Alot of things have been happening since the last update. The ICA conference in Sydney went well. Jeremy and I both gave talks (links to PDFs of mine and Jeremy’s), and people seemed to be interested.

It ended up being a whole week of being in Sydney, and was a pretty busy time. The best thing was catching the ferry every day to the conference venue (though the weather looks pretty bad in this photo, it was pretty nice).

We also got to visit the National Acoustics Labs, which seemed to be very far away from the city, in a quite nice bushland setting. Inside, they have a HUGE anechoic chamber. Whereas most anechoic chambers are usually dark, hot and airless, this one was cool, airy, and of course very quiet. The floor is actually a wire mesh, suspended half-way up the height of the room, so what you see in this photo is actually only half the real height.

At the NAL they also had a “noise chamber,” which was sort of the opposite of the anechoic chamber, it had all hard walls, with no parallel surfaces, to cause maximum diffused reflections, it was not a nice experience being in there, even one person talking became quit unintelligible.

In their research office space we also found this old poster advertising the Hearing CRC, which used to be based here at the Bionic Ear Institute.

At the actual conference there were lots of weird and wonderful talks. The conference generally was much more applied, or industrial, than the more pure-research based conferences I’ve been to in the past. There were lots of talks about new inventions, new products, and ways of using acoustics in industrial settings – using ultrasound to clean things, control the movement of things, and produce images in difficult environments for example.  There were also alot of talks on soundscapes, and the talk with the best title was definitely “Correlation between groovey singing and words in popular music”, from a group in Japan.

Other highlights were a tour of the innards of the Sydney Opera House…

Eating freshly hand-made noodles (spelt “noddles” on the menu) in Chinatown…

Next update will be about what’s being going on with the “INTERIOR DESIGN: Music for the Bionic Ear” project.  The composers have started work, and our first “road test” of some brand new sounds will start NEXT FRIDAY.

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