an overall equalizer. During the mastering
process, MOST of the time, an equalizer is applied
to the overall mix as part of the magic "final sonic
seasoning", one of the last steps before you, the listening
and tasting audience, get to taste the audio wares.
Probably the number one equalizer ever
made and available for purchase especially for the home
has to be the Cello Audio Palette (a Stereophile review
built by the real Mark Levinson. Good luck on finding one:
it's a bargain at $30,000.
A more affordable and SUPERB equalizer,
with exemplary circuit design and performance, is the Meyer
CP-10 . This is one of the very few devices capable
of properly fixing what most people refer to as "room
problems"... except that you cannot really fix a "room
problem" without fixing the room itself, but you can
attempt to compensate somewhat in the opposite or inverse
direction so that you are attempting to subtract from the
audio coming out of the speakers whatever the room anomaly
is; in the hope that two wrongs make a right. Sometimes
they do. Sometimes the result is like seasoning food - a
little goes a long way and too much is simply too much.
But the joy of discovery and experimentation -- that is
Many other companies make EQ's, from
combinations of parametrics to 1/6, 1/3, 1/2 and one octave
adjustment points; from crossovers to simple in-line devices
that are patched in if necessary or desired; the world of
EQ is an amazing one that should be part of your audio experience.
Check out the offerings at Rane ( www.rane.com ),
dbx professional ( www.dbxpro.com ),
and doing a search on google
will pleasantly overload your inputs for days.
Perhaps you're located in the chilly
northern parts of our fair land, and you need something
to warm you up. Well TUBES RULE as you will
no doubt notice if you peruse www.manleylabs.com
where Eveanna Manley will keep you warm and entertained
for hours with her unique brilliance and awesome equipment.
We have our own links section devoted
to tubes on links PAGE 4, as well,
and there is a nice page of tube (ahem, valve) links
There are plenty of interesting and
fascinating tube designs out there. Here are a two: Jim
Fosgate's all tube surround sound processor: www.fosgateaudionics.com/products/FAP-V1.asp
; and Kevin Hayes offerings: www.vac-amps.com
There are also other processors that
are simply interesting, weird, bizarre, but nontheless fun,
and I would be remiss if I didn't include professional reverb
/echo devices. I once spent a week one night buried under
a pair of headphones connected to a Lexicon PCM70; the input
to the unit was a SINGLE MICROPHONE sitting on the table.
Simply playing with the sound(s) of my own and others' voices
kept me enraptured for a long time. Our own Lexicon, in
Waltham, was and is one of the original manufacturers of
professional digital processing / reverberation devices,
and their studio units are the standard of the world. Investigate
them here: www.lexiconpro.com/products/products-pro.asp
We all know that much of the time, one
hand has no idea what the other hand is doing: the AM radio
world doesn't speak to the FM radio world; the HIFI world
doesn't speak to the Surround-Sound world; and as an even
more extreme example, the live sound world (i.e. rock concerts)
doesn't speak to the world of installed sound, such as houses
of worship and discos... neither speak to the "70 Volt"
world of distributed sound in airports... and yet their
common denominator is audio, amplification, speakers, microphones,
and so on. Yet the philosophies, jargon, buzzwords, and
so on are rather different. MOST of the so-called PRO audio
equipment, while suggested for the +4 world of "Pro"
nonetheless interfaces quite well, thank you, with the "consumer"
world of "-10". And yet, because of dealership
and distribution, the worlds of HIFI, Pro, "Installed
Sound" and MI hardly ever mingle. That is one reason
when I suggest (or demonstrate) a Professional piece in
a so-called consumer system everyone is always so blown
away -- they had NO IDEA such things were possible, or even
If you have difficulty interfacing so-called
consumer / semi-pro / prosumer / PRO equipment, check out
these remarkable interface boxes made by (again) Aphex:
228 Audio Interface and the Model
124 Audio Interface . One of the best tutorials for
interfacing audio equipment is the PDF user manual of the
Model 204, here: www.aphex.com/pdf/204/Aphex_204_user_man.pdf
1.4Mb). The 204 mentioned above needs no additional
interfacing devices other than perhaps an adapter (or 4
wires...) ; it connects to and from anything.
