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Mar 30, 2005

I found this offensive on two levels: First, having lived with dogs for most of my life, removing a dog’s vocal chords seems unnecessarily cruel. Second, as a noise control engineer, it seems unimaginative. We can do better, (and thankfully, it looks like the principals in this story will try).


Santa Cruz clubs are upset that they can’t book rock bands because of noise complaints. The article makes a brief point that “adequate soundproofing” is expensive, but if attracting louder acts can boost the bottom line, why not make the investment? Also, using a properly designed sound reinforcement can help keep the volume down while allowing patrons to rock on.

C’mon guys, rather than complaining about the situation, why not get some help and do something about it?


I’m jealous: Orfield Labs (Minneapolis, MN) has an anechoic chamber that measures at -9.4 dB. Guinness has rated it the “quietest place on Earth.” Hey Jason, is that true?


Age-related hearing loss may not be caused by damage to the ear - instead it may be caused by degradation of the brain stem. Of course that means hearing aids won’t be effective in reducing this type of hearing loss. I don’t imagine that brain damage is easily reversible.


Here’s one way to reduce noise complaints: hand out wireless headphones at your next dance party:

You would be completely freaked out to see 3000 people dancing in silence. It’s certainly quirky, but our big push this year is keeping the noise down because that’s what the council is keen on.

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Mar 24, 2005

I like: Solid Acoustics has launched a line of omnidirectional speakers. Of course I have no idea how they sound, but I’d like to hear them. I wonder if they would be suitable for reverberation time measurements?


The New York Times has run another article on the rise of home studios (and the subsequent decline of the conventional recording studio).


Congressman Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) has made aviation noise a very public part of his platform. Noise and politics are mixed yet again.


RotoSub has introduced a new (their words) low frequency reproduction technology. Could be interesting, it reminds me of some other designs I’ve seen (such as the Contrabass [PDF]). But it’s funny that the website claims “RotoSub reduces the need for large low frequency drivers pushing miniaturization to a whole new level,” and then proceeds to show a photograph of a five-foot tall monster.


Are you the type that’s like to make a lot of noise? Even better - are you the type that likes to build your aural weapon with your own hands? Then the Sonic Devastator just might be the toy for you. [via Gizmodo]

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Mar 12, 2005

Science & Snake Oil: “I am asking for a dialog about ethics in our business. In all the years I have been doing this, I cannot recall a single seminar or paper presented on the topic. True, we are not physicians. Folks don’t die from bad sound systems or overpriced consultants or bad mixes (thank God). But does this mean we don’t need ethical standards?


I briefly mentioned a while ago that I worked on a project involving noise from roosters. Well this has certainly been a week of rooster noise problems. First, wrestler Hulk Hogan has been facing complaints that his pet rooster Lilly is disturbing his neighbors. Next up is the story of a Tennessee man who his suing his neighbor over crowing roosters. There was even an op-ed piece published about a Virginia resident who is trying to deal with her neighbors noisy rooster.

Having heard roosters crowing, it’s hard not to sympathize with the neighbors. Rooster do not crow only at dawn as commonly believed - they crow all day and all night. Would you like to listen to this for 24 hours a day?

Of course these problems also bring up the issues of “who was there first?” but that’s a discussion for another day.


Returning home from prison, Martha Stewart manages to violate Westchester County Airport’s voluntary curfew. Not a good start Martha…


This I like: compact stackable speakers ostensibly for portable audio devices like the iPod. I like these because stacking them in different configurations allows you to change the directivity pattern to fit your needs. Of course I have no idea how these speakers actually sound, but at $50/cube, one would hope they would at least sound decent.

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