Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fun with a Slinky

Long long ago, I worked for a company called WaveFrame that build high-end digital audio workstations.  These were basically complete digital studios in a box.  Now days, most of the fancy functions that would run you a quarter million dollars in our device are available on a laptop computer, but at the time it was pretty exciting stuff.  One of the interesting features that the AudioFrame had was a sampler that allowed you to record a sound and then play it back at different pitches on a keyboard.   Almost by accident I found that if you record the sound of an outstretched slinky connected to our office ceiling and then pitch shift it down several octaves (these sorts of things happened in my office during those days, and the AudioFrame was particularly good smoothly pitch-shifting a long way) it turned into a rather fantastically indescribably metallic sound effect.  This sound ended up being included in our sound library.  Our product was used widely in Hollywood, and to this day (25 years later), I still occasionally think I can hear that sound in science fiction movies.  I feel like yelling out in the theater, "Don't be scared!  Its just a Slinky!!" I never do though.

All this is just to say what you already knew.  A Slinky is a wonderful and versatile gadget.  We already know that.  Here on Digital Diner, we've reported on things that can be done with a Slinky in the past.  The video below revisits one of the features of these fine toys to illustrate a feature of physics.  Enjoy.

Here are a few more interesting shots of a slow motion Slinky.

Here is the video we brought you last November.