Who knows what the future will bring?
Well, here at Joe’s Dump Labs, we do!
Follow me on an investigation of new areas of scientific research that may forever change the studio of tomorrow…
In The Not-Too-Distant Future:
Imagine a light, flexible material that you could easily apply to walls, or even just hang from the ceiling – that would completely change the acoustic shape of your room!
Enter Acoustic Cloaking!
Using a material made from plastic sheets with a precise array of holes, Dr. Steven Cummer of Duke University was able to effectively make an object invisible to sound!
Dr. Cummer describes the current material as follows:
“The material we built was designed to be reflective, not absorbing, but it is designed to reflect as if it were bouncing off a shape that is very different than its physical shape. We have been thinking for a while very generally that combining absorption with this this ability to control reflections could be useful for controlling indoor sound environments.”
Although still very much in the research stage, the future potential for this could be amazing. It could have the ability to alter the acoustics of a space to redirect the sound into an optimal recording environment… fascinating!
Read more here:
- BBC Science: Acoustic ‘cloaking device’ shields objects from sound
- Dr. Steven A. Cummer’s original paper “Experimental Acoustic Ground Cloak in Air” (PDF)
In Space, No One Can Hear You:
What if you had a small, portable device that could absorb sound from around a room?
This is the potential of the Sonic Black Hole!
Instead of trapping matter and energy like a cosmic black hole, Sonic Black Holes trap sound (specifically phonons), and don’t allow any sound to escape. Granted, the current research is nowhere near producing such a studio device. But stranger things have happened. And scientists around the globe are currently researching the potential applications. Aside from emitting Hawking Radiation (wait? what?), having a portable Sonic Black Hole might be very useful!
Read more here:
The Microphone That Wasn’t There:
We all rely on our microphones to record our voices… but in the future, you may not need a microphone at all: This is the wonder of The Laser Microphone!
Using lasers combined with high-speed cameras, researchers have been able to capture sound off of objects in a room – like a plant or an empty snack bag. No mic required!
Although many other versions of this technology exist, this one looks pretty promising. Here’s a sample video:
Read more here:
- MIT: The Visual Microphone: Passive Recovery of Sound from Video (official project web page)
- ACM: Visualizing Sound
- Quora: What is the high-level idea behind the research paper The Visual Microphone?
- NASA: A New Kind of Laser Microphone Using High Sensitivity Pulsed Laser Vibrometer (PDF)
The Future Is Now:
These areas of scientific research may eventually yield amazing products that will benefit studios around the globe. It sounds like an exciting future… See you then!
All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com
Astonishing! Capturing audio frequencies well in excess of a standard camera frame rate would have seemed impossible – until you achieved it. Such clever algorithms will no doubt find many applications.
Yes – I found that video fascinating. Very ingenious folks!
Truly amazing, just when you think a technology has gone about as far as it can someone comes up with a new innovation.
I really think the cloaking could be a boon – hope it makes it to market…
Laser mikes sound fascinating. But what about quality?
Right now, it’s pretty poor. But as with most tech, the first attempts can be crude. Give it a few years and it could step up…