Tagged With sounds

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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The Buddha Machine Wall webapp streams ambient patterns—the kind just distracting enough to take the edge off the noise in your office.The original Buddha Machine is a small device resembling a transistor radio, created by a pair of Chinese musicians known as FM. With permission from FM, the tech-support company ZenDesk hosts a version that, just like the original, creates randomised patterns from 9 FM-crafted ambient loops. This post was powered by loop B2—post your own favourite in the comments if you try out the free Buddha Machine Wall. For more ambient, work-friendly sounds, check out previously mentioned iSerenity, another web-based source.

FM3 Buddha Machine Wall

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Windows only: The Digital Inspiration blog posts a tiny AutoHotKey script that takes away the email-ruining power of the most useless key on your deck, Caps Lock, and converts it into an instant-muting tool. Really helpful for anyone using a stand-alone keyboard without multimedia keys, or whose left pinky finger is just irrascible sometimes. The script is available as both an AHK script and stand-alone executable to tuck away into your system tray. For another approach to re-assign Caps Lock, try one reader's Handicapslock tool. Photo by AV8TER.

Mute your Speakers with the Caps Lock Key

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All platforms: Free audio editing application WavePad Sound Editor can help you cut down an MP3 to ringtone size or remix that cute voicemail. It has basic editing features such as cut, copy, paste, insert and auto-trim and effects such as amplify, normalize, envelope, sample conversion and more. WavePad has support for many audio formats including WAV, MP3, VOX, GSM, Real Audio, AU, AIF, FLAC, and OGG. WavePad also comes with voice-activated recording and a built-in CD ripper with CDDB music database lookup. For another robust sound editor, check out Audacity. WavePad is a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

WavePad Sound Editor

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For YouTube videos, presentations, or even just system sounds, having the right sound effect file can make all the difference. FindSounds, a search engine focused on audio files, is a heck of a lot more convenient than typing ".wav" into Google and wading through inconsistent results. Type in what you're looking for and specify parameters, and the results are offered in playable previews and waveform diagrams. I almost always found relevant results in the 10 or so test searches I performed, and being able to see how long the sound helps winnow down results when you're hunting just the right sound to fit into a project. Got your own sound clip search methods? Share 'em in the comments.