Have you ever heard of “ reverse speech “? You have probably heard of back-masking in rock music where the music played backwards reveals hidden messages, usually about what a great guy Satan is. Well ‘” reverse speech “ is quite a bit different and apparently we all do it.
“ If human speech is recorded and played backwards, mixed amongst the gibberish at regular intervals can be heard very clear statements. These statements usually appear in short sentence form and are nearly always related to the forward speech. It appears constantly throughout language, so much so in fact, that it is believed to be a natural part of our speech processes. The pioneer and 20 year veteran of this field, Australian David John Oates, describes Reverse Speech as another form of human communication. He states that language is bi-level, forward and reverse. As the human brain constructs the sounds of speech, it forms those sounds in such a way that two messages are delivered simultaneously. One forwards, which is the conscious mind speaking, and the other in reverse, which is the unconscious mind speaking. “
For me, the first problem I have with this idea is the text. If you close your eyes and listen to the reverse examples – it’s sounds like speech played backward but nothing intelligible. By posting the text, they are cueing our brains and we hear the words. I’m not saying that the reverse speech isn’t there but if anyone can find me a sample without text that has clear words – well that would be great. I reversed a few clips of George W. Bush on my own and it just sounded like gibberish. Funny mind you but just gibberish.
I am pleased to announce that I have a new youtube channel and I’ve just posted my latest film there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9HE-RjAB4A I shot this last summer with a small HD hand held camera. When you go to watch the video – please like or dislike and leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. More music bloggery next week.
Today’s blog post is totally concerned with fun and should at the very least make you laugh. You may learn something too, which is a pretty good bonus.
So I would imagine that when you were younger that you had an experience with helium. And if you didn’t then go get helium balloon and prepare to be amazed! Take the balloon and do the following…
Vin Diesel and a helium balloon! See I told you this blog would make you laugh!!!
So what’s happening to Vin’s voice?
It’s really quite simple and has to do with the speed of sound. At 20 degrees Celsius, for example, sound travels at 927 meters a second through helium, but only at 344 meters a second through air. It’s important to note that his pitch hasn’t changed but it’s the timbre of his voice that has changed due to the faster sound speed. Confused? I have to admit that I was at first as my first thought was – “ oh his pitch has changed “ but then I thought about music. If I play a middle C on the piano in an oxygen atmosphere, I hear 261 hertz and change. If I change the atmosphere to helium then I still hear 261 hertz but faster. I’m still playing middle C. If it were a change in pitch then I would be playing one octave up or down but as I said I played middle C both times. Here’s another explanation: “ Like the vibration of a drum or a violin string, the vibration frequency of the vocal cords is independent of the type of gas that surrounds them. Whereas the velocity of the sound waves is faster in helium (and the wavelength greater), the frequency remains unchanged because it is determined by the vibrating vocal cords. Rather the timbre, or quality, of the sound changes in helium: listen closely next time and you will notice that a voice doesn’t become squeaky but instead sounds more like Donald Duck. It is the lesser density of the helium–which serves as the medium for the sound waves–flowing through the larynx that produces this differing quality in the voice. “
from Scientific American online
Ok enough science talk and on with more fun. Watch this…
So this is the same principal as the helium except the sound is moving at a much slower speed through sulphur hexafluoride. The velocity of sound through the gas is 0.44 times the speed of sound. Fun huh! A word of caution about fun with gases. It appears that inhaling helium in small quantities infrequently is relatively harmless. However, extreme caution should be taken with sulphur hexafluoride!! It is an inert gas but since it’s so heavy – you must get it out of your lungs quickly as you could asphyxiate! Standing on your head and breathing it out is recommended.