Particle Physics Wind Chime

Stanford physicist Matt Bellis and developers attending Science Hack Day SF have created a program to render subatomic particle collisions as musical notes. Particle parameters, such as energy or angle, could be mapped onto volume or pitch of a note.

Read the Article in Symmetry Breaking magazine or download the software.


Cloud chamber

from Cloud chamber photo/Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/User:Deer*lake

Related posts:

Kitteh and Theremin

Hat-tip icanhazcheezburger

Redneck Chimes

Redneck Windchime

This has been making the rounds of the blogs lately.

What MIDI instrument selected in WinChime gives  a similar sound?


Updated Sound Mixer Tutorial

[A while back we made a tutorial for controlling the sound card mixer for WinXP, but never got around to updating for Win7/Vista, where the procedure changed completely. Some of the information was scattered around in other application notes, but it was past time to update this app note, since it is frequently referred to during tech support. The permalink for this article may be found here.]

Sound Card Mixer Tutorial for Windows

(WinXP and earlier Windows versions skip down to here.)

Control Sound Output (Win7/Vista)

Right-click on the speaker icon on your taskbar tray and select Playback devices.

Win7 Playback dialog

Select the output device you wish to control, usually the default device which has a check-mark.

Win7 Sound dialog with device selected

Click on the Properties button and select the Levels tab.

Sound properties level tab

You can adjust the sound level with the top slider.

If you wish for a sound input device, such as Microphone, to play through your speakers, then adjust the level slider for that input and click the un-mute button near the slider.

Control Recording (Win7/Vista)

Right-click on the speaker icon on your taskbar tray and select Recording devices

recording devices

You might find that you do not have a recording input such as “Stereo Mix” as in WinXP. Here is the trick: It may be there, just hidden. Right-click on the window in the blank space below the last device listed, and select and select “Show Disabled Devices“.

show disabled devices

Now another device appears on the list, but it is shown as “Disabled”.

stereo mix is a recording device

Right-click on that device, often known as “Stereo Mix“, and select “Enable“.

Right-click on whichever device you wish to record from and select “Set as Default Device“. In this example we will choose “Stereo Mix”, but many users will select “Microphone” or perhaps “Line In” for their application.

enable stereo mix

A little check-mark will appear next to the current selected recording input.

set stereo mix as default device

Click on Properties and select the Levels tab. We will keep this window up, to adjust the recording level later.

stereo mix recording level

This input records anything coming out your computer speakers, which could be a mixture of MIDI.

Adjust the level slider on “Level” tab so you don’t get clipping.

Related article: Record Audio from Any Audible Output : Vista Version

Control Sound Output (WinXP)

Double-click on the speaker icon in your taskbar tray, at the lower right hand corner of the screen. (Several of our programs offer another way to activiate the mixer play control, by clicking menu Options->Mixer Play Control or similar menu item.)

If you do not have a speaker icon in your taskbar tray, check Start button->Settings->Control Panel->Multimedia->Audio->Show volume control on the taskbar.

Double-clicking the taskbar speaker icon causes the Play Control window to appear.

Play Control screenshot

You can control which sound card speaker-input controls appear in the Play Control window. In Play Control menu Options->Properties,

Play Control Options screenshot

check the controls you wish to appear, and click OK. Hint: We keep nearly every control checked.

Play Control with inputs displayed

For each speaker-input shown, you will see a Volume slider and Mute checkbox, and perhaps other controls for balance, etc. The Volume slider controls loudness for that particular speaker input, and Mute can turn it off completely. For instance, suppose you want your microphone input to sound at your speaker, so you can annoy the fellow in the next office. Turn the Microphone Volume slider to some high amount, and unMute the Microphone checkbox. Try it now! (However, for most applications, we prefer the Microphone speaker-output to be muted, so mute it now.)

Suppose you connected a radio-scanner to your sound card Line-In for recording with RecAll-PRO, but you did not want the radio to sound at your speakers. In Play Control, check the Mute checkbox for Line-In.

Control Recording (WinXP)

Always remember that the Play Control window only deals with speaker output, and does not control recording! It is a natural mistake to go into Play Control and uncheck the Microphone Mute control and turn up the Microphone Volume, and then wonder why your nifty Sagebrush program is not recording from the Microphone. It doesn’t work that way!