Take a look at some of the offerings
from Drawmer ( www.drawmer.com ),
TC Electronic ( www.tcelectronic.com ),
Eventide ( www.eventide.com )
( check out the H8000 HERE ),
Behringer ( www.behringer.com )
, and read about the grandaddy of the digital reverb devices,
the EMT 250 HERE
with some nostalgia about the older metal 'plate' reverbs
and how they were built. Do you think that the 'digital'
sound of CD's or DVD's is harsh? Do you yearn for
the kinder, gentler days of soft tape saturation and pleasantly
involving even-order harmonic distortion? Check out what
Rupert Neve has done, HERE.
If you really want to have the last
word in control of your audio environment, (bad pun...sorry)
check out the Vocal Eliminator: www.vocaleliminator.com
. Now you can sing along with Sinatra, or replace him with
your own voice track. The history of their development from
simple "wiring channels out of phase" to today's
digital processing is quite an accomplishment, and a story
ALL of the devices listed above are
real hardware boxes. Some processing gadgetry is ALSO available
(or sometimes ONLY available) as software plug-ins for digital
audio workstations, but even in their best implementation
there is no substitute for the hands-on analog feel of a
real processing device - as cute as the computer screen
pictures make the gadgets look. Some of the processing devices
really are ALL ANALOG (such as the Aphex devices) while
some are all really digital inside, with an analog front
end input and corresponding analog output, but all digital
in the middle. All the Lexicon and Eventide reverb devices
would be an example of this.
Perhaps you want to have a bit o' winter
fun without disturbing others - you need headphones/earphones,
right? Not those $2.98 (or even $29.95) foam earbuds that
everyone has plugged into their ipods, but something, well,
more serious. Very much more serious. Of course the BAS
has done wonderfully comprehensive reviews of headphones,
and we have a links section here: links
page 4 (right column, near the middle). My suggestion?
You haven't lived until you connect up Etymôtic
Research model 4's, HERE
directly to your power amp, with buildout resistors, and
a good dual pot... (email me HERE
if you need the circuit) These are not a toy! As I used
to say in my audio store, Prepare to be Amazed!
So here's the scenario: Santa comes
down the chimney, and decides to relax for a bit, sitting
in a superb
leather "theater" chair, a pair of Etymôtic
4's nestled in his beard, a just-big-enough
subwoofer strapped to his chest, and the chair is loaded
and they are properly timed for the best psychoacoustic
response with a nice Rane
digital delay, and the Buttkickers are also equalized
with a nice Rane
EQ, and the whole mix is going through a Dolby
Headphone circuit, as our Santa enjoys his milk and
... And if I were Santa, I'd put a shot of Amaretto Di Saronno
into that milk or toddy or coffee or...
This section started out as a links-of-the-month
page, and due to the branching, sometimes schizophrenic
nature of the web, it's all too easy to just let the mouse
wander about by itself, and see what happens... well, this
month's click only offering is here: www.one-electron.com/links.html
Above all, enjoy the holiday season,
and may your season be filled with magic and love and great
links of the Month - November 2005
( OFFSITE LINKS
OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW )
Please be aware that
many offsite links attempt to place malware, scumware, spyware,
scripts, tracking cookies and ads on your computer, and having
a cognizant program of protection, such as using Norton Antivirus
AND Webroot Spysweeper, is a very prudent move.
ON THIS BELOW
November... Time to kick back, relax, eat
too much turkey, and sit in the ol' easy chair (sweet spot to
you audiophiles) and soak up some tunes. But wait, what shall
we listen to this year? Where are the cool places to find music
that's recorded (and perhaps mixed) well, not some crummy clipped
compressed low bitrate hodgepodge that some kid did on his laptop,
but some serious audio goodies, destined to show off our awesome
systems and fill up our emotional spaces with the nuances of great
performances? Where indeed!!!
