The deepest scratching ever

This kit allows you to build your very own gramophone, which will let you record and play back your very own record disks!

Thinking that it could be very cool to record my own “lo- fi” memos and sounds, I bought the Gramophone, which arrived soon and in perfect condition as the packaging was excellent. It also came with instructions in English, and building it was quick and fun. It looks very nice, but that’s all there is to it. I tried to make several recordings on the supplied disks and on spare cds, and the results were very disappointing, to say the least. In brief, if you manage to record something, which involves you almost shouting at the horn, in order to play it back you have to place the needle very accurately over the groove that was carved while recording: don’t make any mistake or it will get out of the path and ruin everything with no possible recovery. If everything goes right, you may hear what you recorded in a very very low volume (no amplifier other than the horn), and to make things worse, the mechanism is very noisy. Maybe it was my fault or more experiments should be done, but I didn’t like the overall results.
I think I was expecting too much from this thing. If you like it and want to give it a try, keep in mind that it will work for the purpose it was made, to show how a gramophone works, and little more. Anyway, the carved cds look like space- era vinyls, which is actually cool and decreases the frustration 😛

I hear things that no one else does

Since the sound that we hear is created right in the column of ultrasonic energy, it does not spread in all directions like the sound from a conventional loudspeaker, instead it stays locked tightly inside the column of ultrasonic energy. In order to hear the sound, your ears must be in line with the column of ultrasound.

Hypersonic Sound. Kinda redundant (“hypermusical music?”), but the concept is actually cool. Besides the examples given in the site I was thinking on an installation where people would wander around an empty space with hidden speakers placed in the ceiling, pointing to spots in the floor and changing positions slowly over time. It would be interesting to see how people react for the first time to these unexpected sounds, and how they do interact with them (for instance, if they try to catch up with them as they move, or try to find new ones). I wonder if we would get accustomed to the effect (I mean, when not warned of the sweet spot) if this technology ever got into everyday life: walking down the mall could be like crossing a “sound mined” field. And I wonder what would happen if two sound beams crossed in space…

A shmup is a shmup is a shmup

the last real classic game genre still alive – games in which score, skill, technique, replayability, and finely honed 2-dimensional gameplay are all-important.

Underrated by some as if they were relics from ancient times, the truth is that shmups are everlasting, because in their core lies the essence of the videogame: easy to understand, hard (but rewarding) to master, challenging and enjoyable. From time to time I would go back to the old black&white (yellow and green?) gameboy to see if the experiences of life have made me more skillful and I´m finally able to finish R- Type (you already know the answer, save me the shame); but then, if someone asked me for an example of a high- quality modern videogame with all the lusty graphics and powerful sound, my trouble would be whether to answer ikaruga (Dreamcast and Gamecube) or rez (Dreamcast and PS2)… I think I´d say ikaruga and save rez for if I was asked if videogames can be art. 😉

Wait… dunno what a shmup is? Look it up in the dictionary. C’est facile á lire!

Create your own world: aiplanet

A virtual world for artificial intelligence.

Even though its development seems to have been stagnated for quite a long time, aiplanet is still a delicious piece of software which will always be worth downloading. The initial screen shows an empty blue sphere (actually covered by some water and an atmosphere too), which can be transformed into a living ecosystem by raising land, planting trees and placing animals on it. Are your oceans empty? just add some fish. Too much fish already? let the shark do its work. You can make all sorts of experiments in and with your small planet, from draining the ocean to flooding the lands, from modifying the climate to smashing asteroids (unless you place a missile defense, that is). All of this results in an experience which is half documentary, half game, and all fun. Thanks Dave, and good luck with your music!.

Related Articles:

Aiplanet: back on air

A Parallel Universe: Noctis

Scores Galore

# Scores are in the public domain
# Available from anywhere

This is a collection of Public Domain music scores which I find valuable as a Composition student. For instance, many of the operas are provided in both full and vocal score, which is very helpful when practicing reduction and orchestration. I prefer to have the book in front of me better than the screen or a print from the file, but it´s nice to know that all those materials are at hand if needed, may be the case that you lose the score of “Dido and Aeneas” the day before the Choir exam. (yes, it happened).