#AcousticsAdvent Week2

Day 8

Can you recognise this reversed Christmas hit? You have 5 seconds before the answer reveals. Hopefully you didn’t hear anything Satanic (backmasking)!

This sort of reverse test has been tried on animals to see what parts of calls are important. if you play a reversed bird song and you still get a reply, it implies frequency content is important and not the order of the different notes and rhythm. There is more on this in my book Now You’re Talking including what happens when you try this with Dr Spock’s voice.

Day 9

For my book Sonic Wonderland I sought the weirdest musical instruments. Here is an example of one I listened to, an organ made from cave formations! Hammers hit the cave formations that ring out the notes. In this video, it is playing silent night. Any other suggestions for weird acoustic instruments playing Christmas music? Please comment below. You can read about more strange musical instruments in this article I wrote for The Guardian.

Day 10

Every TV Christmas special uses sleigh bells. If Handmaid’s tale had a Christmas special, what would the sound designers do to the trailer.

New sound design kicks in about 25 seconds in

Day 11

“What is your favourite sound of Christmas and why?” Suggestions in the comment box. Inspired by Peter Cusack’s Favourite Sounds of London Personally, it is hard to beat the sound of children enjoying playing with their new toys. That babble as they play.

Day 12

Break out the balloons for the work’s Christmas party! Balloon burst are a quick an easy way to test room acoustics, like this strange sounding place. When I was researching Sonic Wonderland I always had a bag of balloons, a pin and a digital recorder with me. Even on my holidays!

Day 13

The glass armonica playing that Christmas staple: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker. This was a Benjamin Franklin invention, using 37 glass bowls of different sizes horizontally rotating on a spindle, allowing players to ring out multiple notes at the same time.

Day 14

Pretty Christmas animations using a Finite Difference Time Domain FDTD model. We normally use this for working out how sound moves in rooms and bounces off objects.

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