Brian Williams’ cover of the classic Snoop Dogg song, ‘Gin and Juice’

NBC newsman is edited to the point that the song comes off pitch-perfect

When you work in audio technology, you’re constantly looking for what’s new on the music scene. songs, artists, bands, whatever, and when we come across something new and fun, we like to share it with all y’all audiophiles out there.

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That said, you absolutely have to check these videos out. They were produced by The Tonight Show, and they feature NBC News’ Brian Williams rapping to popular, classic hip-hop tracks. A few weeks ago, they dropped “Rapper’s Delight” to much fanfare (it has 8,998,048 views as of the time this post is being written), and just last night, they dropped the latest video edit mash-up, “Gin and Juice”.

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Kudos to The Tonight Show’s video editor, who does a fan-friggent-tastic job at cutting the Williams clips together, so much so that if one were to close their eyes and hear Williams say the line “G’s up, hoes down, while you motherfuckers bounce to this,” you’d think the popular news anchor had actually said that line during one of his broadcasts.

Check out the videos below. First, the Brian Williams “Rapper’s Delight” clip:

And now check out the Brian Williams “Gin and Juice” video:

How to power an FM radio using moss

If you love listening to music as much as you love this green Earth, then you’re going to be head over heels for this project.

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A British biochemist and a product designer worked together to build an FM radio powered by biological solar panels that incorporate moss.

In layman’s terms—it’s a radio powered by a plant.

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University of Cambridge biochemist Paolo Bombelli collaborated with London-based product designer Fabienne Felder to develop Moss FM. They say that in addition to their technology being the first plant-powered radio, it’s also the first functional moss-powered device that requires more electricity than an LCD screen.

“Moss FM is a biological solar panel,” said Bombelli in an interview with BBC Radio 4. “In the same way that the solar panels harnesses the energy of light and delivers electrical power, Moss FM it does it by using biological material.”

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While it might look like an elementary school science project, the device is actually a bit complicated. A frame holds 10 moss pots which are all connected to form, more or less, a “photo microbial fuel cell”. The biochemical process that takes place in this fuel cell harnesses the electrons and protons produced by the photosynthesizing plants, and turns them into electrical current.

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At the moment, the moss plants generate a potential of more than 4.5 volts The first time the radio powered up, it was able to play for a full 80 seconds. While moss was chosen because it’s cheap and easy on the eyes, the bio-radio duo said that other plants and algae can be used. They plan on exploring this, and also seeing if they can increase the amount of power generated.

See the radio in action below:

Hipsters rejoice! Turn table cuts vinyl as song plays, so you can now own your very own custom-cut record

New technology from German engineer debuts at this year’s SXSW festival

Many baby boomers have spent countless hours converting their vinyl records to MP3 files so that they can listen to their favorite songs on the go, whether it’s by headphones or Bluetooth portable speaker.

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A German engineer by the name of Souri Automaten has done just the opposite. His technology is called “Vinyl Recorder” and it’s an effortless way to cut a new record in the time it takes for a song to play all the way through.

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To use it, the user connects the record lathe to a music player and hits play (hard, I know). Once everything’s in motion, a diamond stylus will cut the vinyl record in real-time based on the sound vibrations produced from the playing music.

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Vinyl Recorder made its debut on the trade floor at this year’s SXSW. One thing to definitely note about this is that it ain’t cheap—at $4,000, it’s not for your average hipster. What it could be cool for is bands who want to create limited-edition vinyls of new releases without having to meet the minimum quota larger facilities impose on them.

Check out Automaten’s Vinyl Recorder in action below:

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Headband acts as alternative to wearing ear buds

Called the “VIBSO headphones”, this headband is actually meant to serve as an alternative to ear buds and headphones, even though they don’t actually go in the ear.

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Designed by Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne student Renaud Defrancesco, the VIBSO is made of transparent acrylic glass and sends music vibrations across its surface to the user’s ears via a vibrating electromagnet.

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The magnet works, more or less, like a speaker, which has a connecting element that causes a membrane to vibrate and create sounds. In the case of VIBSO, the membrane is the glass, which transmits sound very well, and is also flexible and easy to form.

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The vibrations move down the membrane and over the surface that covers part of the ears. This allows the user to wear the headband without feeling the actual vibrations running across their noggin. The shape of the VIBSO directs the sound directly inward so that only the wearer hears the music.

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If need be, the headband can be covered for added comfort. Users can also share the music by letting someone put their ear up against the other side of the band. Personal space issues are up to the individuals.

According to Defrancesco, the purpose of the VIBSO headphones is to allow the user to be “bathed in music without being isolated like with normal headphones, which can be dangerous because you don’t hear what’s around you.”

Umbrella immerses user in a veil of sound

Artist experiments with the design of the personal sound system

Gotta love artists – always taking what we thought we once knew and blowing it up and creating something entirely new and different. Take for instance, the personal sound system. You think you know what it is:

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Then BAM – an artist like Dmitry Morozov comes around and creates something completely new. Called “Anywhere”, what you see below is an ordinary umbrella, stripped of its cloth, and outfitted with an Arduino Uno microcontroller, optical relays, and a micro SD wav player to create a system that literally immerses the user into a veil of sound.

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