This buzz is intended as an experiment.
My first job as an ultrasonic inspector was at a small company in New Jersey, TAC Technical Instrument Corp. (Tac Tic for short). The company manufactured test systems for round tube and bar. I was hired to learn the system then train Tac Tic's customers how to setup and use the equipment.
Within a few years Tac Tic had started a small side business doing actual test work for manufactures who needed product tested but didn't have enough demand to warrant the expense of buying a system and obtaining the certifications required. I was the only ultrasonic technician in this side business. Within a few years we built such a demand with our testing service that our Production Manager often joked "the testing business payed all the bills for the company so the test systems sold were all profit."
Tac Tic was started in the sixties by Ken Beck who passed away about five years ago. What I remember most about Mr. Beck is he lived for experiments. One example, back in early 2002 the aerospace industry took a major hit. This was the main industry of many of our test systems customers and test work customers. Zero test systems were being sold and the flow of test work had become a slow dribble. Layoffs were looming and our payed hours had been cut. Back in 202 my first child was on his way and we had just bought a new home. The future now seemed uncertain.
Early that year Mr. Beck received a call by a tubing manufacturer with a customer, Pratt and Whitney I believe, who wanted to place a large order for elliptical tubing. The contract was contingent on the tubing manufacturer developing a system to reliably inspect the tube ultrasonically as it was for a critical system. This had not been done before. Nothing made Mr. Beck more excited than an experiment. Many business owners seem to be in business to make money. If you ask me Mr. Beck was in business to do experiments and the money was just one result.
For a month I tried different arrangements of equipment, every transducer and instrument in the shop. Not to get too complicated but we had to, ultrasonically, find notches machined into a test piece on the inside and outside of the elliptical tube on both the major and minor sides of the tube (Small and large sides). The test work that had been dribbling in was piling up. My test work was for the most part the only source of income for the company during the aerospace slowdown. I would watch Mr. Becks son, who was responsible for sales, pace back and forth between his office and my pile of testing to be done. Why were we wasting our time? The electric bill, phone bill and rent are due and here sits our money to pay them.
After about a month of trying every instrument every transducer in the shop I was amazed to find two old dusty analog instruments ( they were from the 60's and are in the picture at top) and two transducers that found the four notches at a certain offset. I ran to Mr. Becks office to show him the paper strip chart recording of the signals from the notches. Mr. Beck was very excited. He grabbed his cane and asked me to show him the setup I used. I was very proud of the setup, it took me a month to do. He patted me on the back then asked me to do something that still to this day makes my stomach queasy. He asked me to take the setup completely apart then build it back up and see if we can repeat the results. This setup took a month of effort and now there was potential only two people in the world will see it. I was very depressed taking the setup apart. I still wasn't sure if I was just lucky. Knowing what I had learned in the last month of experimenting however I was able to, after taking the setup apart, reproduce the setup in less than four hours. The best part, the signals from our notches were still there. The tubing manufacturer and PWA both sent representatives, engineers, to our small shop to witness the test. The test setup was blessed by both groups. The tubing manufacturer received a very profitable contract and for the next two years my days were spent, ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week, inspecting elliptical tube. The elliptical tube test work did more than just pay the bills for Mr. Becks small company. It helped carry the business to the other side of the aerospace slowdown.
Which brings me to an experiment.
In a recent Buzz by Dr. Anani he shared a video of singing sand. I was amazed by the sound. Not so much by the fact it was coming from sand but the music was pleasing to my ear. I started to google other natural sounds and found a few I was familiar with and others I was not. Thunder and running water always seemed to be sounds that for some reason relaxed me. The new sounds to me were the Earths Song, the Singing Sand and the Sea Train.
I had these videos below all opened on separate tabs as I listened to each one at a time. By mistake I had left one video playing and started another. The two sounds seemed to have a harmony about them. I wanted to see if there was a harmony between all five of the tabs I had open so I played each video simultaneously. I thought this is an amazing sound.
When I started my internet journey this morning I was looking for a movie to watch this weekend with the family. I still had the tab open on my left which lead to another question. With the five other videos playing as background, how would a song from this movie sound? I felt a tingle in the hairs on my arms as if the spirit of Tesla had entered the room for one of his practical jokes.
Here's the experiment part. Push play on each video, top to bottom. As you push play on each video click the volume and set it to 50%. Except for the first and last video. Set those to max. The earth's song is kind of quiet and I just like the song. Close your eyes and listen. If for some reason your not comfortable closing your eyes try going full screen on the Earth Song video.
See if the song resonates more, somewhere deep in your soul, with the earths voices as a background harmony.
Like Ken Beck taught me if it happens once it's interesting. If you can duplicate it, well that's exciting.
Earth's Song 100% volume
Singing Sand 50% volume
Sea Train sound 50% volume
Thunder 50% volume
Running Water 50% volume
Greatest Showman 100% volume
Dedicated to Ken Beck, founder of TAC Technical Instrument Corpand his experiments.