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Weekend Special: Name That Sound!

Monday, December 23, 2013 - 03:33 PM

Dan Quinn, fluid dynamics grad student and sometime video artist at Princeton, also has ears. And his ears, like yours, regularly pick up familiar sounds. The question is, if someone plays you a sound that you regularly hear at the movies, or in an Xbox game, or when you turn on a machine — but this time that sound is decontextualized, it just pops up naked, removed from its source — would you be able to identify it?

I am terrible at this. I recognized four. But I'm old. If you're 20ish, you might – just might — get a perfect score. (Except for the two or three sounds that go back to the 1950s; that's where I killed.)

See how many you can I.D.

 

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Comments [10]

Zofmui from Missery

Robert,
Please remember that your audience isn't this shallow. TV and games. I recognize the Apple start sound because I hate it so much.

Dec. 28 2013 07:32 PM
Ted Froberg from Clearwater

I guess to be an auditory genius, I need to get my nose out of books, dumb myself down and waste all my time playing video games and watching the boob box.

Dec. 28 2013 02:53 PM
Keith from Oregon

I got them all....Don't know to be happy or sad.

Dec. 28 2013 02:00 PM
MIchael from New Jersey

I got all of them except Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune...this 21 year old is feeling proud (and rather dependent on these sounds haha)

Dec. 27 2013 10:37 PM
Luis from Chicago

Robert you are old. Dude, nobody in their 20's is going to get all of these, many of them are from before they were born. I'm 31, I got most of them. I'd guess 30-35 is optimal age for this 'name that sound' Also, this a little whack, it felt like it was made in the year 2000 as 'sounds of the last quarter century'? :P

Dec. 27 2013 06:21 PM
Rick from Portland, OR

Huh. Didn't realize that all the 'familiar sounds' in my life were product jingles, movies or video games. Thought there might be some of wildlife or other everyday sounds. Guess I really am old!

Dec. 27 2013 05:09 PM
Ed H. from Portland, OR

18/20 (didn't know the two TV shows I never watched.) +6 from the bonus round.

I think "If you're 20ish, you might – just might — get a perfect score." might be a bit young. The vast majority of 20ish wouldn't know Pac-Man, Pong, and possibly not even Donkey Kong. Not to mention NBC, Duracell, and Law & Order. I think this is more a 30ish set of sounds. Some are old enough that someone in their early 30s would recognize them from early childhood, yet others are "young and hip" enough that much beyond early 30s have a hard time on a couple. (Raises hand.)

Dec. 27 2013 02:03 PM
Kari from Oulu, Finland

15/20 + 3 from bonus rounds. That was fun even for a larger audience :) cheers!

Dec. 27 2013 01:52 PM
amy

In the words of Ralphie: a cruddy commercial.

Dec. 27 2013 01:33 PM
diana

The DreamWorks logo!

Dec. 27 2013 12:52 PM

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