How ’80s Synths Make Deadpool’s Soundtrack So Awesome

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How '80s Synths Make Deadpool's Soundtrack So Awesome

In this cool video interview, Deadpool’s soudtrack composer Tom Holkenborg explains he had a very specific vision for the film’s score: use the glorious sounds of the synth to give Ryan Reynolds’ wise-ass character an ‘80s revival canvas on which to paint his mayhem.

“I thought it was great to use sounds and musical ideas that in the 80s were perceived as very serious, and now, in hindsight, when you play them back, they’re very funny,” he says.

Holkenborg wanted to give Deadpool a signature ‘80s vibe. But while the heavy synth sounds from the Escape from New York era were serious and foreboding at the time, they can sound kinda silly and dated now. That was Holkenborg’s challenge: He wanted to strike a retro tone that was “fun—but not funny.”

So he started off with a clone of an ARP 2600 synth with to find the right riff to carry throughout the soundtrack, “to propel motion, to propel action.” Then he turned to the same Oberheim synthesizer used for Van Halen’s “Jump”to create a gritty riff for more emotional scenes. And of course it wouldn’t be the ‘80s without the sound of the Synclavier, which is best known as the iconic, eerie sound at the beginning of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

The soundtrack isn’t all retro synthesizer sounds. To score scenes with the X-Men, Holkenborg backs them with a full orchestra.

[YouTube]

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This Flexible Prototype Is a Glimpse at Your Future Phone

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This Flexible Prototype Is a Glimpse at Your Future Phone

The sci-fi dream of flexible electronics is on its way—it’s just taking a while to arrive. But this new prototype flexible smartphone, that responds to the way it’s bent and twisted, at least hints at how your future phone may behave.

Created by researchers from Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab, the device uses a 720p LG Display Flexible OLED touch screen, with bend sensors and haptic feedback motors built into the rear. At one end sits a solid board, housing a system-on-a-chip that runs Android 4.4. Called ReFlex, the device provides a pretty compelling look at what the first wave of truly flexible phones will look like.

This Flexible Prototype Is a Glimpse at Your Future Phone

In these gifs, you can see how physical gestures allow users to interact with the hardware, as Roel Vertegaal, one of the researchers, explains in a press release:

When this smartphone is bent down on the right, pages flip through the fingers from right to left, just like they would in a book. More extreme bends speed up the page flips. Users can feel the sensation of the page moving through their fingertips via a detailed vibration of the phone. This allows eyes-free navigation, making it easier for users to keep track of where they are in a document.. When a user plays the ‘Angry Birds’ game with ReFlex, they bend the screen to stretch the sling shot. As the rubber band expands, users experience vibrations that simulate those of a real stretching rubber band. When released, the band snaps, sending a jolt through the phone and sending the bird flying across the screen.

It sounds pretty compelling, to be honest. The team will present the new prototype at the Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction in Eindhoven later today. The technical details of the projects are described in this paper.

[Queen’s University via PhysOrg]

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