Tag Archives: sound

Queen Live Aid: Did Freddie and Queen ‘cheat’ to sound louder when other bands ‘panicked’?

This was fictionalised in the film Bohemian Rhapsody which showed the band’s manager Jim Beach (rather than their sound engineer Trip Khalaf) ripping off the tape over the sound level controls to boost Queen’s volume.

This did not happen, nor was Khalaf ever able to “whack up the sound level.”

Express Online spoke to Malcolm Hill, whose company Hill Pro Audio was in charge of the sound systems at Wembley Stadium for Live Aid. He even received a formal letter from the Greater London Council commending them for maintaining the strict sound levels put in place.

He told Express Online: “Nobody on or around the stage would have had any control of, or even knowledge of, the sound system operation… The system was controlled by a ‘processor rack’, 100 metres away, in the middle of the pitch, tucked out of the way, to the side of the mix platform.”

However, Queen DID actually sound louder…

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This post originally posted here Daily Express

Android and iPhone warning: A loud emergency sound could blast out of your phone today

If your iPhone or Android device suddenly starts belting out a loud sound this lunchtime then don’t be alarmed. It’s all part of a trial that’s testing out a nationwide emergency warning system that will alert Britons when there is an imminent threat to life. The first test of this new siren was pushed out to some devices last week with a second alert being trialled between 1pm and 2pm today.

If you are included in the test you’ll hear the sound and receive a text which reads, “This is a mobile network operator test of the Emergency Alerts service. You do not need to take any action.”

Users are also being told to expect their devices to vibrate for around 10 seconds and the noise will belt out even if the device is switched to silent mode. They won’t work if the device is off or aeroplane mode is enabled.

It’s thought that today’s event will take place in parts of Reading, Berkshire with emergency alerts being broadcast from mobile phone masts so every compatible mobile phone or tablet in range will receive it.

The system, dubbed Emergency Alerts by the UK Government, was inspired by countries like New Zealand, which have used text messages to alert citizens for some time.

It’s hoped the alerts could be used to send messages about public health emergencies as well as industrial incidents and terror attacks.

The Cabinet Office provided more details about the alert system, saying it would send out warnings that outlined affected areas, advice on what to do and a link to any extra information.

If the tests are successful, the UK Government hopes to be able to issue text alerts to millions by “summer 2021”.

The Cabinet Office added that the system does not use people’s telephone numbers, instead sending alerts out to anyone in a specific area. The Government also revealed the alerts “do not reveal your location and do not collect any personal data. Alerts can also only be sent by authorised governmental and emergency services users”.

However, if users want to they will be able to opt-out of certain alerts via the Android or iOS settings, but the most important ones will always come through.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

New Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds sound epic …if you can stomach the price

Sony already makes some of the best noise-cancelling wireless earbuds around, but things are about to get a whole lot better. The Japanese firm’s new WF-1000XM4 have been revealed with a new sleeker design and plenty of improvements in the sound department too. Nestled inside these mini music-makers is a newly designed 6mm driver unit that boosts the volume and helps bring a “rich and more immersive sound” to your ears, Sony claims.

Just like its previous generation of Bluetooth earbuds, Sony’s new WF-1000XM4s offer full noise-cancellation, but things are taken up a notch thanks to an improved Processor V1. The company is boasting that this new brain “delivers the industry’s highest level of noise-cancelling yet”, plus it also uses less power than its predecessor meaning they last longer.

Helping things further are newly-developed Noise Isolation Earbud Tips which provide the ultimate fit – that not only makes them more comfortable to wear but stops outside sound leaking into your ear canal. When you’re out and about the WF-1000XM4 include Adaptive Sound Control which adjusts ambient sound settings, depending on the environment around you, for the ideal listening experience.

Other audio features that are worth a mention include full compatibility with stunning High-Resolution Audio music tracks and there’s a technology inside called Digital Sound Enhancement Engine which upscales compressed digital music files in real-time to make everything sound better.

