Designing the Sound of a Real Car: An Audi, from Silence to Noise [Video]

Hear the idea of creating a car sound, and you might imagine a sound designer working on a video game or film. Imagining that person producing a sound for an actual car could sound like a joke. But as today’s vehicles go silent – whisper-quiet electric cars to human-powered bicycles – the problem of imagining noises for them to make becomes deadly serious. Our brains are wired to respond quickly to sound, so when cars suddenly don’t make any noise, alerting us to their presence is a serious issue. Audi’s engineers are working on that problem in the video here …

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Get Ur G33k 0n! Dorkbot Chicago this Wednesday; CDM in Perth, Brisbane

CDM World Tour: catch up with Mike and Liz in Chicago, and Peter and Jaymis in Perth and Brisbane (Australia)! Dorkbot Chicago Any CDM-ers in the Chicagoland area are most warmly invited to this months Dorkbot at Deadtech, 3321 W. Fullerton Ave., on Wednesday at 8pm for food, drink, and brain-swelling information regarding micro-sampling and alternative musical controllers like QWERTY keyboards, game joysticks, and bicycles. This week’s presenters will be Liz McLean-Knight and Michael Una, contributors to CDM. See you there! ByteMe, Perth; CDM Me, Brisbane Australia is CDM’s second home, land of crazy creative contributors and designers, and birthplace …

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Maker Faire: Giant Bicycle-Part DJ Looping Reel-to-Reel Tape Deck

Reel to Wheel is a massive sound-making device built from bicycle parts and a dismantled reel-to-reel tape deck. Move around the absurdly over-sized controls, and its analog inner workings groan and creak their way through recorded sound. Move the wheel at the right speed, and you get an effect quite like scratching — or, since it’s tape, it’s really “scrubbing.” Reel to Wheel Project Page, with wonderful hand-drawn illustrations featuring Hank the Dummy. The project, shown last weekend at the Maker Faire, is the creation of Sasha Leitman, Steven Backer, Jesse Fox, and Jen Carlile at Stanford University’s Center for …

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More Musical Mayhem, Instant Art with Bicycles (Pt. III)

In cased you missed it in comments, music-with-bikes resources continue to pour in. If you haven’t found yourself inspired to make music with bikes yet, this should do the trick. If you’re thinking of doing this yourself, here are some great thoughts on using the bike as a music controller: Discussion: Bicycle as a Max/MSP interactive controller [Cycling ’74 Forums; thanks, Vlad!] Reader Michael Una has rigged his bike (above) with magnets and magnetic switches to control a mounted drum machine. The result is a wildly whimsical bike noisier than any bells and honkers could ever make possible: (Mike, if …

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Nutcracker Suite Played Exclusively on Bicycle Parts

Thought every twist on Tchaikovsky had been exhausted in holiday seasons past? Think again: San Francisco-based composer Flip Baber (aka johnnyrandom, pictured) writes to tell us about a compositional challenge that made him turn bike parts into instruments: I was recently approached by award winning advertising agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to do a composition for their client, Specialized. Specialized is a bike manufacturer and they needed some Christmas music, but with a twist: They wanted me to create the music from only bike sounds. They didn’t even know if it was possible, so they left the song choice up …

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