Ah, the best laid plans of mice
and men! When we saw our good friend Mr. Eel calling out for tracks for a
compilation called False Noise, we were intrigued. Is that 'a thing'?
What does it mean? We're still none the wiser, but thinking about it at the
time lead us to here. Wouldn't it be funny, we thought, to do a short piece
at very high frequencies, so although you could see it was actually there
(well, if you had audio editing software), you probably wouldn't hear a
thing? Of course it would!
"Can YOU hear it?" We could say
"Is YOUR pet behaving strangely?"
It would have given people a laugh, eh? And fuck knows we could all do with
one the way things have been for the last 18 months! Now, I guess it doesn't
really need saying, but creating and editing a piece you can't actually hear
has a rather high difficulty potential, so we thought we'd keep it simple.
Maybe just a pure sine wave, circa 20,000Hz, drifting from speaker to
speaker and back again. Twice. No point being too simple, but
so long as it was enough for people to see a noticeable effect on their
dogs, we'd be happy. When we'd finished our light-hearted masterpiece, we
did some artwork to go with it (the confused cartoon doggy in the Magic
Bullet t-shirt) and duly sent it off to the Charlie Dog man.
"Well played." Said he, appreciating our humorous concept.
Nice man. And sure enough, come
July 16th, there it was on the Bandcamp release, ready for the world to
hear. Or so it should have been. Now I don't know why, it's
not like I didn't trust anybody involved, idle curiosity maybe, but I just
thought I'd record the playback from Bandcamp to see that it came out okay.
Note I said 'see', rather than 'hear'. However, when I tried this, the level
meter simply flatlined. Nada. Now, I know that Bandcamp don't stream at the
1411kbps resolution of the WAV files you provide (it's worth noting this
doesn't affect downloads!), there would undoubtedly be a lot of hanging
browsers if they did, but I didn't realise it was quite as low as 128k. And
there lies the problem; when the audio file is compressed that small, it
sacrifices those high frequencies, regarding them as superfluous. Which, to
be fair, they normally would be, but not when that's the whole point of
doing them, eh?
As uploaded to Bandcamp - WAV format at
1411kbps - 100% visible
As uploaded to Reverbnation - MP3 format at
320kbps - still there
As streamed back by both - MP3 format at
128kbps - all gone, silencio...
Being only a minute long, I
could get it on Reverbnation at 320k and still be seriously shy of the 8MB
file size limit, so decided that would be the platform for our little gag
instead. Only it turned out that Reverbnation don't stream MP3's at the
resolution you upload them, you've guessed it, they stream at 128k too. Skit
and I have never been ones to let abject failure stop us from doing stuff
anyway, so we went ahead with the joke postings, simply adding by way of
reasons for your answers won't be what you think!
Be here tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel..."
Of course, nobody could hear
the track (which probably would have been the case anyway) and no pets took
a blind bit of notice, because Reverbnation streamed one minute of total
silence instead. Thanks for that. Bullet (the dog in the picture) was most
upset, but we did give him a nice juicy cartoon bone to make up for it.
Actually, while we're at it, Skit and I would like to apologise to dogs
everywhere. Oh, there is one bit of good news in all this; Alonetone, it
seems, stream at 192k, the lowest resolution at which you CAN
hear the track, so we get to try again! Well, when I say 'hear'...