When you head into a coffee shop to buy your morning brew, the WF-1000XM4 now feature Sony’s Speak-to-Chat technology which cuts off the sound the minute the earbuds hear your voice. That means you can talk to people and hear their response without needing to take the buds out of your ears.

Quick Attention’ mode is available on the WF-1000XM4 so if you want to listen to an announcement or say something briefly, you simply place your finger over the left earbud to decrease the volume instantly and let ambient sound in.

Another nice addition is a better experience when making voice calls. Sony says that speaking hands-free with the WF-1000XM4 has been improved thanks to Precise Voice Pickup Technology with microphones and a bone-conduction sensor. Beam-forming microphones are also calibrated to only pick up sounds from your mouth, Sony says.

One of the biggest drawbacks of wireless earbuds can be battery life but Sony appears to have fixed this as well with its WF-1000XM4 offering 8-hours of playback. Once flat, the new and smaller charging case offers a total of 24-hours of music before needing a refill. There’s also another nice boost as a quick 5-minute quick charge gives you up to 60 minutes of playtime. 

As you might expect, the WF-1000XM4 are fully compatible with Alexa and Google’s Assistant plus they should survive the British weather thanks to an IPX4 water resistance rating.

They will be available this month and cost a rather hefty £250. If Sony can deliver on everything it has promised with the new tech crammed into these lightweight ‘buds, they could be worth the cash. We’ll have to get some in our ears to find out, stay tuned!

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Amazon upgrades its Echo with new features, better sound and a hidden security camera

Amazon is back with a refresh to its popular Echo Show range of smart speakers. Now, before you get too excited, this isn’t a big redesign and, from the outside, things look much the same as before. That means you get the same neat design with a screen that displays a swathe of information and even your family photo albums. However, under the hood of the new Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 are some pretty significant updates including a new in-built camera that can now act as a security cam when you head out for the day.
If you’re worried about what’s happening at home you can now securely access the built-in snapper through the Alexa app to check in and make sure things are as they should be. It’s a very similar feature that was launched on the new premium Echo Show 10 and brings this update to Amazon’s cheaper range of all-screen speakers. And don’t worry if family members think they are being spied on as a message appears on the display revealing that the camera has been activated.

Along with that security update, the Show 8’s new 13-megapixel camera also gets a wide-angle view which allows you to be kept in the shot of your video calls as you move around the room. The upgraded also camera automatically pans and zooms while you’re on video calls, so everyone stays centred in the frame.

The 8-inch screen has also been tweaked with it getting adaptive colour which changes depending on the conditions in the room.

A new and more powerful octa-core processor should help the visuals stay silky-smooth and there are dual stereo speakers for clear, balanced sound.

So that’s the new Echo Show 8 but Amazon is also improving the cheaper and smaller Show 5 as well with an upgraded HD camera that gets double the pixels and there are more colourful designs to choose from when you pop it in your online shopping basket.

Of course, both of these devices still come with Alexa built-in so you can ask a swathe of questions and get a sensible response. The screen can also be used to view content and you can see timers, watch the day’s news and even used the display as a karaoke machine.

Like all Echos, the new Show devices can switch on lights, ramp up the heating and remind you of events simply by asking Alexa.

“Customers love using Echo Show to stay in touch and in the past year have made nearly three times the number of video calls globally than the year prior,” said Eric Saarnio, Vice President, Amazon Devices EU. “With these new Echo Show devices, we focused on creating experiences that would add even more value to our customers — bringing a powerful camera and digital pan and zoom capabilities to the new Echo Show 8, upgrading the Echo Show 5 camera, and adding the ability to securely access the built-in camera to check in on home when you’re away.”

The Echo Show 8 costs £119.99 with the Echo Show 5 now starting from a cheaper price of £74.99.

Amazon says pre-orders start today from Amazon.co.uk as well as Argos, Currys PC World, John Lewis and Very.co.uk. Echo Show 5 is also available at Tesco. Devices will begin shipping next month.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

The hills are alive with the sound of… Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village is out now on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One and PC.

To promote the high-profile new launch, Capcom has commissioned a very unusual publicity stunt.

Located on the Blackdown Hills in Somerset, Capcom has hired somebody to create a huge chalk figure of Lycan.

