To supplement his old-school hearing aid, he favors a $350 iPhone-linked earpiece made by Sound World Solutions, a hearing-hardware maker in Park Ridge, Ill., for whom he’s begun to consult. With the Sound World device on, he can amplify phone calls and streaming music as well as his surroundings. A third, $500 earpiece was custom-made by Ultimate Ears in Irvine, Calif., to help him detect a wider range of musical tones while composing. For restaurants and theaters, he has a $45 directional microphone that pairs with a $5 app to isolate desired voices. And for especially cacophonous places, he has spare $700 microphones, made by Etymotic Research in Elk Grove Village, Ill., that he can strap to companions.
When viewers tune into the Academy Awards Sunday, they can be forgiven for thinking the swelling music is coming from an orchestra hidden somewhere inside the 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre. The truth is a little less glamorous - they are a mile away, playing live at Capitol Records.
The sound is then piped through fiber optic cables back to the theater - in only 2.7 milliseconds.
"We just keep trying to get that latency down as close to zero, so that performers can hear exactly what the orchestra's doing and the orchestra can respond,"
Sound waves tend to travel every which way, meaning if you can hear something, you can usually be heard. This acoustic circulator focuses sound waves so they travel in one direction and blocks them from moving back.
Time interview with Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre as they move into streaming music beyond their hugely successful headsets
And the younger generation had no idea what the music was supposed to sound like. That’s why both of us take great pride in the fact that this company is turning a lot of young people onto quality sound, when what they were getting before was really bad earbuds and computers where the speakers faced the table. Dre was very frustrated with that, and we talked about that quite often, because my beginning was as a recording engineer as well. So we’ve always shared that – it was our connection from day one, speakers and audio. And this came about and we did this, and we’re very proud of the fact that an entire generation now is turned onto audio.
“To make the sound of the glow urchins flying through the air and hitting a body, Myers did the following:
“The first is sort of a synthesized tone that I put through a Doppler program. I took that tone, pitched it down a bit, I think I added a little bacon frying with it. To give it some texture.”
That’s right. He adds the sound of bacon frying. And just so you know, this isn’t a fancy industry term. It’s literally the sound of bacon in a pan.
And beyond the pitched up tone and the bacon frying, there’s also the sound of two Hot Wheels cars banging into each other. And at one point, they used the sound of someone hitting a giant, empty water bottle.”
Carlin is one of a raft of entrepreneurs reinventing a medium long judged a money pit: Web radio, or podcasting. Some of them have broken into the mainstream. Satirist Marc Maron, for instance, has appeared on Comedy Central and is a frequent guest on Conan. Others, like The Nerdist Podcast, mine subcultures for show topics. And many are hosted by comedians seeking new outlets, including Adam Carolla and Jason and Randy Sklar, whose program Sklarbro Country is essentially sports radio with jokes.
The most successful hosts are even giving traditional media a run for their money. Carlin's most recent history broadcast, for example, was downloaded more than 40,000 times by fans within the first hour of its release. Considering that some prime-time networks draw in a few hundred thousand viewers a night, it's not hard to see why the medium is getting another look.