Here are a couple of recordings featuring my mother, my grandmother, my father, and friends. These are older, most likely from the mid 1970s. The sound quality is poorer as well. Part 1 sounds considerably better, (in my opinion) partly because I think it was originally recorded on my Roberts open reel full-track mono recorder. Part 2 may have been recorded on my Norelco 1530 cassette recorder. I’m really unsure about the microphones, but the Sony F-98 dynamic comes to mind. The sound quality changes a lot at about -3:07 on the counter, (Part 1) when I’m with friends (the Williams family of 180G fame) from high school. I may have been recording on a different machine, a vintage Voice of Music open reel, possibly from the 1950s. It has a particularily “tinny” quality, probably because of an impedance mismatch on the mike input. The fidelity is reduced further, due to rerecording any open reel recordings to cassette, most likely on the Norelco cassette recorder, which was mono and had no noise reduction. If the original open reel tapes are located, they will be posted here.
I must say my behavior on these tapes is quite juvenile and somewhat embarrassing, especially when I ask my grandmother to read song lyrics and liner notes from my Mothers of Invention album, “Uncle Meat.” With that in mind, I hope the dumbness of it all makes you laugh. I must be humble, and remind myself, “The importance of all other persons is staggering.”
This was my first attempt at making a tape loop. In 1974, I attended a class at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California, called “Colloquy in Electronic Music,” and this is the result. It’s so dumb that it must be an insult to the entire institution of scholarly electronic music. You are not obliged to listen to the entire piece!
For Halloween, I made this thing. Maybe it’s too “new age” for Halloween, maybe not. I probably insulted the term “new age.” What do you Think?
This is high definition video at 1280 x 720 (5000 kbps). If you have trouble playing this, try the lower quality version below.
640 x 360 at 2500 kbps
Stereo audio 48kHz at 320 kbps mp3
The basic sound was created using free VST plugins “MadRing,” “DTBlkFxS,” and “LoudMax” running in VSTHost. Then I finished up processing the audio further with another free VST plugin called “4ORMULATOR” running in Adobe Audition. The video was made by playing the audio in Winamp with “Milkdrop” visualization and screen capturing the video and audio with FRAPS. This made a giant uncompressed file, larger than 10 gigabytes. This file was trans-coded to a smaller size and to Flash video format, suitable for uploading.
Be sure to check out my YouTube version here.
Here is another of my father’s 78 rpm records he listened to as a child in the 1920s or 1930s on a Victor Talking Machine Victrola, model VV-405. I recorded this record playing on the same Victrola with my Sony PCM-D50 digital recorder. The microphone was placed inside the the horn opening of the Victrola over one of the wooden slats. Both recordings were made into 128 kilobits per second monophonic mp3 files.
I can remember as a young boy liking this record a lot, especially “Zampa Rag,” probably because it’s such a snappy tune. You’ll notice that side of the record is much more worn. I was so dumb that I would gleefully change the title to “Dampa Bag” just for fun. That of course was referring to a wet brown paper shopping bag from Sid’s Supermarket on Solano Avenue in Berkeley, California, which was only a little more than a block from my house. I imagined how funny it would be for the music to represent a wet brown paper grocery bag!
For more on Guido Deiro and the style of playing kwown as “Vaudeville Accordion” click here.
Recently, members of Negativland got into a little dust up over Viagra, also known as “boner” pills. I decided it might be fun if I showed a couple of the commercials to point out what that distinctly manly music is on these ads. I had nothing better to do, so enjoy!
More information about John Lee Hooker and the song “Dimples” can be found here.
More information about Howlin’ Wolf and “Smokestack Lightning” is here.
Here are a couple of recordings of sounds exclusively from the internet. They are somewhat messy and I’ve been wondering since January if I should post them. Both parts feature live streaming audio from hydrophones (underwater microphones), several webcams with fairly high quality audio, and radio noise from online Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio receivers. In part 1 in particular, the tones were created by feeding the VLF radio noise into a VST frequency shifter and “tuning” it until I got the repeating tones. In addition, the sound was back fed into a microphone simultaneously which captured the sound of my room. That was actually a mistake, but I decided I liked the added room ambience.
