Posts Tagged 'Audio'


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Muzak Not Muzak No More!

Muzak, the company that was built on orchestral versions of Firefall songs and 1950s crooner tunes, is trying to be cooler by changing its name. After spending decades to establish your business as the calming, soothing background sounds to the life of a mall, now you're going to throw it all away, Muzak? It's like Kleenex deciding it's tired of being associated with runny noses and wants to enter the teen-girl-clothing-market. Suck it up, Muzak, you do what you do so well, and even though my small-town grocery store now plays top-40 hits over its "muzak" system, you'll always have a soft spot in people's hearts.

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The Whole Beats Story!

I became vaguely aware of Beats Audio when Jimmy Iovine showed up on American Idol with the Beats logo plastered all over everything he owned, and then Dr Dre showed up pimping Hewlett-Packard laptops with Beats inside. I didn't know much of it beyond a branding gimmick, but I learned a lot from this article. Beats were started by Monster? That explains a lot. My old 1980s Koss cans are still working nicely, but all you can find in stores these days are fashion headphones like Beats and Skullcandy for 2x the price of an entry-level set of audiophile headphones that sound twice as good. It's no wonder Monster wanted a part of that market - it's their bread and butter.

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Modi Schiit!

If you thought audiophile DACs were out of your pricerange, take a look at this Schiit. For $99, Schiit offers the Modi, a DAC that replaces the schiity soundcard you bought at OfficeMax. It's USB powered and doesn't require special drivers, so if you were wondering why your Angry Birds sound effects sounded crappy coming through your McIntosh tube amp, it's the poor quality DAC. Plug this Schiit in there, and you'll swear the pigs were dying horribly right in your living room.

Ice Record!

If you liked the 3d printed album, take a look at this: a silicone reverse mold is made, so you can fill it with water and make a playable ice record. The 3d-printer record is somewhat feasible to me, but the ice record? I'm pretty sure this is a fake, but it's at least a neat concept in theory.

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3d Printed Album!

We have already learned the wonders of using 3d printing technology to make surrogate penises modeled on real cocks, but here's a somewhat practical use of the technology. Apparently, you can actually 3d print a record album, which is both crazy but so freaking obvious I'm mad that I hadn't thought of it. And, like in the early days when Edison spent his days screaming obscenities at his underpaid technicians, this 3d-printed album sounds just about as crappy as the early wax cylinders. But, every technology has to start somewhere, and if there's one thing I know, it's that hipsters will put their mechanical-turkitude into making this a viably impractical method for handling tunes.

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No More Walkman!

Since the early 1980s Sony has been the flagship portable audio manufacturer with their "Walkman" line of tape cassette players. Sadly, in a few months they will stop producing all portable tape players, so get your Walkmans...Walkmen? Walksman? Get 'em now, because they're not going to be around much longer, unless you want to buy cheap knock-offs like the rest of us always had to do.

Tight Rock Band!

OK, here's my reality-show invention hat. From this hat, I draw the following words: "rock band"...and..."porn star"! Damn, Bree Olson already invented this, and called it Tight. Their show is coming to a cable TV station near you in the fall of...2011? Oh, don't worry -- they're still around and giving interviews, probably to promote the DVD release.



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Dyskograf!

If you've ever been bored at grandma's and watched how her music boxes worked, you'll appreciate the Dyskograf. This technological marvel is played by drawing musical compositions on circular disks, which are then read by a device resembling a record player, which essentially makes them a 21st century version of this.

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Rock History!

More informative than a Cracked article would be if they had one of their expert reporters just write about it, this infographic tells the awesome story of modern rock music through timelines and illustration. I love the "Subject matter line because, let's face it, guys singing about women is, really, what rock is all about, particularly the fixation on boobs of the 80s, and the pleasant diversion into hallucinogenic bizarrity through the 1970s. As somebody who's lived through those decades and remembers the music of the time, it's no wonder irony is such a well-cultivated emotion today: the most economically strong period on the timeline - the 90s - is the one most filled with despondent, cranky music. With the current recession echoing the dark days of the 80s, I'm all for huge boobs taking over our airwaves again. Wait, does music come on airwaves any more? Maybe that's the problem - people are more whiny when sitting in front of their computers. Point taken.