To get your blood going, and warm things up
a bit, check out John Novello's new CD, ORGANIK,
on his own site, www.KeysNovello.com
. Be prepared to enter another dimension of jazz fusion... He
also has amazing stories to tell and some incredible books. Don't
Somewhat more local to Boston is a most unusual
band / group / experience called BellevueCadillac.com
, which bills itself as Jazz, Gospel, Blues & Soul, Swing
on top of Rock N' Roll... which about says it all! They play
the local area (and then some) and have worthwhile CD's and DVD's
available. Professor Bell will amaze!
Magazine has its own Records
To Die For section, the if-I-were-going-to-a-desert-island-what-would-I-take
collections, and yearly, they make for some lively reading and
On the other side of the pond we have a similar
bent, assembled for us by the kind folks at Inside
Hi-Fi & AV Online . (try saying that fast 6 times) Look
for the links to Digital Discs and then the
Year and Month on the menu on the right side
of the page. The page can't be easily linked because it's in nested
Perhaps you want some visuals with that audio,
for your new Home Theater? Well, Audio Video Revolution and Modern
Home Theater have teamed up to provide some VERY well written
and extensive reviews of DVD's here: www.revolutionhometheater.com/dvd/
Of course being audiophiles, we love to experiment
- with nearly everything. And here's just the ticket: a foray
into the perception and memory for sound, with extensive examples,
albums, and a decidely scientific and professional bent that should
enchant you for some time. Check out Philomel
Records and Diana Deutch's own page, HERE
And if you just happen to be into collecting
sound effects (as oppposed to, say, music...) the Freesound
Project will be a nice surprise.
But back to the basics (and I don't mean sine
waves and test tones) but to building a classical collection,
especially if you're just starting and need a bit of a push...
look at www.classical.net
and also www.classical.com
each perhaps intended to outdo the other...
Let's not forget the more mainstream record
companies, many of whom have superb new listings and websites.
and BMG , BMG
/ RCA Red Seal, Brana
Records , Angel
Music (let's not forget John Eargle's exemplary work), EMI
Classics , NAXOS
in Denmark, and don't miss the Sibelius
Academy in Finland (The Sibelius violin concerto is one of
The British Library has a master listing of
classical record companies HERE
, and there's an oddly complete and esoteric overall listing HERE
, at Trovar.com, which somehow manages to convey the dusky smell
of the back bins of a record shop in the 50's, and since I don't
have my scent synthesizer turned on, I just don't know how they
December - audio goodies & add-on gadgets for your system
January - Maybe Tubes. You gotta keep warm, right?
February - Maybe DIY projects for a snowed-in week
March - no, not marching band music. I Promise. Probably DRM
April - I Lirpa Resurrection
May - getting ready for outdoor audio
PART B: Now about the malware warning
above, repeated here:
be aware that many offsite links attempt to place malware,
scumware, spyware, scripts, tracking cookies and ads on your
computer, and having a cognizant program of protection, such
as using Norton Antivirus AND Webroot Spysweeper, is a very
Besides all the dangers of surfing naked,
recently it was discovered that Sony has placed an intrusive ROOTKIT
software program on certain CD music discs under the guise of
DRM (Digital Rights Management). There's an article about it here,
in Wired Magazine:
and a short but sweet page in PC Magazine, here:
And there have been a number of other repercussions in the last
few days. There's a list of the affected CD's (with some pictures)
on the Electronic Frontier Foundation site, here:
The original discovery was made by Mark Russinovich of Sysinternals.com,
who has a superb explanation about it in his column / blog here:
A fellow writing on Slashdot has his version and list of the affected
The Washington Post has a number of related articles here:
which deal with the class action lawsuits which are invariably
coming, and news of even more developing scams, where one emailer
claiming to "help" actually is using the embedded program
as a "carrier" for further trojan activity.
Of course the premise is they think they're
doing this because if you are playing the CD in a computer you
are "obviously" copying it, otherwise what rational
person would want to actually listen to such bad audio?... There
is no danger if the CD were to be played in a CD or DVD player,
only a windows computer where the drive is under control and management
by the operating system.
