Red Bull Music Academy uses 100 cars to make the largest synth orchestra ever

red bull 100 cars synth orchestra news 100cars
Red Bull Music Academy
Recently, 100 car owners had their cars turned into instruments in an unconventional orchestra. For the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) Festival in Los Angeles, world-famous artist Ryoji Ikeda arranged 100 cars to play note ‘A’ sounds for his long-running installation series A [For 100 Cars], creating the world’s largest synth orchestra.

A [For 100 Cars] premiered on the roof of a parking lot in downtown L.A on October 15, showcasing the various frequencies before 440 Hz became the internationally accepted standard pitch frequency in 1955. Each car used in the automotive musical composition had its sound system attached to a portable sine wave synthesizer developed by Ikeda, along with RBMA’s Tatsuya Takahashi and Berlin-based firm E-RM Erfindungsbüro. Each device was preset to a specific frequency with the car owners inside the car twisting the device’s knobs according to the synth orchestra’s score.

Ikeda prepared 100 different scores for all 100 car owners with timestamps that would instruct each to either honk their adjust the volume, honk the horn, flash the car lights, or even change the octave blaring from the car’s sound system. The frequencies of note ‘A’ in the devices ranged between 376.3Hz to 506.9Hz and car owners were able to also adjust the octave of note ‘A’ from A1 to A8.

The end result is a 27-minute, almost meditative hum of noises that sounded like being stuck in the longest traffic jam with the most impatient drivers. The symphony may have been music to the spectators’ ears, but it was a different story inside the cars.”If you got a 4-kilowatt sound system and you’re playing 55 Hz at 120 decibels, physically, it’s a real kind of experience,” Takahashi told The New York Times. At one point during the symphony, a 1978 Cadillac DeVille couldn’t handle being a glorified music instrument on wheels and began sputtering out smoke.

Ikeda’s A [For 100 Cars] was part of the first Red Bull Music Academy Festival to take place in Los Angeles. The L.A. edition of the yearly festival runs from October 6 to October 29. You can still get tickets for remaining events during the festival at the festival’s official website.

Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Cars

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.
Cars

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.