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I Want It To Be Simple!

See, this guy knows how to do it. I've invited hasidic jews and Jack Sparrow to my parties, but it ain't ever worked out. The guy from the Office knows how to have a party, though. Note that, in the credits, he's "Black Hugh Hefner", a title formerly held by nobody.

Steal This Album

Elvis Costello, the classiest guy to ever be cast in Stephen Colbert's Christmas Special, thinks his label is fucking you over, so you should go torrent it instead. Costello has his balls in the right place, seeing he's often before risked sanction for speaking his mind, and hopefully this doesn't bite him in the ass. He's doing it for a good cause, though: rather than buying his own piece of shit super-sized collector's edition, go and get Louis Armstrong's Ambassador of Jazz for $150. That's 10 CDs of Armstrong, well worth the money, I suppose, but I may end up downloading those too. I don't have much shame.

Beach Blanket Rammstein!

What the fuck happened to you, Rammstein? No, don't get the wrong idea: whatever happened is totally fucking awesome, but this is totally not what I expected from a Rammstein video. I present to you: Mein Land. Don't worry, there are naked tits after the 4-minute point.


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Band Sluts!

There's plenty of ways to tell if somebody is a huge slut: tattoo placement, reputation, sticking her hand down your pants without an invitation...but sometimes you need a simple way to tell. Ask her what her favorite band is, and that'll tell you a lot. At the top of the promiscumeter: Nirvana and Metallica, which probably mostly means thirty-something middle-managers who like to get her freak on after hours. I can totally roll with that, no problems here. The least slutty? Coldplay, Adele, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry, and Kings of Leon. The those middle three are easy to explain: the only people who answer them are 14 and wishing they were wild in a safe and secure way. The Coldplay and Kings of Leon fans are married and trying to make sure they show up at church a couple times a month so nobody starts to wonder. As for me, send of the Gorillaz and Daft Punk babes: they're twenty-something, they rank high on the promiscumeter, and they're probably worth talking to, too.

Subwoofer Shredder!

If having blood running out of your ears isn't enough of a clue that you're stereo is too goddamned loud, just open up the side and shove a phonebook in there. The resulting confetti will make Farkers go, "jesus christ, now how is he going tolook up the number for the pizza place?"


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Silenzium On Rammstein!

Boy, the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Society can really put out those metal hair bands, right? This trio are Russian, and their music sounds just as angry as you'd expect. Oh, and its fucking awesome - the link below has them performing Rammstein. Apparently, they also do Metallica, Korn, and the most metal band of them all, Queen. And, whadayaknow: according to Wikipedia, the genre is called "cello rock". See also: Rasputina, also a favorite of my gothy-artsy college friends.


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Calling Spacemen!

The seventies were downright fucked up, and not just because of Disco. In 1976, a progrock group wrote this "anthem for World Contact Day", as the song to welcome aliens to planet Earth. Not content to leave the song in the hands of LSD-dropping economics majors, The Carpenters did the version below. I was pretty young, but think to yourself: you've got the mainstreamiest, white-breadiest of groups singing not just about - but directly to - alien spacecraft that are coming to our planet in peace. It's like when you learned that the My Name Is Earl guy is a scientologist: you just can't see where it was that things made a left turn into crazyville. Here you go:

La Boite!

Computer audio has always felt behind the audiophile curve, probably largely because MP3s are generally crappy compared to analog or (shudder) CDs, but with FLAC and improved processors, quality is impressing even the pickiest of listeners. To compliment the higher quality audio we expect from your computers, Hunting and Collecting has "La Boite", a concept audio station for docking your laptop. Rather than relying on the crappy chip in the laptop, La Boite has a USB connection and its own audio chipset, along with audiophile-grade parts, to make it a competitor for space in your listening room. Plus, if you get totally high listening to Pink Floyd while lying on the floor, it totally looks like a giant spider is standing right over you:


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