It's certainly logical and rational to view
this from both sides. Sony and the musicians are darned tired
of being ripped off (I would suspect the musicians way more
than Sony) and the end user often thinks he or she can do anything
they want with the disc once they "buy" it, which, unfortunately,
is simply not true.
And this just in, (Nov 11) if you think you
might "have" this problem, Sophos has published a removal
program and rather intense explanation here: www.sophos.com/support/disinfection/rkprf.html
To add insult to injury, I see that Apple has
started an equally (to me) offensive practice / tactic of forcefully
installing a drive-by mini download of Quicktime, placing executable
startup files and .dll's in the windows\system folder, and modifying
the registry, all by simply visiting a page where the user has placed
a quicktime presentation into their web page --- the video does
not even have to play.
Personally, I would never install quicktime,
nor would I ever allow it on machines on my network or that I
had control over. On the 2nd driveby, to a different page, luckily
I had Spysweeper installed and running and it alerted me, (to
the next-time-startup action) but I still had to delete these
unwanted vermins, by both finding and deleting things manually
AND by having to patch the registry manually, a task not necessarily
for the faint of heart. Be aware of the insipid blue weird-looking
"Q" (or maybe it's a "q") showing up in the
systray. Of course you might actually WANT this on your machine...that's
your business. Some people actually use Netscape and like Bose
In the instances where these surf-by intrusions
took place, I am 100% sure that the posters of the websites HAVE
NO IDEA that this is taking place, and, most likely simply don't
know otherwise and view Quicktime as an innocuous method of showing
a cute video on their site.
Perhaps in a future column we can examine
and see who is the lesser of the multiple evils, and what to do
about it. Those of you who are determined to examine this more
closely might notice that a surprisingly large portion of the
windows registry is taken up with reporting your 'playback' activities
to the CDDB. And that's the tip of the iceberg.
For a further glimpse of all of this and way
more of what's coming - and if you think cookies are bad wait
till you hear about PIE - get this month's issue of PC Magazine
or look at the article here:
. It would appear that Macromedia, once the company that
you loved to love, has gone over to the dark side now that they're
in bed with Adobe. Perhaps an in-depth examination of where this
is all going and has come from is in order, certainly as it pertains
to music, the "content" that we all listen to on our
aforementioned audiophile systems. Stay tuned for that.
LINKS OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW )
Here it is October; time for Halloween
and spooky goings-on in audio, and while we're at it, other
Let's contact the dead through audio
- starting with EVP, Electronic Voice Phenomena, HERE
Then we have the psycho-phone, from
Thomas Edison: www.sdparanormal.com/page/page/265918.htm
As Thomas Edison put it, when working
on his own device for contacting the dead: I am
inclined to believe that our personality hereafter will
be able to affect matter. If this reasoning be correct,
then, if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to
be affected, or moved, or manipulated by our personality
as it survives in the next life, such an instrument, when
made available, ought to record something (Scientific
American, October 30, 1920.)
- from the article You Can Hear dead People, from
FATE Magazine, HERE
There is a lovely article here:
Then we have the world of ITC, or Instrumental
Atlantis Rising magizine has an ITC
article here, that's quite complex:
An alert reader and otherwise brilliant
audio engineer has sent in this link...
and there's more audio (.mp3 files) here:
Here's a story about a sonic weapon:
And NPR has a story about NLAD (Non
Lethal Audio Devices) here:
Here's an article about "The Acoustics
To stretch a point, this article extrapolates
the frequencies out to RF... with "The Military Use
of Silent Sound":
The raven1.net website is dripping with strange and interesting
pages dealing with audio. For example, this page is about
audio mind control via heterodyning:
. The name E. Byrd keeps popping up, and perhaps sometime,
we'll investigate the links for Mr. Byrd.
If you thought you were being attacked
by audio frequencies, or other frequencies, you might want
to construct an aluminum foil deflector beanie, shown here:
Some of these people are quite serious.
