Carnegie Mellon University: Live-Streamed Game Collects Sounds To Help Train Home-Based Artificial Intelligence . “From yawning to closing the fridge door, a lot of sounds occur within the home. Such sounds could be useful for home-based artificial intelligence applications, but training that AI requires a robust and diverse set of samples. A video game developed by Carnegie Mellon University researchers leverages live streaming to collect sound donations from players that will populate an open-source database.”
Artforum: New York Public Library Acquires Archive of Sound Art Pioneer Maryanne Amacher. “The Brooklyn-based nonprofit Blank Forms has announced the formation of the Maryanne Amacher Foundation and the donation of the American composer and sound artist’s archives to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. The material, which was assembled shortly before Amacher’s death in 2009, includes more than one-thousand reel-to-reel tapes, a collection of writings, annotated drafts, project notes, performance materials, concert posters, and ephemera as well as some custom-made electronic music tools, which will be cared for by the foundation.”
ScienceBlog: Using Soundwaves To Search Through Big Data With More Stability And Ease. “In a paper published in Nature Research’s journal, Communications Physics, researchers in the University of Arizona Department of Materials Science and Engineering have demonstrated the possibility for acoustic waves in a classical environment to do the work of quantum information processing without the time limitations and fragility.”
British Library Digital Scholarship Blog: Creating Geo-located Digital Sound Walks. “A few months ago, here at the British Library we held an interesting Exploring with Sound Walks event, that discussed digital projects that connect literature, sound recordings, place, technology and walking. Several digital tools were mentioned by the presenters at this event, so this post, by Marcin Barski, is a practical guide for creating geo-located sound walks.”
GRAMMY Museum: GRAMMY Museum® Grant Program Awards $200,000 For Music Research And Sound Preservation. “The GRAMMY Museum® Grant Program announced today that $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 15 recipients in the United States to help facilitate a range of research on a variety of subjects, as well as support a number of archiving and preservation programs…. Preservation projects include the archiving of uncirculated John Hartford jam tapes, 960 audio reels of Cajun and zydeco artists, and 221 rare interview recordings with African-American actors, performers, composers, musicians, and scholars, among many other preservation projects.”
CogDogBlog: At the Arts Gala: Making Stories with Sound. “Maybe my favorite media thing to teach is audio editing, because it’s typically fat from most people’s experiences. With an offer from Cori to do a session at the Arts Gala event for the Prairies South School Division, I had the chance to bring this as a workshop to high school students who gathered recently at the school in Gravelbourg.”
Ars Technica: Mapping Notre Dame’s unique sound will be a boon to reconstruction efforts. “The acoustics of the cathedral—how it sounds—are also part of its cultural heritage, and given the ephemeral nature of sound, acoustical characteristics can be far trickier to preserve or reproduce. Fortunately, a group of French acousticians made detailed measurements of Notre Dame’s ‘soundscape’ over the last few years, along with two other cathedrals. That data will now be instrumental in helping architects factor acoustics into their reconstruction plans.”
How-To Geek: The Best Sites for Background or Ambient Noise. “Whether you need to focus on a project or just relax, background noise can help with either of those things. Here are the best websites and sources for background and ambient noise.”
InDaily: ABC’s Adelaide sound archive dismantled in sad free-for-all. “ABC staff and a few outsiders are picking over what remains of the national broadcaster’s archive of CDs at Collinswood. With the local sound librarians sacked and unique material meant to have been shipped to the ABC in Sydney and Melbourne, the doors have been thrown open to the huge CD collection, believed to have originally contained around 100,000 items. InDaily understands duplicate CDs were offered first to major cultural institutions, such as the National Film and Sound Archive, before those left were offered to employees.”
Make Tech Easier: 4 of the Best Websites to Download Royalty-Free Music for Your Next Project. “If you’re a filmmaker or YouTube vlogger, you know that the right music can really take your projects to the next level. Unfortunately, not everyone is a talented musician. Luckily, there are a number of websites that allow you to download royalty-free music to use in your projects.”
Berkeley Library: Project IRENE: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Library unite to save Native American voices. “In the twinkle-lit cafes and sage-incensed dorms around town, vinyl is all the rage among the youths. But in the unassuming Moffitt Library — still shy about its hipster cred — it’s all about wax cylinders. Tucked away on Moffitt’s second floor, in the Digital Imaging Lab, a team of researchers are restoring a trove of wax cylinders: the original vinyl. The objects hiss and pop just like a record, but they also happen to contain the sacred songs and voices of Native Americans, recorded by field anthropologists over four decades, from 1900 to 1940.” Fascinating information about how wax cylinders are being restored or repaired.
IEEE Spectrum: Build Your Own Google Neural Synthesizer. “NSynth uses a deep neural network to distill musical notes from various instruments down to their essentials. Google’s developers first created a digital archive of some 300,000 notes, including up to 88 examples from about 1,000 different instruments, all sampled at 16 kilohertz. They then input those data into a deep-learning model that can represent all those wildly different sounds far more compactly using what they call ’embeddings.’ That exercise supposedly took about 10 days running on thirty-two K40 graphics [PDF] processing units. Why do that? Well, with those results, you can now answer a question like ‘What do you get when you cross a piano with a flute?’ (Musicians: Insert joke here.)”
Recording Academy: Grammy Museum® Grant Program Awards $200,000 For Music Research And Sound Preservation. “The GRAMMY Museum® Grant Program announced today that $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 14 recipients in the United States and Canada to help facilitate a range of research on a variety of subjects, as well as support a number of archiving and preservation programs. Research projects include a study that will examine how rhythmic cues can improve movement for older adults and people with Parkinson’s disease, and a study that will examine how neural integration through music enhances long-term memory, among others. Preservation and archiving initiatives will rescue and organize 400 hours of at-risk reel-to-reel tapes of Native Radio—Bay Area:1973–1978; preserve, digitize, and ensure public access to 316 rare interviews with performers, songwriters, and music executives from the Country Music Hall of Fame; and digitally restore rare kinescopes of the 1950s television series “Stars Of Jazz” (KABC-TV, 1956-58); among others.”
New Atlas: Music-search app gets you to draw songs in the air. “If you like moving your hands as if you’re conducting a piece of music that you like, then SoundTracer may be right up your alley. The experimental new iOS app allows you to find a song within a digital library, by ‘drawing’ that music in the air with your phone.” It’s very limited at the moment but I love the idea.
Science Alert: You Can Now Listen to The Weird ‘Music’ Made by Our Rotating Galaxy. “Ever wondered what the Milky Way might sound like as it rotates on its axis? According to a new ‘musical expression’ by an astronomer, it has distinctly jazz-like tones. Mark Heyer of the University of Massachusetts Amherst developed an algorithm that expresses the movement of gases in the Milky Way’s disc as musical notes. He’s titled the resulting composition Milky Way Blues.” The end of the article features a pointer to a new Web site called “Astronomy Sound of the Month”.