60 Years Of The Wilhelm Scream

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This is a bit off topic – but this video compiles 60 years of the use of the “Wilhelm Scream’ – a popular stock scream that has been used in countless films, tv shows, and video games.

It’s sort of the Amen Break of cinema.

It was recorded in 1951 for Distant Drums, but has become a bit of a sound editor’s inside joke, finding infamy when sound magician Ben Burtt snuck it into the films he was working on, especially Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

via Cinexcellence

Brain-Controlled Synthesizer, Or What A Jedi Would Do With A Monotron

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This video, via bitmat23, demonstrates using brainwaves to control a Korg Monotron synthesizer:

This is a brainwave controlled synth i made for a mate for his birthday. The frequency of brainwaves is sent from the sensor digitally to the base station, all I have done is mod the monotron to have a cv/gate input and added a few components to the force trainer to output a voltage determined by the brain activity sensed.

Now, instead of it looking like you’re checking your email when you perform, you can look like you’re meditating!

It might be more interesting to patch this to use the CV output as a modulator, such as controlling the filter cutoff of a sequenced riff.

The Sounds of Star Wars

Did you know that the screech of a TIE Fighter is a drastically altered elephant bellow. Or that the voice of Chewbacca was constructed out of pieces of walruses and other animal sounds?

Lucasfilm has published a new book, The Sound Of Star Wars, that looks at the work of Academy Award-winning sound designer Ben Burtt.

In this aurally astonishing and visually engaging book, New York Times best-selling author J. W. Rinzler reveals the illuminating history of the sounds that make the Star Wars universe so believable, as recounted by their creator, legendary sound designer Ben Burtt.

An attached sound module with an exterior speaker and headphone jack lets readers listen to more than 250 unique sound effects, and more than 300 photographs illustrate the epic’s many memorable scenes.

Yes – one more reason to give George Lucas your money – but the excerpts make it pretty tempting. Continue reading

George Lucas Sells Out Completely, Puts Daft Punk In Star Wars For Adidas

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In case you thought George Lucas hasn’tk done enough to ruin your childhood memories – he’s gone an reimagined Star Wars again by putting Daft Punk into A New Friggin’ Hope for Adidas, along with David Beckham, Snoop Dogg, Franz Beckenbauer, Noel Gallagher, Ian Brown, Ciara, Jay Baruchel and DJ Neil Armstrong.

Daft Punk actually looks pretty bad ass – but what’s next? The Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull charging through the bar and goring Greedo?

Continue reading

Compose Music With Your Mind, Jedi Master Style

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Hunter Scott’s Mental Note takes a Star Wars Force Trainer toy, which contains EEG-style sensors, and hacks it to control musical notes Jedi Master style:

I remembered seeing the Star Wars Force Trainer when it came out and I really wanted to do something with it. Someone had done some work on reverse engineering the hardware and had found that the head piece used 3 contacts with the head to take an EEG. Then it sent the data wirelessly over a regular RF connection somewhere in the 2.4 GHz range. But most importantly, it turns out that there are header pins that were left in from testing and one of the pins gives a serial out!

So it’s really easy to interface with. That means you can control anything with your mind. So I started thinking, what would be cool to control with your mind. I thought maybe you could control Google Earth, or maybe update Facebook and Twitter with your mood, or maybe control a simple flash game. But all of those seemed like they might be too hard to control precisely, and they just didn’t seem cool enough. So then I thought about playing certain songs based on your mood. If you felt happy, then play upbeat music, if you feel sad, play sad music. But I was afraid that once you started listening to a song, you would get stuck in that mood and wouldn’t change.

And then I realized that it would be way cooler if you could create music. After some more thinking and talking over it with a friend, I came up with Mental Note.

By hacking the hardware and creating some custom software, Scott came up with a primitive way to control music with mind bullets.

While the concept is pretty cool – the actual output is probably best called a work in progress.

Check it out and let me know what you think!