Check out the American Association [of] Electronic Voice
Phenomena here: www.aaevp.com/
No spooky audio page would be complete
without a look into the Taos Hum . The actual Taos Hum page
is here: www.amasci.com/hum/hum1.html
Some audio phenomena are not necessarily
spooky, just "different". I would suggest that
this page and its links offers a WHOLE new perspective on
what constitutes "audio", as an informational
/ entertainment / psychological / psychoacoustic phenomena:
The root URL is: www.johnduncan.org
We generally mean "audio"
to mean "sound"; and we generally mean "sound"
to encompass 20Hz -20kHz. Theoretically, of course, mechanical
vibration at ANY frequency might be considered sound, even
if it isn't within the 20-20k realm of our normal hearing
perception. The range of infrasound would therefore extend
downward from 20Hz down to essentially the leading edge
of the big bang, with a frequency of 1 Hz per x-billion
years (that's 1.6 -17Hz ,give or take a few milennia);
and then there's ultrasound, from 20kHz up to some frequency
limit that may be arguable; I suggest 200kHz, since we consider
above that to be radio waves (i.e. R.F., since the regular
AM broadcast band starts at 540 kHz...) although something
could be VIBRATING at 540kHz mechanically, could
it not?... although the medical profession/industry calls
up to perhaps 15 MHz "ultrasound" so you won't
be concerned or frightened that you are being bombarded
with "RF". The word "sound" sounds so
...and here's a spooky page (literally)
about infrasound and bass: www.barbelith.com/topic/14012
As we enter the realm of Halloween,
we expand outward like an amoebic psuedopod into the gray
moist areas of psuedo science and what I like to call "comic
book science", (i.e. everything from "Beam Me
up, Scotty" to food replicators to transporters...)
and we have a plethora of people and websites claiming to
concern themselves with "vibrations", the frequencies
of which are not always mentioned or explained...
This site has a "Brain Tuner":
The root URL, with lots of links at the bottom of the page,
is here: www.braintuner.com
That Raven net site keeps popping up.
Here's their page on (low frequency) GSR:
Here's a site which is just so cool
I had to include it: www.biof.com
This page includes devices which fall in to the range of
Enjoy all the links ! More surprises
PS - if you're going to try and record
voices of dead people, I'd suggest using a phantom powered
Our ears are the last (and neglected) frontier,
so to speak, in the long chain of this game we call "audio".
Just how neglected are they, and what do we do about it?
Let's start with this article from Mix Magazine:
...and move right along to the House Ear Institute: www.hei.org/
There's Hearing Education Awareness
for Rockers: www.hearnet.com
and the E.A.R. protection page HERE
, site root HERE
British Columbia has a very interesting site:
There are some earplugs with flat response
The Deafness Research Foundation has a superb
site, with a great interactive model of the workings of the ear:
have a brief, but compelling history of hearing science here:
Plenty of technical research "bites"
Cochlear implant info here: http://wuphysicians.wustl.edu/dept.asp?pageID=15&ID=8
And here in the Boston area, we are honored
to have The Eaton-Peabody Laboratory of Auditory Physiology at
the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, who have an exemplary website:
The Acoustical Society of America has a window
into the world of sound: www.acoustics.org
has an article about DSP hearing aids here:
For those of you whose ears are wet (not wet
behind the ears that's another issue...) might benefit
from this interesting device: www.dryear.net/
I have my own personal theory of tinnitus
being the inability of the differential processing circuits in
the ear-brain circuit to self-null; the ears' own oscillations
are then perceived... Here's a lively discussion of "otoacoustic
emissions", "Hopf Resonators", "Stereocilia",
Cochlear waves and sound processing:
...and this just in (Sept 13 2005) an article
from Wired, "Young People With Old Ears":
with links to the
And here's one I forgot to add...:
Can you hear me now? Can
you hear me now? Can you hear me
now? Can you hear me now?
Can you hear me now? Can
you hear me now?
And you think you have hum because you have
a bad RCA cable?
Buddy, you don't know what HUM IS ! Here, then, the story
of the TAOS
Do not read this page if you have a Hummer.
John Mulcahy has conjured up some pretty nifty
software called "Room EQ Wizard" which requires not only
an in-depth investigation, but suggests all sorts of further study
and comparisons as to how we measure things, are we measuring the
correct things, can we hear various differences with different measuring
techniques, and so on.
