The Player Piano with Drums and Gunshots: An Oddity of the Silent Film Era [Videos]

If you want wild, futuristic, and inventive, some of the craziest inventions come from the past. The Photoplayer makes today’s music tech look positively dull. Joe Rinaudo has made a business of bringing back antiques, but his 1926 Photoplayer may top the list. Built to add dynamic soundtracks for silent films, the machine is an ingenious contrivance for live music generation. First, it has the ability to run “two decks” – that is, by having two rolls instead of one, you can queue up the next roll while the other is playing. (Okay, so it sort of invented DJing.) Second, …

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All-Foley Music Video with No Music, Kind of an Improvement [Watch, Freesound]

Think we live in a “visual” culture? Maybe not so much – watch what happens, or, rather, listen to what happens if you remove the music from a music video. Foley, that ingredient in filmmaking that winds up being as important as light, is essential. And the results are oddly compelling, perhaps more so without the music video. YouTuber Moto2h promises more of these, but the first iteration takes on South Korean wrapper PSY and his “Gangnam Style” single. (Full disclosure: I somehow missed that this was one of the most popular music videos of all time, inspiring even a …

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The Sound of Speed: Inside the Award-Winning Sound Effects for Chrome Speed Tests

What does speed sound like? Sound designer and electronic musician Joseph Fraioli, aka jafbox, was charged with giving a campaign just that feeling. The spot, directed by Aaron Duffy and promoting Google’s Chrome with some clever tricks and photography, has been a huge award winner in sound design because of just how masterfully he pulled off the job. First, the accolades: winner of the 2011 cannes lion bronze award for sound design winner of the 2011 clio gold award for sound design winner of the 2011 one show silver award for sound design d&ad 2011 in book nomination for sound …

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