The Sound Of Music

Songs of the Day

Today’s song of the day is an entire playlist! I downloaded an app called Audio MP3 Editor and it allows all kinds of cool stuff. I can merge songs, mix, slice and dice, and practically make sushi with it. Awesome! So I decided to mix a playlist together to try out the app.

The playlist is divided into A and B due to the file size. This playlist reminds me of the after Thanksgiving stew that I used to sometimes make, when I got tired of eating leftover turkey or ham for days. (Actually, I hate leftovers, and would generally avoid eating any leftovers. This usually drove my ex’s wild, although none of them ever said it out loud or acknowledged it.) I just mixed together a little turkey meat, ham, whatever veggies I had in the frig, let it simmer for hours, and then…magical culinary delight! Bamm!

Music is like taste buds. We have different taste buds to enjoy different flavors. Sometimes we like sweet; sometimes sour; sometimes, even bitter-sweet. So, too, is music. And as such, we should open ourselves to every kind of musical flavor we can. So often, people get stuck on one particular genre, or get stuck in time as they get older, never listening to anything different or new. Man, that’s like eating burgers every day of your life, for the rest of your damn life! Dude, mix it up bro!

Today’s playlist, is all over the place. I was even going to put some fun foot-stompin’ Cowboy Troy music on there but I ran out of space (he’s a black country singer/rapper, a one of a kind).

Part A

  1. The Chainsmokers – Closer (2016)
  2. Green Day – Last of the American Girls (2010)
  3. Millions – Slow Burner (2011)
  4. Led Zeppelin – D’yer Mak’er (1973)
  5. The Coasters – Down in Mexico (1956)
  6. Metric – Gimme Sympathy (1998)
  7. The Script – Fall for Anything (2008)
  8. Icehouse – Hey Little Girl, extended remix version (1988)
  9. New Order – Blue Monday (1983)

Part B

  1. Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On (2013)
  2. Kelly Rowland – Need a Reason (1999)
  3. Pearl Jam – Wish List (1998)
  4. Def Leppard – Hysteria (1987)
  5. Smithereens – Blood and Roses (1986)
  6. INXS – Beautiful Girl (1993)
  7. INXS – Listen Like Thieves (1985)

Everybody loves The Chainsmokers, even though everyone despises chain-smoking. Closer was nearly the song of the summer last year, except they nearly missed the summer. It’s a catchy little song but too “poppy” for me. Nonetheless, I like the tune.

Green Day always releases non-nonsensical songs that I can never understand, yet I always end up liking their songs. They’re one of my favs, and they put on a good show.

Millions is a cool Indie band (small independent label), like other bands such as The Killers used to be. Indie music is more raw, until they make it big and then it becomes synthesized and commercialized and formulaic. The early Killers stuff was really good too. Now they’re the biggest band to hit it big out of Las Vegas, even though they sound more European than American. Nonetheless, I love singing the song, Somebody Told Me in karaoke.

Led Zeppelin, need I say more? Even without the aid of psychedelics, their music still kills it.

The Coasters were way before my time. Don’t really know much about them, but this little tune is fun and awesome.

Metric is a band out of Toronto, Canada. Finally! someone other than Celine Dion and Bryan Adams, who all lost their cool factor about 2 decades ago. Way to go Canucks!

The Script is an Irish alternative rock band. Now Ireland is famous for Leprechauns, Guinness beer, and U2. Unfortunately, U2 hasn’t released a decent album in a decade. Their last free album included with the iPhone was a complete loser. It sucked. Now, at least a modern and relevant band is screaming out of Ireland. Bono, it’s time to retire bro. I love your older stuff, but frankly, you suck now.

Icehouse had a few cool songs in the 80s. The extended remix version is more up-tempo and cooler.

New Order’s Blue Monday is one of my TOP 10 fav songs of ALL-TIME! New Order is an electronic rock band from England. This song kicks ass! Even though it came out in 1983, I only heard this song in the late 80s, and I instantly fell in love with this song. And I never get tired of listening to it. It’s strangely a depressing happy song that has some awesome electronic sounds. These guys are one of the early pioneers of electronic and alternative rock. New Order, and my all-time favorite band, Depeche Mode, are similar.

Kelly Rowland was originally part of the cool chick band Destiny’s Child. I always liked their chick-music. But she’s made it big on her own, but still a distant second to her former band member, Beyonce.  Beyonce has more booty, and now, as a result, more looty.

Pearl Jam is iconic. Eddie Vedder is a man-god! Wishlist was off their 5th album, Yield. It wasn’t nearly as good as their classic album Ten. That was the best by far. Nearly every song off of Ten is amazing. I lived in Seattle during the late 90s, when Grunge – the genre pioneered by the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam – both from Seattle, was big. The local music scene in Seattle was awesome in the late 90s. Seattle always has a unique culture to everywhere else, probably due to all the depressing non-stop rain. Hence, things like coffee (Starbucks), books (Amazon),  and depressing-angry white-boy grunge music became popular (Nirvana, Pearl Jam).

