When I was in college, I took a film class. When it came time for postproduction on our action movie, my group and I scrambled to come up with some decent sound effects and ambient music without having to go back and rerecord new sounds, or create something catchy in Garageband. Most of the Web resources we ran into just didn't cut the mustard when it came to finding copyright credit. Our solution was to use the small assortment of audio CDs from the school library that contained short, public domain sound effects--a process that required first loading and … Read more
This is my new all-time favorite YouTube video.
Most people with any interest in music understand that sound moves in waves. A vibrating object (guitar string, speaker cone) causes air to compress and decompress in a rhythmic motion. The air itself doesn't travel far, but the waves travel through the air--similar to the way waves move across the surface of water--where they hit your ear, which turns them into signals your brain understands as sound.
The length of the wave determines its pitch. The lowest notes we can hear are approximately 30-foot waves, while the highest notes are fractions … Read more
If speaker systems can be designed to fit in with the bathroom decor, then surely a set for the dining room table is eminently reasonable. The "Supper Sound System" delivers on the promise of its name, blending in seamlessly next to the salt and pepper shakers in ceramic cases molded to look like bottles, tumblers and other dinnerware. Technabob notes that the base station even resembles a serving dish.
A reader wrote asking the age old question--Do all amplifiers sound alike? "Mr. Guttenberg, I've been enjoying what you write about since I am a budding audiophile. A guy I know claims that amplifiers do not alter the quality of the sound and pointed me to a web site with a $10,000 challenge by Richard Clark that states that the human ear cannot discern the differences between amplifiers. What are your feelings on the subject and do you think there is any merit to this man's challenge?"
Well, I do believe that there are important … Read more
Recently, Power Downloader received an e-mail from a contact in Spain who worked as a well-liked bellhop for a large hotel in the coastal city of Valencia. What the hotel management didn't know was that their trusted bellhop was secretly highly skilled in wiretapping and the use of parabolic microphones, which is why Power Downloader kept him in his list of contacts. Immediately interested, Power turned off his MP3 player and read further.… Read more
The Minority Report's sci-fi touch screen has become a cliche for futuristic gadgetry, and some are willing to pay $100,000 or more for anything that even approaches its fable. But there may be a form of digital control that does it one better: navigation without laying hands on the computer at all.
As fellow Craver Michael Kanellos found at the Ceatec show in Japan, Toshiba and others were anxious to show off PCs and various devices controlled by hand gestures. One company, JVC, has even managed to combine the cutting-edge technology with a concept made famous by late-night … Read more
When Altec Lansing asked if I would take a look at its new desktop speaker replacement, I was interested in the possibilities. According to the company, the SoundBar was designed to fit onto a desk with little room left without sacrificing high-quality audio. Unfortunately, the SoundBar only delivers on the first goal.… Read more
Tom Hannaher of ZVOX Audio and I were chewing the fat about the state of the consumer electronics business when the subject veered over to flat-screen TV manufacturers. They're all under incredible pressure to slash prices while they load on more and more features, and it's getting kinda scary.
I've had folks in the TV biz tell me not to wait any longer to buy a flat display because the manufacturers are starting to substitute lower-quality parts to keep lowering retail prices. But long before they do anything drastic that would affect picture quality or reliability, they … Read more
Ministry of Sound has, for a long time, been a big ol' player in da clubs, but its line of own-brand hardware hasn't previously blown us away. That may be set to change after the Ministry freshly announced a new micro hi-fi setup, the MOSMC139IP.
While the name couldn't be less inspiring, the glossy black system looks pretty nice for 90 pounds (about $181) and would certainly fit right into place in a teenage clubber-in-training's bedroom, especially if that teen already owns an iPod--a dock for said 'Pod sits atop the system.
So, specs. Each 10W … Read more
Not taken with Yamaha's one-piece 5.1 surround-sound system for $2,000? Still want a cinema sound setup? We've been given an exclusive preview of Logic3's SoundStage speaker system, which incorporates a true 5.1 setup within a single meter-wide enclosure for a more than acceptable $500.
More interesting still is that this 150W beast works its magic with a full 15 speakers--13 mid- and high-range drivers, plus twin subwoofers.
Like Yamaha's YSP-1100, the technology works by bouncing sound around the walls of your living room, eliminating the need for individual speakers that can be problematic … Read more