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Aug 29, 2004

The Paper of Record talks about Arup Acoustics’ SoundLab system for simulating the aural environment of rooms.

Real-time computer modeling has been done before (notably Bose’s Auditioner). What makes SoundLab unique is that it’s a calibrated signal processing system that doesn’t require headphones or specialized head-restraints (this is Auditioner’s weakness). I haven’t heard it, but I would be interested in trying it out.

The article doesn’t mention it, but SoundLab is also being used to model the proposed Constellation Center in Cambridge’s Central Square.


Gizmodo reports on Panasonic’s “Air Drive” speaker/cradle for one of Panasonic’s minidisc players. I don’t have anything substantive to say about the speakers other than that they look really cool.


Over on the DIY Speakers mailing list, Brian Steele took note of this page on Brian also correctly noted that pretty much everything on that page is wrong. Sigh…


Found on the internet: “How to Build a Hydrophone.” Maybe I should get into the undersea acoustics measurement business.


A couple in Richfield Ohio found a unique method to reduce noise from the nearby Ohio Turnpike: install a waterfall to mask the noise. I may have to steal that idea.

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Aug 22, 2004

The Northern California DIY 2004 Speaker Building Event is set for Saturday, September 18 at Moraga, CA. Details and directions available at the above link.


Attendees at a concert in North Hampton, NH complained about excessive sound levels during the performance. The band’s response? “[T]his is rock ’n’ roll.”

Sure, loud music is part of the experience, but when it gets so loud that it sounds like mush ( “You can’t pick out any of the different instruments. It’s all just a jumble of noise”), you might want to tone it down a little. I don’t have a problem with loud music, but as a music lover, I don’t want the mix to be so loud that you can’t hear the music. I’ve talked about this issue before.


Home Theater Blog has observed an interesting trend: home owners financing home theaters through their mortgages. I’d like to see hard numbers so we could see if the trend is real, but it looks like an innovative (and tax deductible?) means of paying for that plasma screen television.


Wyle Lab’s Ken Plotkin gets plenty of ink in Popular Science’s July 2004 article on minimizing sonic booms. The article discusses field tests of new aerodynamic shapes designed to reduce sonic booms, and the development of the theory behind the design.

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