Acoustic Archives is preserving the acoustic properties of various historic spaces so they can be archived and cherished forever.
This project is about a variety of things, but it is primarily about a different type of historic preservation.
Acoustic Archives consists of four audio engineers from New York looking to preserve and archive the sounds of unique historic spaces. The project began in April of 2013 when the four of us took a trip to an abandoned mental hospital in West Virginia to capture the reverb or “echoes” of some of their rooms for a record that we were working on. We would capture the sounds (reverb) of the rooms and then apply different sounds on the record to the reverb and it would replicate the sound of the room perfectly. After the trip, we started talking about how unique the space was and how many other interesting places are out there. What if we could try and capture the sounds of all different types of places all over the country?
For the last several months we have been looking all over the country for interesting places and interesting spaces to scout out and preserve. Places that were once great sources of pride in their community but now lie dormant. Schools, factories, hospitals, train stations, power plants, mines, etc. All different types of places that were once central figures in their communities that now are part of a growing community. The community of urban decay.
Because of the fact that we are trying to acoustically preserve unique structures with our custom made gear, Acoustic Archives was featured in the October 2013 issue of Wired Magazine.
This project in particular is a trying one. We are looking to create a 10 episode web series documenting the history behind these unique structures, the science behind how we capture the sounds of the spaces, and a little bit of general tomfoolery. We want you, the viewer to see what these places look like and hear what they sound like.
In addition to that, we are going to make all of the sounds that we capture available to the general public for free. Not everyone is going to need to use them, but those that do will have a very interesting catalog at their fingertips. Musicians, film makers, sound designers, podcasters, broadcasters will all benefit from using our catalog. So will anyone with a curiosity for the science of sound.
It is entirely possible that this technology could be used in the future to help students as an additional learning tool. Imagine if learning about a famous speech like the Gettsburg address. Not only being able to learn what was said, but being able to apply a voice to the sound of where the speech was given, effectively letting you hear exactly what it would have been like to hear a speech in that space.
One of the great things about this project is that this whole project has limitless possibilities. If it goes well, this can go on for years. Idealy, we would like to pitch this series to a television network like the Discovery Chanel or the Travel Chanel. We could travel all over the country, if not the world, archiving the sounds of different places. Also, it has real interesting possibilities for use in education. It is entirely possible that this technology could be used in the future to help students as an additional learning tool.
Take a look at some of the things that we've captured on our previous excursions.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Some of the setbacks (past funding) are:
Getting access to certain structures- A lot of the places that we try to get access to are owned by people who do not understand or care to understand what we are doing. A lot of structures are condemned or abandoned. Insurance waivers have been a common thing for us.
Equipment malfunctions-we have several Murkuri 3D microphones, several speakers, generators all of which are susceptible to malfunction and could need repair. We have blown multiple speakers on archives.
Possible medical funds- many of the structures that we visit have been lying dormant for years or decades. When buildings are in such states of disrepair, accidents can happen.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Virtual high five. You will receive an email thanking your for your awesomeness.Estimated delivery:
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Acoustic Archives T-Shirt. Be the first person on your block to wear out your official Acoustic Archives threads.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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Custom made Acoustic Archives USB flash drive. Get a specially designed flash drive containing bonus footage from some of our previous exhibitions. You will also receive our T-Shirt.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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An official Acoustic Archives mini-speaker. Miniature speaker that you can do your own preservation with. In addition you will receive the custom flash drive and T-Shirt.Estimated delivery:Add $50 USD to ship outside the US
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Limited edition hand numbered Michael Marsicano framed lithograph. Our friend, artist Michael Marsicano (http://mmillo.com/) is doing a custom illustration just for this project. We will be making several hand numbered framed lithographs of the piece. In addition, you will also receive the Acoustic Archives mini-speaker, usb flash drive and T-shirt.Estimated delivery:Add $75 USD to ship outside the US
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Miniature Murkuri Microphone. Custom made miniature version of our Murkuri microphone. The circuitry is nearly identical to our big boys but more user friendly. In addition you will receive a lithograph, Acoustic Archives mini-speaker, usb flash drive and T-shirt.Estimated delivery:Add $150 USD to ship outside the US
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Join us on a preservation excursion of your choosing! You will receive round-trip airfare, hotel room and a seat on the bus with the big boys. You will also receive a miniature microphone, lithograph, Acoustic Archives mini-speaker, usb flash drive and T-shirt.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)