Gesticulations and Other Geekery » Page 'Random stuff I don’t need and can’t afford (But I kinda want anyway)'

Random stuff I don’t need and can’t afford (But I kinda want anyway)

1. A computer

Yes that’s 64 cores. It would cost around $5000. Honestly not that bad for more than 50 cores.

Uses: Research into multicore and parallel programming and compilation techniques.

2. A sound system

A pair (or maybe 8 for ambisonics!) of Meyer UPM-1Ps. They are beautiful and durable and loud as heck. So really studio monitors are probably more realistic. But I have a soft spot for UPM-1Ps because I had a pair in my office for years.

They are around $1800 per speaker. So a pair is $3600 and a cube worth is $14,400.

Uses: Awesome playback of paraphonic audio. Out doing my neighbors sound system by several orders of maganitude. For instance I might be able to do justice to the cannons of the 1812 Overture if I didn’t like my windows too much. I think that would out do the hip hop my neighbors play.

3. A Camera with wide angle lenses

Probably a Nikon DSLR of some kind or maybe if I’m particularly insane a large format Red camera. Then a fish eye lens and a hemispheric lens.

Uses: Panographic photography.

4. A paraphonic microphone array and a multi channel portable recorder

This is the equivalent of a panoramic camera setup except for sound. There are 2 approaches: a ambisonic microphone (4 or 9 channels, first and second order respectively), or a 2d (or 3d) microphone array and some pretty advanced software (this works by measuring the phase differences between the mics and building a model of the sound field). The second case it more accurate than ambisonic because ambisonic encode only the pressure vector at a single point where as the array actually gets you some information about the wave fronts. So a mic array will in theory have be able to give you information about the sound over some small area instead of at a point. This could result in better playback over an area; ambisonic tends to have a sweat spot outside of which the localization degrades quickly.


So whenever I think about audio and image capture gear I always find my self wanting to capture the essence of a place more than any specific image or sound. I want to take a panorama and 20 minutes of audio and then show it to people. Because in some small way it would allow them to be there. Far more than a single picture or just a few minutes of mono audio. They would hear the cars drive by and see the whole sky and hear the bees that investigate the microphone. I really want to try to do that at some point.

As a side note. I actually do think it’s time for me to own a digital camera. Probably a Nikon COOLPIX P7100 or P7000 or something similar. I like having a view finder and I want a full manual mode. Though I might give up on the viewfinder. All the cameras from listed here look good: The Panasonic looks pretty good too and you can get an external viewfinder for it (attaches to the shoe). I’m not sure when I will do it but I think I’d like to have a better camera than my phone.

Posted in Computers, Hardware, Life (other than code)

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