For example, a pet bugaboo of mine has been
a ballpark measurement of "THD" when we clearly know
that odd order harmonic distortion and even order harmonic distortion
sound completely different, and therefore a summation statement
of "THD" is essentially meaningless, because it doesn't
specify which distortion is predominant... This noble effort of
John's has started to provide some discussion on AVS forum, the
thread of which is here:
...and he is to be congratulated for providing such an interesting
and insightful tool.
Opinions in audio get pretty entertaining - sometimes
as entertaining as listening to audio itself. Kudos to Arthur Salvatore
for having such a bold presence and taking the time to share his
thoughts with all of us. www.high-endaudio.com
And here's another view from the Boston's
area own Ted Lindblad, who has the site www.highendaudio.com
The nice people at Tracer Technologies
have tons of information about "doing audio on your computer"
in one handy place: Articles, help, software, hardware, gadgets,
goodies, acoustics, etc. www.TracerTek.com
announced the name to its previously dubbed 'Azalia' next-generation
audio specification due out by midyear, under royalty-free license
terms. The Intel High Definition Audio solution will have increased
bandwidth that allows for 192 kHz, 32-bit, multi-channel audio and
Pro Logic IIx technology 'which delivers the most natural, seamless
and immersing 7.1 surround listening experience from any native
2-channel source'. The architecture is designed on the same cost-sensitive
principles as AC'97
and will allow for improved audio usage and stability."
Here's a novel method for retrieving data [audio]
from otherwise damaged recording tape: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/techbeat/tb2000_07.htm#Forensics
Here's a hot flash from Pioneer... and now for
something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: HERE
This site deserves HOURS of your attention, maybe
Everyone deserves to play with the power of the
web. The issue is that in order to construct a coherent and complex
hyper-threaded web experience, we have the moral equivalent of writing
a serious technical book and given the 'free' nature of the web
and the lack of financial reward, the effort to produce complex
websites for free is becoming limited to the level of insane hobbyists
(i.e. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental
illness." Dave Barry) that is essentially shared
to some extent everyone visiting this website. Here, then is something
truly hyperlinked -- and made by hand -- which will provide an entertaining
and very educational experience. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hph.html
A series of audio oddities that has every
audio person talking starts with the following and expands outwards,
both perceptually and politically.
Start here: www.popsci.com/popsci/bown/article/0,16106,388134,00.html
There's an explanation of "Hypersonic
Sound" here: www.atcsd.com/tl_hss.html
Dakota Audio has some speakers available here:
to learn about DVD's. Here's the DVD dilemma, by John Virata:
On the +PLUS side (pun intended) we have:
the Read/Write Alliance at www.dvdrw.com
On the -Minus side, we have the DVD Forum, at www.dvdforum.org
There are some interesting and important white
papers on the Harmon International site
by Floyd E. Toole and others HERE
On a lighter note, turn any [flat] surface into
a speaker with this
Every now and then a site comes along that simply
pushes everything else aside with its unusual slant, take, bias,
vision, or opinion. Here's one for this month: Somewhat complicated
and involved, but watch for some relevant links to provide "closure"
to some of this...
and the homepage: http://www.belt.demon.co.uk/index.html
Fun Stuff and Other Over the Edge Oddities
of the month
if words, not pictures are your thing... and
if pictures, not words, are your thing. Could be boring, could
Tesla? Einstein? This guy's in good company...
Check out the Conclave
. Don't say I didn't warn you. (!!!)
Something Awful website. Go figure.
Badges Website (Everyone needs a hobby...) click HERE
for the .wav file (66k)
vintage retro urban suburban Americana with a modern twist.
Thumb Wars high tech prestidigitation
at its finest. Thumb Wars, BatThumb, ThumbTanic, more... on
YouTube Here's Steve
Bubble Wrap. Turn up your audio...
Foundation. May be too intense for mere earthlings.
interdimensional aluminum foil mind shielding hats, Lord Kelvin,
and Sasquatch all team up for some comic book science.