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Sympathetic resonance

A friend just got a waterphone – it’s not really a clone as it has much simpler tuning, from low to high… And while this is good for glissando, it completely misses the brilliant microtonal design by Roger Waters (RIP) who invented the waterphone.

The model I have is the MEGABASS – the largest they make, designed by Roger Waters & built by Brooks Hubbert via Waterphone.com and looking at the layout & number of tines, their pitch distribution and how they perform really is astonishing. It shows how much thought, experimentation & evolution went into the waterphone.

So this example shows how slowly striking the handle of a Waterphone at a steady rate of approx 1 strike per second, causes so much sympathetic vibration in the longer tines that they vibrate so much they hit each other!

Waterphone sympathetic resonance

I don’t remember when I discovered this ‘trick’ but it was likely inspired by reading how Nikola Tesla got into making physical oscillators with built-in feedback. I read of how he built one that was the size of a book, and which if strapped to the frame of a house and left to run for a few hours, would eventually make the house collapse! I’m no physicist but I imagine it is similar phenomenon to why soldiers always break step when crossing a bridge ie if the rhythm of their marching happens to coincide with a natural frequency of the bridge, the positive reinforcement can become destructive!

 

 

Data Rescue

While I was down South for Xmas I did a recording session with my Dad driving his Chev 1928 Coupe.

I rigged six mics onboard, recording to MixPre10 32bit float 192kHz:

Engine bay = MKH8040 + Beyer dynamic
Exhaust = MKH8040 + Sennheiser dynamic
Interior = MKH8020x2

We recorded lots onboard, driving around the block. Then I followed Dad 15 minutes to a quiet rural road, so I could record passbys and moves from exterior perspective using my SD722 recorder 24/192 with MKH70 and MKH8050 mics.

The recording went really well with only one nosey passerby stopping, shrilly demanding
‘What on earth are you doing?’
Me, bluntly: “RECORDING SOUND… AND YOU ARE RUINING IT. MOVE ON!”
Her: “Hrmmpf!” And thankfully she does as instructed.
(Sorry lady, I don’t owe you an explanation. I’m not always an old grump, but I am not stopping right in the middle of critical work for a friendly uninvited chat. Pick your moments. Have some awareness. And WTF do you think I am doing with a big microphone pointed at a vintage car? Could it be I am recording the sound of a vintage car?)

Anyway, when I got back to the studio I transferred all the recordings and a few days ago loaded it all into a 32/192 PT session, to sync the vids and have a listen.

AND OMFZG!!
None of the 722 EXT recordings are intact!?!
The data has somehow been corrupted, and each of the 5-6 min files is exactly 16MB and all of the recordings total 98MB!?! Each of the WAV files turns to static after 2 seconds.

OK
I know not to panic, but I was filled with a sense of dread.

Next step I put the memory card back in the 722.

T170 2.8MB duration 00.02.48
T171 6.4MB duation 05.26.02
T172 unrecognised
T173 16MB duration 06.11.32
T178 16MB duration 09.25.97
T179 unrecognised
T180 16MB duration 06.54.50

The durations matched my memory of recording: I rolled my 5D camera in sync and after we’d done a series of passbys at different speeds, I’d wave my Dad to pull up & stop, idle and then switch off. I’d then reset, start a new recording and we’d do the next set of moves.
But those file sizes!?!

Now there was no way I was going to risk repairing the memory card with an app, because if it didn’t work I was royally screwed. I would try that as a last resort, but only after making a sector-for-sector disk image first.

But before I do that, I remembered years ago (2015) having an issue with a camera memory card and I bought a license for a Card Rescue app. I only ever used it for rescuing JPG files so I wasn’t sure if was capable of finding WAV files.

I booted it up on my retired old laptop that its installed & licensed to, and in the file types sure enough WAV is listed. So I deselected all other file types and asked it to scan the memory card for WAV files.

Files Found: 9!
And the file sizes looked a little better than 16MB
I told the app to transfer the rescued files to my laptop, and only after I got them on to my studio Mac and had a listen did I breathe a huge sigh of relief.

So incase you ever need it, this is the app I used:

CARD RESCUE

“Using CardRescue is secure and risk-free. The software does not write anything to or modify the data on the flash card. It rescues the photos from the card and saves them to a folder on your hard drive.”

They don’t actually mention that it will rescue WAV files so I have emailed them suggesting they make that clear on the website.

PHEW!!

Echo Point

This is a location called Echo Point – when I first visited here 15 years ago, there was a sign saying ‘ECHO POINT – startling echo heard here!’
The next time the sign was gone and I wasn’t 100% sure I was in the right spot, so this time I was determined… The gravel track into the estuary is so people can launch their boats into that tidal stream (its part of a massive estuary)
I recorded hand claps and also Hyoshigi and they triggered the echos a bit but I also had a starter pistol with me and fired 12 shots at 2 distances, and the echos almost ripple/peel like thunder!
Recordered 32/192 MixPre10 with 8 channels: 8040×2, 8020×2, 70×2 and CUX100kx2, can’t wait to process & compare IRs!

This is from 15 years ago, recording with SD722 and sanken CSS% stereo mic:

Echo Point, Takaka
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