“Following a week of speculation surrounding England’s latest hillside artwork, the mystery is finally uncovered since it appeared in a ribbon of light seven days ago,” reads a Capcom post.

“The 58m high and over 100m long ‘Lycan’ installation, spotted by visitors and passers-by over the Bank Holiday weekend, has been claimed by Capcom to celebrate today’s launch of Resident Evil Village, the latest entry in the genre-defining survival horror video game franchise.”

Joining over 50 chalk figures scattered throughout the country, the glowing Lycan installation was created in less than 24 hours.

Resident Evil Village cheapest prices and best discount deals on PS5, PS4 and Xbox

“The ‘Lycan’ artwork, positioned amongst the rolling hillsides and rural communities, mirrors the all-new storyline of the latest game as it follows protagonist Ethan as he seeks to uncover the mysterious new horrors that plague a once peaceful village.

“Ethan will face off against many threats such as fast-moving creatures that relentlessly stalk him, each desperate battle for survival intertwined with moments of calm as players wonder what new horrors await…”

If you want to pick up a copy of the new Resident Evil game, ShopTo is selling the game for £49.85.

Click here for the PS5 version, click here for the PS4 version, click here for the Xbox version, and finally, click here for the PC version, which costs £39.85.

Argos is selling the game for only slightly more, although the retailer currently only has the PlayStation version in stock. Click here to buy Resident Evil Village for £49.99 from Argos.

If you want to rack up some additional points, you can order Resident Evil Village from GAME, where it costs £59.99 on Xbox, and £59.99 on PlayStation.

A direct sequel to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the game once again utilises a first-person perspective, as Ethan Winters explores a mysterious village in search of answers.

“Experience survival horror like never before in the eighth major installment in the storied Resident Evil franchise – Resident Evil Village,” reads the official description.

“Set a few years after the horrifying events in the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 7 biohazard, the all-new storyline begins with Ethan Winters and his wife Mia living peacefully in a new location, free from their past nightmares.

“Just as they are building their new life together, tragedy befalls them once again.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

Your Sonos speakers just benefited from the biggest EVER sound upgrade, but there’s a cost

Sonos makes some of our favourite speakers on the market right now. But for all of their clever tricks, one thing Sonos speakers haven’t been able to do is handle high-resolution audio streaming – until now. Yes, music streaming service Qobuz has beat more-established competitors like Tidal and Amazon Music HD to bring Hi-Res music streaming to Sonos for the first time.
So, you’ll now be able to take full advantage of the pricey components inside your speakers – while still enjoying the convenience of streaming.

Qobuz has confirmed that it will bring 24-bit wireless streaming to Sonos customers, which results in “studio-quality music” that keeps “all the details and colour of the original recordings,” it has claimed. While it has been possible to listen to Hi-Res audio on a Sonos speaker for some time, customers would need to play a 24-bit FLAC or ALAC file from a local hard-drive to do so.

With the arrival of Qobuz, you’ll be able to listen to Hi-Res audio in the same way as tuning into Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, TuneIn, or any other numerous streaming services built into the Sonos app. To listen to Qobuz, you’ll need to be running the Sonos S2 smartphone, PC or tablet app.

Sonos rolled out its S2 app in June 2020. The new software was a clean slate for Sonos to build upon with new features moving forwards. With the arrival of S2, Sonos had to ditch some of its oldest kit, including the first-generation Play:5, Sonos Connect, and Sonos Connect:Amp, to name a few. If you have any of these speakers lying around, you can continue to stream music wirelessly around your home, but you’ll need to stick with the previous generation of the phone app, now called S1.

For those with newer models and running on the S2 app, you’ll need to add Qobuz as a streaming service to your account. Even then, not every Sonos product in your home might be able to stream 24-bit audio. The “studio-quality music” streaming promised by Qobuz will be available on Sonos One, One SL, Five, and Play:5 speakers, Sonos Arc, Beam, Playbar and Playbase soundbars, as well as Sonos’ portable speakers, Sonos Move and Sonos Roam.