Finally, here in Seattle, there was a decent thunderstorm worthy of recording! I used my Sony PCM D50 digital recorder with a towel over the built-in microphones to reduce wind noise. This recording was a 24 bit wav file at 48 kilohertz. Then I transferred the file to my computer and used Adobe Audition for some clipping restoration (on the loudest peaks), boosted the high frequencies about 3.5db, and added fades at the beginning and ending. In addition, I tried to keep the dynamics as wide as possible for a more lifelike sound. Someday I may have this file available for downloading. For now it is an mp3 at 320 kilobits, 48 kiloherts, 16 bit. I used RazorLame with the LAME encoder for the highest possible quality mp3.
BE CAREFUL, THE LOUDEST SOUNDS ARE MUCH LOUDER!
Here is my fireworks noise recording from my backyard in Seattle, between 10:15 PM and 11:00 PM on the 4th of July, 2013. I think this one is closer to reality than any of the others. For starters, my Mackie 1402-VLZ mixer has up to 28 db of headroom above 0 db. With that in mind, I decided there was no need to insert a compressor into the mic channels. I listened and watched the levels for awhile before recording (between 9:30PM and 10:00PM) and set the mic gain and faders low enough so the loudest explosions registered between plus 4 db and plus 7 db on the mixer, well below the maximum before clipping of plus 28 db. The microphone was my Audio Technica AT825 Stereo Microphone, same as last year. The computer was running VSTHost with the engine input set to plus 3.8 db, to match the levels from the mixer. I used one VST plug in, LoudMax, a good simple compressor/limiter. LoudMax threshhold was set to minus 1 db and the output was set to minus .4db. During the recording, only the loudest noises caused any gain reduction to happen. After recording, I put the file (16 bit at 48 kilohertz) into Adobe Audition (version3), and in “amplify/fade(process)” I chose “Center Wave,” unchecked “Lock Left/Right,” and set “Calculate Normalization Values” peak level to minus .33 db. This balanced the sound with peaks up to minus .33 db, and no compression was added. Lastly, fades of five seconds were added to the beginning and ending. I made an MP3 (320KBPS at 48 kilohertz) using RazorLame.
Be careful, because of the wide dynamic range of this recording, the loudest sounds will be very loud! The first loud bang is at minus 44 on the the counter. Enjoy.
7-4-2013 Adobe Audition waveform
7-4-2013 Adobe Audition Statistics
Here are some of the voices from the “How Dare You“ collage. They are in no particular order and some of these voices were not in the original collage. There is two seconds of silence between each comment and sound. I may be making more versions of “How Dare You” as well. I’ve always liked hearing the sound of people and animals at this kind of mid-grade level of anger and frustration. It really isn’t too intense, but it is definitely “sassy.” Of course, I have my fair share of mid-grade anger and frustration, too. The cat hissing is Isis and she would hiss at Buddy, my other cat. Buddy, my little black cat, passed away in 2004. Now in this new version, I have added a few more comments and brought up the audio level. Maybe it could be considered “sassier.”
This updated version from September 2009 has some comments that are not featured in “How Dare You,” and were likely played on Over the Edge in the 1990s.
Now updated with MEL GIBSON!
Now updated with audio from a caller on a talk radio show, Swift Justice With Nancy Grace, a guest on The Steve Wilkos Show, and three YouTube Videos entitled “Neighbor’s Worst Day,” “Angry Woman abuses garage owner,” and “The Three Stooges In Crime On Their Hands.”
Now updated with “He burns me up,” from a 1960s public service announcement about mental health.
Now updated on June 8th, 2013 with audio from a YouTube video entitled “2003 Chevy Z71 Fire 8-8-2012,” and added some links