This was captured several years ago when Richard Lyons was still living and I recently posted it on Twitter and Facebook. As requested, here is a high-quality, audio-only version. I’ve misplaced the original tape box and the original capture required substantial audio processing (mostly boosting of higher frequencies) for improved fidelity.
New Year’s London, UK, 2019 recorded from an open microphone in Kilburn, London. I used the built-in audio recorder in Potplayer to capture the audio as a wav file from the URL on Locus Sonus Soundmap. Some clipping was fixed using iZotope RX. I recorded from approximately 11:56 PM, December 31st, 2018 to 12:15 AM, January 1st, 2019, London time.
New Year’s New York, 2019 recorded from an open microphone in Queens, New York. The same technique was done for this recording as for London. I recorded from approximately 11:56 PM, December 31st, 2018 to almost 12:20 AM, January 1st, 2019, Eastern Standard Time.
New Year’s Chicago, 2019 recorded from an open microphone somewhere in Chicago. The same technique was done for this recording as for London and New York. I recorded from approximately 11:56 PM, December 31st, 2018 to almost 12:11 AM, January 1st, 2019, Central Standard Time.
New Year’s Seattle, 2019 recorded using my Audio Technica model AT825 stereo microphone and a Focusrite 2i2 computer audio interface. Be careful! The sound of fireworks is very loud compared to the background noise. I recorded from approximately 11:56 PM, December 31st, 2018 to almost 12:17 AM, January 1st, 2019, Pacific Standard Time.
I recorded this on Christmas Day, 1985 using my Sony TC-D5M cassette recorder with my Sony ECM-939 LT electret condenser microphone. It was recorded at my parents home in Martinez, California and features my grandmother, my mother, father, and myself.
I used an Audio Technica AT825 stereo microphone with a Rode “synthetic fur” windscreen. A Focusrite 2i2 audio interface with my inexpensive Dell laptop computer was used to capture the audio. Listen on headphones for a better stereo effect.
Audio Technica AT825 microphone with Rode “synthetic fur” windscreen
Here is my recording of the 4th of July for 2018. Microphones are inexpensive electret capsules encased in facial tissue. I used phantom power to electret plug-in power adapters from Naiant Studio to connect the electret condenser microphones to balanced XLR inputs. This is a wide stereo recording. One microphone was placed outside a window facing west in my living room and the other outside a sliding door on the east side of the living room. The metal window frame of the living room window has a wire running from it to my Mackie Blackjack audio interface to reduce hum pick-up. This time there’s no additional audio processing other than hard limiting to -.1db. The input microphone gain was set at about 30db (about halfway on the Blackjack) which is considerably lower than past recordings.
Then the audio was received from the virtual audio cable software and processed with multiple effects in VSTHost.
I didn’t put much thought into which effects were used or what settings were used on SDRSharp. Normally the SDR (software defined radio) software works with receivers like Airspy and Funcube, but it can also process audio files and treat them as if they were radio signals.
Mashup: Spot 3, # 3 Rhythm & Blues left side and Spot 7, #11 T-40 right side.
This is from my collection of open reel tapes. I can’t remember if this tape is from my original collection from the late 1970s or Ian Allen’s collection of tapes given to KPFA. My understanding is the collection that Ian acquired was from tapes that were to be erased and reused. Luckily, a lot of those tapes were saved thanks to Negativland.
There’s part of an instrumental version of this ad on Negativland’s third album from 1983, “A Big 10-8 Place” at about 3:10 on Part 2 (side 2) of the LP or about 16:32 on the CD.
I believe the term “Rhythm and Blues” means the ad was marketed toward African Americans and “T-40” likely means “Top 40.”
Here is another of Richard Lyons’ 16-millimeter films. This is likely from the 1970s. After doing some online research, the line “You Get a Big Delight in Every Bite” started in the early 1970s. A couple of websites that attracted my attention about Hostess are here and here. I didn’t know there were Hostess ads in comic books!
Here are two radio commercials from my original collection I found at a radio station in the late 1970s. More information about Fry’s is here and here. The music in these ads is by Jean-Jacques Perrey and Harry Breuer. More about these artists can be seen here, here, and here. The tape is now missing, but luckily when Richard Lyons and myself were beginning to digitize and archive our collection of old radio commercials in 2012 this ad was saved. I’m guessing these commercials are from the early 1970s.
This is one of the original open reel tapes a friend and I found in 1978 at the transmitter building of radio station KKIS in Collinsville, California. Go here for more information about these tapes. This article I found online I’m guessing may be the only information of Rev. Max Flickinger, referred to on this recording. There was nothing about “American Standard Time Company” online. This could be totally wrong. Comments are welcome.
This is one of the original tapes I found at the transmitter site of a radio station in California in 1978. We (members of Negativland) are quite sure the interviewer is American character actor Vance Colvig. Here is a YouTube video from a friend.
From my collection of open reel tapes, here is a 60-second radio commercial for Mayfair Markets, a grocery chain from the 1960’s and 70’s. My favorite line ,”The second thing that happens is that the butcher loses control.” More about this grocery store chain can be found here, here, and here.
This is a recording from January 1988 of mobile phone calls. The cellular phone system was analog and could be eavesdropped on if you had a radio that could receive between 800 and 900 megahertz, frequency modulation, or FM. I had access to such a receiver as an employee of Televents Cable TV in Martinez, California. Many of the service techs were issued an AOR, model AR-2002 communications receiver with an antenna tuned to around 150 megahertz. During times when there weren’t many service calls, we would drive slowly through neighborhoods with our radios tuned to one of the video carriers of the “midband” cable channels listening closely for the distinctive “sync buzz” (very close to 60 hertz with lots of higher harmonics). If the noise was detected, that was “signal leakage,” cable TV signals radiating out from the cabling, acting like a radio transmitter. This violated FCC rules as it potentially could interfere with aircraft communications. We would then start looking for loose, corroded connections. Often the culprits were “F fittings.” We didn’t stop checking for problems until the signal was at an acceptable low enough level. I noticed the radios we were using for our work, the AR-2002, tuned up through 1300 megahertz. On my days off work, I’d take the receiver home and record cellular phone calls. I’m quite sure the radio I’m demonstrating in Sonic Outlaws is the company issued unit, before I bought my own.
Most of the calls are not complete because as people driving would get out of range of one cell tower and connect seamlessly to another, the frequncy would change. I did a lot of filtering and a liitle noise reduction to clean up the audio quality. The frequency range is from just under 200 hertz to a little over 4000 hertz with extra notch filtering at 120 and 240 hertz.