All Wound Up: A Clearer Look at Electric Guitar Pickups #ASA186

Pickups can be seen as the “heart” of the electric guitar, turning vibrations from the strings into electricity for sound. The details of how the pickup coil is wound has a significant impact on the resulting sound of the instrument, and variables such as the type and thickness of the wire, the winding pattern, the shape and size of the pickup, and even the type of magnets used can all influence the guitar’s sound.

Vocal Tract Size, Shape Dictate Speech Sounds

In JASA, researchers explore how anatomical variations in a speaker’s vocal tract affect speech production. Using MRI, the team recorded the shape of the vocal tract for 41 speakers as the subjects produced a series of representative speech sounds. They averaged these shapes to establish a sound-independent model of the vocal tract. Then they used statistical analysis to extract the main variations between speakers. A handful of factors explained nearly 90% of the differences between speakers.

Snap, Crackle, Pop: Healthy Coral Reefs Brimming with Noise #ASA182

Altogether, the hundreds of thousands of animals living in the reef sound like static on the radio, or the snap, crackle, and pop of a bowl of Rice Krispies as you pour milk on the cereal, when the coral reef is healthy. The sound changes for reefs that are not healthy, becoming quieter and less diverse.