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Jukebox Bot
You might remember from last week that I mentioned that the bartending robot, Sir Mix-a-Bot was in charge of the Jukebox. It's true, Sir Mix-a-Bot has a built in remote control that can control volume and music selection from the bar. But on most normal days, the customer gets to select music from an archive of millions and millions of songs and sound selections from across the galaxy. 

Jukebox Bot or Juke Bot for short is voice activated and can even find a song if you sing a few bars to it. But if you want an old-school feel, just tell Juke Bot a year, or genre, or even a mood and the bot will automatically flip open a book that fits your description that you can scroll through to get ideas from. You never know what musical gem you might discover flipping through the virtual pages programmed into this highly advanced sound system.

And speaking of sound, what exactly is sound? I asked my friend Ryan Consell, Master of Applied Science, to give us a description of what we actually mean when we talk about sound. Here is what Ryan had to say:

Sound is nothing but waves of compressed gas, a chain of atoms crashing into each other like pool balls, pushing the wave forward and outward. A wave, hitting us transfers it energy to our eardrum, making a tiny motion that is transferred to nerves, that translate it to out brain in a way that we interpret as sound.

Vibrating things cause a continuous stream of waves. The rate that those waves hit our ear determines the frequency that we hear, also called "pitch", or "note". The amplitude of each wave, or the amount of energy being transferred to our ear, determines the volume that we hear.

The shape of the wave also matters. Whether the wave is smooth from base, to crest and back, or has spikes or ripples or variations within itself determines the timbre of the sound we hear. That's why two instruments playing the same note sound different. The profile of the waves they produce is not the same, even though the frequency is.

Music being waves is a lovely concept to think about. And while you are contemplating that lovely bit of zen-like science, feel free to download and color in Jukebox Bot. And if you happen to see this bot hanging out in a corner of a dimly lit bar, ask it to play something happy for me, will ya?


The high rez version of this drawing is attached to this Patreon post for you to download, print and/or color. If you do not already, please consider donating a buck or two to support this project.

Special thanks to Ryan Consell for his help with the science of sound!