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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Annoy your sound guy even more - Hack a Day

Annoy your sound guy even more

posted Nov 1st 2011 4:00pm by
filed under: musical hacks

“I can’t hear myself in the mix,” “yeah, man, I’ll be there at 8,” and “dude, we need like four more mics.” Each and every one of these words is documented in actuarial tables and doesn’t bode well for your sound tech’s risk of a stroke. Luckily, there’s an even better way to kill your sound guy and this time, it’s actually pretty clever.

[@dop3j0e] at the Stuttgart hackerspace Shackspace came up with the Noiseplug. It’s a very small build that could almost fit into a quarter-inch jack. It’s all SMD with a tiny (unknown) ATtiny9 microcontroller powered by a watch battery.

The music coming out of the Noiseplug is really interesting. All the code on the microcontroller is a one-liner written in C. Similar ‘algorithmic chiptune’ programs can be run on any PC: check out these three examples.

These potential entries to the International Obfuscated C Code Contest throw chars into an 8-bit PCM stream. Piping the output of these programs to /dev/audio would generate an actual song – written entirely in one line of C.

Of course, [@dop3j0e] could have made his Noiseplug a little less annoying, but sound techs are underappreciated for a reason, right?

Check out the Noiseplug in action after the break along with a few one-liner C songs.

The Noiseplug from shack e.V. Hackerspace Stuttgart on Vimeo.

13 Responses to Annoy your sound guy even more

    • Aaron says:

      He definitely hooks it up to a coin cell battery right before plugging it in.

      Also, let me say as a sound tech myself, this would indeed be annoying. Fortunately, I’d be able to isolate it pretty quickly by simply going channel to channel.

  • jason says:

    atmel attiny 9 is mentioned in the video

  • Adrian says:

    Nice writeup, very entertaining.

  • Thatcher says:

    I’m literally sitting at a sound board right now, running the board for Phantom of the Opera. This is too weird.

  • Thesoundkid says:

    Very cool i like the chiptune idea.

    but yeah a sound tech you could find the channel and kill it pretty easy.

    most sound tech including me aren’t working for the musician so couldn’t care less if a channel is missing from your mix.

  • gman says:

    I run the sound board at my church sometimes. Something like this would be very annoying, but as mentioned already it would be extremely easy for a competent sound man to isolate and silence it quickly.

    Now, for some real fun plug it into the extra input line on some guy’s guitar amp.

  • Almost? says:

    I was fired for no reason last month from a major AV services company… I still have my uniform and active security passes for almost all of their usual venues.

    I want at least 100 of these, but as a gadget I can slip between XLR cables…

  • Erik says:

    for this to really annoy a sound person, Almost? is right. It would need to be built into several cables so that a simple swap test would be thwarted. As a sound professional myself, the noise is unique and not at all like anything you’d normally encounter with a ground loop or RFI. So it’d be a real head-scratcher.

  • Jonathan Wilson says:

    Some of the music in the last video sounds like it would be at home in an early arcade game or a game on the original Nintendo.

  • GZ says:

    cold. just the thing to add that extra layer of stress right before a show.

  • big-J says:

    ahh but as a soundman, We do have a global mute button and the bar to go at. in very very annoying situations. :) hehehe

  • Don says:

    That’s what Ear Plugs are for!;) Like I use to tell the bands when I ran sound for local shows… If you wanna Suck, go ahead… I’m just here to serve;)


  • Go there...

    Annoy your sound guy even more
    Annoy your sound guy even more - Hack a Day
    Music from very short programs - the 3rd iteration - YouTube
    Experimental one-line algorithmic music - the 2nd iteration - YouTube
    The Noiseplug on Vimeo
    Experimental music from very short C programs - YouTube
    The International Obfuscated C Code Contest
    Project: Algorithmic Soundscapes [shackspace wiki]
    The Noiseplug » shackspace = der hackerspace in stuttgart

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