hertz Update: Testing infrasound – storm fronts which blow our minds

‘Buttkicker’ wheelchair
Glenn being a Guinea pig
Awesome vibrations!

It’s been busy on the hertz front. The latest happenings were in the studio last week.

We were testing out our latest crop of infrasound files – including the recent storm front when it was about 200 kilometres out to sea; the urban noise from Reading – building work, rush hour and regular trains; and contrasting that with frequencies picked up from my garden in a rural location.

The results were more than we hoped and all very different. It is difficult to explain the huge, exciting, laughter-inducing, at times meditative and sometimes frankly rather nerve-racking vibrations and sensations. They course through the metal frame into your body from the transducer (‘buttkicker’) attached to a wheelchair, while the subwoofer pulsates the air around you with the usually inaudible frequencies of our planet. It lifts the hairs on your arm and face and draws you into its world. The experience is immersive. I would of course post the sounds, but without a large subwoofer you cannot hear the low range frequencies.

Not sure what the neighbours thought but they are a tolerant lot. So it is onwards and upwards on the infrasound front. The next stage will be collecting the infrasound of an Icelandic glacier. In September, Dr Graeme Marlton will attempt to record the inaudible frequencies of the Aurora Borealis if it is gracious enough to appear on a work trip with the University of Reading. We will also be working on being able to experience and identify infrasound in real time.

To read or listen to an interview with Dr Graeme Marlton and hear what journalist Glenn Bryant thought about the experience in his own words, please scroll down.

Below, you will also find interviews with Professor Bill Chaplin from the Astrophysics Department of Birmingham university, one with myself and other information about hertz including a description of the R&D project as a whole. Back soon with more hertz updates.