Beck’s beer bottle sound recording


This beer bottle includes recorded audio etched into the glass. But you certainly won’t find half an album included with your next sixer. This is a one of a kind item that took a team of engineers to craft.

The idea comes from Phonographic Cylinders invented by [Thomas Edison]. Analog audio was etched into cylinders made of wax which could then be played by a needle and amplifying horn. The beer bottle is a similar size of cylinder, but etching the audio signal into glass is a horse of a different color. The video below includes a recounting of the development process from the guys who pulled it off. It includes using hard drive parts and special processing filters that remove harmonics introduced by the milling rig.

We’re sure you’ve figured it out by now; this is an advertisement. We say good! This is the kind of advertising we want. It’s topical, well targeted, and worth paying attention to. We felt the same way about the recent Oreo campaign and that Skittles hack. We hope that ad execs will take note of this.

By the way, it is possible to do this stuff at home. Check out the guy who made an Edison Cylinder wedding ring.

[Read more...]

Make the wedding ring speak to her

It’s a nice touch to engrave a heartfelt message on a wedding band, and my couples choose to do so. But you can say a lot more with a 20 second audio message. That’s exactly what [Luke Jerram] did by etching an audio track into this ring. He uses his custom-built hardware to playback the message, which you can see in the video after the break. The ring is an Edison Cylinder, which works just like a modern record player except that the media is on a spinning drum (the ring) instead of a rotating disk. We wonder if this would sound a bit better with a high-end cylinder player.

While you’re on [Luke's] page you might as well take a look at his image projecting ring as well. It has a color image slide on one side and a projection lens on the other. Wacky!

[Read more...]

Modern recordings on wax cylinder

If you thought you’d never have a chance to release your hit single on the wax cylinder think again. A band obsessed with the Victorian era did just that, having a DIY’er produce the cylinders for them. The story was covered by the BBC and includes a lousy attempt to build a phonograph to play back the recording. The video shows their craftsmanship (or lack of it) but it’s not even in the same realm as the masterpiece we saw last September. You do, however,  get to see the production equipment used at about 2:45 into the clip.

[Thanks Charles]

Edison cylinder recordings need more cowbell


[Norman] spent three years developing and building his own Edison cylinder phonograph with electric pickup. We’re glad he did, and that he shared it with the world because the product is a thing of beauty. Every part is clean and precise with plenty of room for adjustments to accommodate differences in media. He’s reused the head from a VCR and attached it to a CNC machined polypropylene mandrel. The needle is interfaced with the cylinder via a delicate passively driven carriage. This consists of an aluminum rod with the cartridge at one end, and two wheels at the other. The wheels travel along a precision rod, propelled by the needle tracking the groove in the wax. Wonderful!

We’ve embedded a video of the device playing a recording of Sousa’s El Capitan from the late 19th century. Although familiar with these cylinder recordings, we were surprised by how little recording space there is available on one. [Read more...]