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Monday, January 28, 2013

Project: Searching for quiet spaces.

Hear A Pin Drop: Holly Rumble, Norwhich, UK, is an artist working with live performance and sound. In this project, Rumble sets out to see if she can find places within a busy acoustic environment in which a pin drop can be heard. The information is mapped and document on project special forms. This series of videos documents six days of field work with a good explanation of the project in the Day 1 video. Click2Read about this Edinburgh project.

Day 1 (3:57) 
Day 2 (4:05)
Day 3 (2:24)
Day 4 (2:51)
Day 5 (3:12)
Day 6 (3:36)

Click2Read more about Holly Rumble and her Hear A Pin Drop project.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Research: Acoustics and Your Environment

Basics of Sound and Highway Traffic Noise (48:37). This nearly hour long video looks at the basics principles of acoustics and then addresses issues of highway traffic generated noise and what factors determine how and what we hear when adjacent to roadways. Source: Federal Highway Administration and YouTube.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Noise Issues: Whales Shout Over Noise

Whales Shouting (0:48) Just like people in a bar or other noisy location, North American right whales increase the volume of their calls as environmental noise increases; and just like humans, at a certain point, it may become too costly to continue to shout, according to marine and acoustic scientists. Source: Penn State University and YouTube

Human Noise And Whale Communication (0:47) Whales communicate using melodic sounds or "songs" that can travel more than 100 meters. Oceangoing ships produce noise, mainly from their propellers, that interfere with the ability of whales to communicate. Other types of ships create additional layers of noise. Oil-exploration ships, for example, use reflection seismology to map the ocean floor. Research has shown that these additional noises can interfere with a whale's ability to communicate, causing confusion for the whale.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lecture: Paul Roe - Listening to Nature

Listening to Nature: Acoustic Monitoring of the Environment (29:34) Professor Paul Roe of the Queensland University of Technology gives a presentation in 2009 about acoustic analysis research of the soundscape.

"The requirement to monitor the rapid pace of environmental change due to global warming and to human development is producing large volumes of data but placing much stress on the capacity of ecologists to store, analyse and visualise that data. To date, much of the data has been provided by low level sensors monitoring soil moisture, dissolved nutrients, light intensity, gas composition and the like. However, a significant part of an ecologist’s work is to obtain information about species diversity, distributions and relationships. This task typically requires the physical presence of an ecologist in the field, listening and watching for species of interest. It is an extremely difficult task to automate because of the higher order difficulties in bandwidth, data management and intelligent analysis if one wishes to emulate the highly trained eyes and ears of an ecologist. This paper is concerned with just one part of the bigger challenge of environmental monitoring – the acquisition and analysis of acoustic recordings of the environment. Our intention is to provide helpful tools to ecologists – tools that apply information technologies and computational technologies to all aspects of the acoustic environment.

The on-line system which we are building in conjunction with ecologists offers an integrated approach to recording, data management and analysis. The ecologists we work with have different requirements and therefore we have adopted the toolbox approach, that is, we offer a number of different web services that can be concatenated according to need. In particular, one group of ecologists is concerned with identifying the presence or absence of species and their distributions in time and space. Another group, motivated by legislative requirements for measuring habitat condition, are interested in summary indices of environmental health. In both case, the key issues are scalability and automation." Abstract Queensland University of Technology.  Click2Read

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Project: Comparative Acoustic Noise Measurment

Cow Bells and Generator ( :32) This is an acoustic noise measurement and result - Acoustic Movie of a house-based generator and the cow bells in an adjacent field. A 48 Channel Microphone array was used and recorded with 96kHz sampling rate. The measurements were taken and visualized by a team of the GFAI Tech GmbH from Berlin. Source: YouTube

See also: 

Acoustic camera (:35) - Finding annoying buzz in a complex acoustic environment of overhead power lines. Visualized with colour contours and hear with virtual microphone. Scan by frequency to identify the tone. Using a Norsonic Acoustic Camera 

Source: YouTube.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Noise Issues: Europe - Explore the Noise

Explore the Noise (1:28) The European Environment Agency (EEA) has launched the most comprehensive map of noise exposure to date, revealing the extent to which European citizens are exposed to excessive acoustic pollution. Noise affects a large number of Europeans, which perceive it as one of the major environmental problems. It can affect people in both physiological and psychological ways, interfering with basic activities such as sleep, rest, study and communication. The NOISE database establishes a system of source identification, noise mapping and population exposure assessments based upon noise indicators for Europe. Source: EEAVideo and YouTube.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Soundscape Composition: Paper Beats

Paper Beats (1:14) Human sound making is part of the acoustic landscape. All the sounds heard in this short video by Andrew Huang have been made with one pair of scissors and a sheet of paper. The composition is made of 30 samples, each on their own layer, with some segments in which all are sounding at once. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Soundscape: Amazon Fish Market

Manaus Fish Market (1:10) The fish market in Manaus, Brazil is a riot of sound, color, swishing knives and.. well.. fish. Video by Alex Gallafent for PRI The World. Source: YouTube.