The Ghost in the MP3

Excellent work by Ryan letting you hear an approximation of what they are removing from MP3 files when doing “lossy” compression.

This is what the MP3 programmers deem unimportant in your music. You can play the video with it’s own lossy audio, or go here to hear the full version of what they pull from your music to make MP3 files.

Most of what is cut out is spatial — reverbs, room sound, delays, decays, fade outs, dynamics, lots of pre-delays, layering of sounds, attacks, breathes, etc..

This is the movement and the emotional content of the song. The interacting layers is the kind of data that computer programmers (and digital internet babies) can’t quite measure, so they disregard it. That’s scientific method at work – if you can’t measure or control it, disregard it.

This is important listening and will help you to understand that hearing music is more than frequencies.

I would love to see someone do this type of experiment with a 24bit mix and a 16bit mix of the same music.



Don’t take away my reverb and delays! The power of Bonzo is a result of decay, delay, and room sound.

Killing With Sound

You may have known that they have developed weapons using sound, and these are already shipping to military and police customers. While this “non-lethal” approach to crowd control is appreciated I can’t help but think of the abuse this will lead to.

sonic cannonsonic cannon can shoot targeted sound blasts capable of causing pain and severe mental discomfort hundreds of feet away. While the first models of these cannons are mounted up on a large stalk and have a clear visual shape, I believe miniaturization and stealth tech will reduce these down to something more portable and concealable, and that’s why I really worry about these devices.

DJ’s have been manipulating people through sound for over 40 years, but their goal is to get listeners to let loose and shake their ass. These sonic cannons will let your bowls loose and you’ll poop your pants. They only play brown notes!

Now that the industrial-scientific use has been found for them, I expect us to hear (rimshot) more about these sonic assault rifles soon enough.

The Quietest Place On Earth Will Cause You To Hallucinate In 45 Minutes

31-14_staticThe Quietest Place On Earth Will Cause You To Hallucinate In 45 Minutes – Slashdot.

Amazing group of stories about sound, and what sorts of things can be learned by removing as much of it as possible. Silence is more than golden – it is extremely rare, and these guys have it.