Adoptive Berliner Puts Sound in Motion

Where others see plain surfaces and objects, the Israeli musician and self-styled engineer Omer Yosha sees interfaces

3 min read
Adoptive Berliner Puts Sound in Motion

11 November 2009—Omer Yosha is a formally trained musician who plays guitar and sings. He left his home near Tel Aviv to see the world, traveling dusty paths in India and busking in the streets of London before settling in Berlin. The German capital is wide open, its energetic art and design scene spurred by a polyglot, multidisciplinary mix-and-match mind-set and cheap space.

Yosha still plays, but along the way he enrolled in a local design-studies program, dropping by chance into a seminar on human-computer interaction. Hacking electronic instruments and following a bent toward design and interactivity fired his imagination for what could be done to create interfaces. Now, backed by some basic training in electrical engineering and experiments in rapid prototyping, he’s starting to see results.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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