Bring up the Play Control window as above. In menu Options->Properties,

Play Control options

check Recording and check all the controls, and click OK. The Play Control window is replaced by Record Control. (Several of our programs offer another way to activiate the mixer play control, by clicking menu Options->Mixer Record Control or similar menu item.)

Record Control screenshot

For each recording-input, you will notice a Select checkbox and Volume slider. If you want to record from Microphone, check the Microphone Select checkbox. If you want to record from Line-In, check the Line-In Select checkbox. If the recording volume is too low, turn up the appropriate Volume slider.

Sometimes you may wish to record streaming audio. Many modern sound cards present a recording input called Wave that may work. Several sound cards also offer a recording input called “What U Hear” or a similar name, that records anything that can be heard over the computer speakers.

Related article: Record Audio from Any Audible Output : XP Version

Go to Sagebrush Systems home page for unique Windows software.

Shiny New Blog

  • February 15, 2012
  • General

I am starting a new blog. Big whoop, right?

Sagebrush Trails is a personal journal dealing with ultra-light backpacking, hiking trails, and possibly other topics in the future. This is about what I do when I’m not coding. Planned articles will cover preparations for a long distance hike in the summer of 2012 on the Appalachian Trail, lasting about three months or until my knee gives out.

Oh yeah, e-mail support might be delayed a few days during the summer.

I thought about writing about this stuff in a new category in the Sagebrush Blog, but that would really hurt SEO, Search Engine Optimization. (Now that I’m finally twigging to SEO, maybe that Random Friday category on this blog wasn’t such a hot idea…) So new blog, new domain, and new start.

Related Posts:

Building a City with Wind Chimes

I recently toured Arcosanti, a futuristic-looking experimental community north of Phoenix Arizona, designed by Paolo Soleri and gradually, ever so slowly, being constructed by residents, currently numbering approximately 100.

Community artisans generate income that help fund ongoing operations and construction by creating and selling sand-cast bronze wind bells.

Patterns drawn in sand before the metal pour allow each chime sculpture to be unique.

Ceramic chimes are also created here. This is another material amenable to creating one-of-a-kind artifacts.

Consider shopping for wind bells, or experience the community.

Category RSS Feeds

The blog covers an eccentric variety of topics, from theremins to wind chimes, from the social impact of  audio recording to flan. We do have a few customers (bless ’em!) who purchased several of our programs, and could be interested in all these stories, which is great… But perhaps you purchased RecAll-PRO several years ago and only want to read about any news items or product tutorials relevant to that particular program, and you don’t have the slightest interest in news items about nature sounds. If you subscribe to the main Sagebrush RSS feed, you may be getting too many articles outside your interest boundary.
Today we begin offering RSS feeds for each category (product). Now you can subscribe to the items you care about and ignore the rest.

And don’t miss our What’s New RSS feed, which might have seemed dormant recently, but will soon have several cool product updates and new product releases.

Random Friday: What We Cook 4

Low Carb Flan

Experience a delicate custard dessert, also known as caramel custard or crème caramel. Our interpretation departs from tradition by omitting caramel topping, and substituting in its place a thin layer of molasses– which does add back some carbs, but the flavor is so strong that you need very little.

Combine and lightly beat:

2 small eggs
1 egg yolk

Add to eggs and mix:

1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Splenda or your favorite sugar substitute

In the bottom of each of three clear glass ramekins, smear with finger or pastry brush:

1/8 teaspoon molasses (approximately)

Divide mixture into the three ramekins, place in pan with warm water half-way up sides.

Bake in oven at 350F until centers are gently set, about 45 minutes. Remove from bath with tongs, allow to cool, then chill for at least two hours or overnight.

To serve, gently run small knife around sides of ramekin, then invert onto small plate or bowl. Gently shake to release flan, and remove ramekin. (If flan sticks to container, try running warm water over bottom of glass for a few seconds.)

Related Posts:
What We Cook 3: Nut-Crusted Tilapia with Pesto
What We Cook 2: Red Chile Salmon
What We Cook: Chocolate Mousse


i-Sleep Pro

Saturday Night Live presents the next advance in noise machine technology:

Related posts:
Environmental Sounds: The Dark Side

Random Friday: What We Pet 4

Latest addition is “Shu”.

Current total:

  • 2 Felis catus
  • 2 Canis lupus familiarus
  • 2 Equus ferus caballus
  • 6 Gallus gallus domesticus

Related posts: