firefighter

These Students Put Out Fires with The Power of Bass

The next time you’re facing a life-threatening fire in, say, your kitchen, you may simply shout, “where’s the drop?” George Mason University engineering seniors Seth Robertson and Viet Tran have made a fire extinguisher that works entirely using sound. If you haven’t seen it making the social media rounds yet, of course, it’s worth posting here. Not only is it absurdly cool to watch, but it’s the latest reminder that music, sound engineering, and science can go hand in hand. That is, music is made of sound, and the study of sound overlaps with engineering and physics. In fact, this …

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Musical Robots from Refuse, Pyrotechnic Dancers, and More Czech Wizardry: Stanley Povoda

The very word “robot” comes from a Czech author, Karel Čapek and his 1920 sci fi theater work R.U.R.. In terms that resonate today, class, economics, and freedom play into that narrative, as Čapek introduced not only a word but the modern concept of android. So, it’s fitting that the Czech Republic would be the scene for an artist carrying on the author’s legacy. Inventor Stanley Povoda doesn’t just imagine robots; he builds them and makes them into a musical band. Repurposing refuse, the robotic creations have eyes for knobs, and play percussion and other instruments. These are liberated robots, …

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Flame-Throwing Keytar; Players, Not Instruments, Are Cool

Not just any keytar: this one shoots fire. And you can make music by punching the dummy on the right in the crotch. No, really. Photo: Jeremy Mullis. As a follow-up to my controversial defense of the keytar attempt to get people to stop complaining in comments that they can’t buy a keytar and excuse to needle Roland again. This is CDM reader Billy Hunt. The bright spot in the upper right hand of the screen is fire — a fireball launched from his keytar. Billy modded his Roland AX-7 for wireless MIDI control (okay, logical, practical choice there) and …

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Hercules Wireless DJ Controller, So You Can DJ and … Barbeque?

Perfect for barbeques, says Hercules. This (sadly, wireless DJ-free) barbeque via Flickr, by Adactico. Yes, just in time for the summer grilling season. Hercules — known in the 80s for their video cards and more recently as makers of a rather flimsy DJ controller — have introduced a toy-like wireless DJ controller. As a serious “controller,” it’s not much good; it’s only slightly evolved from remote control. As a toy, though, it’s quite cute and I imagine someone would have some fun with it. Plug a receiver into USB on your Windows PC, and the Hercules controller wireless manipulates included …

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Burning Gear Update: Firey Casio Keyboards Recalled

Okay, safety first. Casio says: Due to a manufacturing defect, certain CTK-710 keyboards may present a smoke and/or fire hazard, which could result in serious injury or property damage. No reports of injuries have been received by Casio to date. Casio is aware of five incidents of overheating, including two incidents that resulted in a fire. There have been two reports of property damage. See Casio recall. Now, since I know there’s a fairly strong pyromaniac streak among CDM readers, let’s enjoy this for a moment: Flaming. Casio. Keyboards. Note: this is not an endorsement of such reckless behavior. Burning …

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Toast 7: Put Music on DVD; Other Audio Features (Mac)

Roxio has posted more details on Toast 7, the update to the venerable CD burning app for the Mac (check out Hear It!): New & improved in Toast 7 [Roxio] As a guest wisely commented on my previous story, there’s plenty here for audio users: “Very hefty stuff… the audio DVD is tops… nothing else can do this on the Mac.” Plenty is new, but here are the reasons I’ll upgrade: 50 hours of music on a DVD High-quality DVD sound: Dolby Digital sound or 96 kHz, 24 bit stereo Instant capture and recording via a Dashboard widget Built-in OGG, …

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Pyro (PC), Toast 7 (Mac) Add Video, Cell Phone, Audio Extras to CD Burning

How do you update something as seemingly simple as CD burning in the year 2005? Pyro and Toast are adding lots of extras, like a quick cell phone ring creator (Pyro) and video features (Toast). First, a look at Windows: Pyro 5 is a feature-packed tool from our friends at Cakewalk, with new ringtone creation and delivery (easier ripping and export right from the disc), disc burning and ripping enhancements, improved audio editing right in the program, enhanced support for portable players, and more. Best of all, it’s only US$39.95. Steve Thomas from Cakewalk suggests it as a stocking stuffer. …

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NeKo Keyboard Set on Fire, Beaten

Here at CDM, we've covered instruments powered by flames, but not necessarily instruments set aflame. This one is just too painful to watch. At a party hosted by Native Instruments, Windows-powered keyboard maker Open Labs encouraged DJ Richard Divine to destroy their NeKo keyboard, supposedly to demonstrate how rugged it is. So Rick D responded by setting the NeKo on fire. Apparently that did nothing, as the keyboard plays on in the video. Until he hit it. Hard. With a baseball bat. Several times. I had to avert my eyes. Um, Open Labs, next time can you just give it …

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Pyrophone: Flaming Sound Organ Powered by Propane

Robotic guitars are cool, but you know what you really want: a propane-powered flame organ. Yes, as it turns out, enormous plumes of fire can produce pitched and unpitched sound. (Hint: it's loud.) This is a digital music site, mind you, so of course I've selected Eric Singer's Pyrophone, which can be MIDI controlled; Max/MSP is the app of choice and was adapted into a musical game of Simon, on a large, pyrotechnic scale. Sure, the instrument isn't exactly "street legal" and I believe the Madagascar Institute (motto: 'fear is never boring') got in a bit of trouble with the …

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