The English band, Def Leppard, is one of the greatest hard rock bands ever assembled. The album Pyromania (1983), their 3rd, was one of the greatest collection of songs of any artist. Hysteria, off the same-titled album followed Pyromania. I love this song. The drummer of Def Leppard lost his left arm in a tragic car accident on Dec. 31, 1984, where he nearly lost his life. It was one of the reasons for the long 4 year gap between their 3rd and 4th albums. After the accident, the band kept the drummer,  Rick Allen. A special drum set was designed so he could play with one arm. If you go into the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, you can see one of the specialized Def Leppard drum sets, customized so he could play with one arm. Incredibly inspiring story.

The Smithereens are a rock band out of Jersey, the stomping grounds of The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. The 80s TV hit show, Miami Vice, starring Don Johnson, included the hit song Blood and Roses off their first album on one of their episodes. I can still recall seeing the always cool Don Johnson, who played vice detective Crocket, riding in his convertible Ferrari, as the smooth sounds of the Smithereens played in the background. Classic.

INXS was a hot Australian rock band in the 80s and early 90s. Their unique rock sound blasted them to the top of the charts when they released their first hit album, Listen Like Thieves. I love these guys.


How Sound Waves Become Music

Our human ear is incredible. A seemingly simple thing like hearing, something we take for granted, is incredibly complex. Can you imagine designing this? (Or do you still think this just happened by random chance and evolution?)

When I was working in Silicon Valley, I worked with a number of different technologies. One of these were called RF transducers. A transducer is basically an electronic device that converts one form of energy into another. Converting audio waves or vibrations to electrical signals, like our ear does, is one form of transducer.

Imagine what the ear does. It takes air-born vibrations, collects them, and then converts this signal to electrical patterns our brain can interpret. (It also does other things like maintain balance, etc.) It is precisely tuned to a specific audio range that our ears are capable of listening to. Dogs and other animals have wider ranges.

Developing a transducer is hard, especially high frequency stuff. Our ears are low frequency (K-Hz range). Our eyes are very high frequency signals (around 450 Tera-Hz to 750 Tera-Hz for the visible spectrum). Intermediate things, like RF waves, which our mobile devices operate on, are in between, in the high Mega-Hz to low Giga-Hz range. (Tera-Hz is 1 million times higher than Mega-Hz, and Mega-Hz is 1000 times higher than K-Hz).

Transducers in the RF-industry, like mobile phones, are difficult to design. Very few design experts exist in the entire world. I used to work with RF-SAW transducers. (I volunteered to create a new business in a brand new mobile handset market segment, with a product we didn’t have yet, and no customers, because I loved challenges and creating new businesses from scratch.)

A SAW device is called a surface acoustic wave. A SAW transducer, in the case of mobile handsets, takes an electromagnetic energy wave signal (which contains data embedded through signal modulation or changes), converts this energy to physical acoustic vibrations on the bulk semiconductor material, which propogates through the bulk material surface, then processes these converted acoustic vibrations to eliminate noise and filter out only the good data signal – which is typically extremely narrow in frequency band. And then, out of the outgoing end, converts it back to clean or filtered electromagnetic RF signals for the mobile phone to process, to extract the physical data from a clean signal. We call this boosting the signal to noise ratio, or SNR, which is absolutely critical. Otherwise, your phones would still be the size of bricks, and consume about 1000 times more power.

The signal filtering is done using very tiny mechanical fingers made of metallic material. The converted RF signal, once converted to acoustic vibrations, travels along the surface of the semiconductor material. The precise placement, size and shape of these mechanical fingers determines the amount of the filtering and the frequencies that are rejected or passed. The RF filter specs for a typical mobile phone is incredibly difficult to achieve.

Basically, the eardrum does this, converting the sound waves to acoustic vibrations. It is responsible for transmitting the vibrations to the bones that are located in the middle ear. It is essentially the input part of the transducer, using the SAW filter transducer example. The middle ear bone would be the equivalent of the SAW bulk material, where the sound travels through the bone. Eventually, these signals get translated to electrical patterns for the brain to interpret, the equivalent of the output transducer. All amazing stuff.

You may notice that I’m constantly trying to explain our human and biological functions in terms of our technology. A technology that is far superior to what we have in nearly every single metric. Efficiency of organic technology is incredible and light years ahead of human technology, still. The reason I do this is to show it as what it is, incredible technology. Because that’s exactly what it is. But instead of being made from silicon, its made based on carbon.

We all know that our modern technology takes incredible effort, and brainpower to concieve, design, and manufacture. Thousands of scientists and engineers, sometimes millions, over decades of research and development, typically, usually initiated in DARPA as part of covert defense research.

So why would we ever assume that carbon based technology, organic life, could possibly happen by mere random chance if there is no way we could ever consider this to be possible for any of mankind’s relatively simple technology???

EVOLUTION is a lie my friends. All this amazing biological technology was conceived and designed by the intelligence of a higher power.

You cannot create intelligence without intelligence. You cannot create consciousness without existing consciousness. You cannot create life without a pre-existing lifeform.

And the culmination of all of this is that we get to enjoy amazing things like music and song.

Thank God for the gift of sound and music.