Why is sound important? We have binaural hearing and can point to the direction of a sound without any practice.
How do you “close your earlids” when you go to sleep? How do children learn to speak? Leonard Bernstein’s experiments with making sounds like a child and how common those sounds might be across cultures.
Close your eyes after following links in this section. don’t worry about the visual details and information, this is learning to understand sound and signals.
Classes of sounds (one view)
Signals / alerts — short sounds that transfer information
- automobile informational sounds How many of these sounds are intentionally generated and how many are practical sound effects that let us know we’ve clicked in our seat belt?
- walk/don’t walk beep boops
- fire department / police codes on dispatch channels
- collection that includes a game tone from Starcraft
- doorbell database and an example of the ones used in the 50s and 60s in my neighborhood.
Songs and patterns that transfer information over time
We have a history of using air raid sirens from WWI and WWII as a means to notify the population of an area of an event or condition.
- air raid siren, dual pitch — my borough uses one of these at 9:45pm to signal curfew hours for children. The local volunteer fire department have a different one they use to alert volunteers to a fire.
- tornado sirens used to notify a town/area of a possible tornado
Music and entertainment
- ringing phones are so unique that we map and learn our own ringtones using songs. Golan Levin’s mobile phone concert was only possible because phones had ring tones that couldn’t be changed.
- Star Trek had one of the earliest catalogs of special effects sounds used to alert viewers of plot elements and activity.
- Professional companies that sell sound libraries.
- Orbital and Underworld are two electronic bands using dual internal tempos, one near the rate of resting heart beat the other near the rate of active (dancing) heart beat.
Psychological effects of sound
Is it genetics that cause us to respond to the sound of a crying human baby? Can you think of an “angry” noise? A “happy” noise? a “relaxing” noise?
Sketches, Fritzing, and 3d models
Sketches from sound-class-1 (including one I DID NOT show in class) and Fritzing a speaker to a transistor.
3d printed air raid sirens.