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Entries in effects (3)



Back in 2009, we wrote about TANK-FX, a website where you could upload a sound and have it played back in a former water tank somewhere in Germany. After it recorded your played back sound, it would send you back an MP3 of the recording. TANK-FX has since gone defunct, and every so often I think of it and Google it but it really doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

This is why I got quite excited when we got an e-mail about a project called The TANK: a 20 meter tall, 12 meters wide empty steel water tank in Rangely, Colorado. And while it’s functionality is different, it’s quite interesting. “Sonic thinker” Bruce Odland discovered the place in 1976, and it became a place where a small group of musicians and sound artists recorded their music for decades. With a shifting, swirling reverberation longer and richer than the Taj Majal or Great Pyramid, it is quite the acoustic marvel.

By 2012 the TANK was in danger of falling silent. It was decaying in the elements. Luckily, a organisation formed and they succesfully did two Kickstarter projects, and now the TANK is alive and kicking, and serving as an educational place to learn about sound and for musicians to record in. The immersive experience encourages visitors to learn about sound from within, by experimenting through sound, movement, cause-and-effect… A stunning initiative, and a unique place for sonic arts. And while you might not be able to upload sounds and get them back played in the tank (convolution reverbs have become good enough to emulate just that), it does serve an even better purpose, I think. It’ll definitely be on my list the next time I’m in Colorado.



Remember Tank-FX? Here’s another one in the same category, and this one has been around for more than ten years already! For those of you who don’t know it already, this is the idea: go to and upload a sound file.

The file will be send to the speakers in a huge empty silo - the Silophone - somewhere in Montreal, then the sound gets broadcasted back to you via the website. Sadly that last part didn’t work for me, as the stream didn’t seem to work. 

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Tank-FX: a huge tank for natural reverb

Why try to emulate the reverb of a space if you can have the real thing? Tank-FX is a website where you can upload a sample and have it played back in a huge 11m high former water tank. The sound gets sent back to you immediately, including the natural reverb from this tank:

On their website (German only for now) you can upload a sample from an Akai S-2000 style interface. You can set the desired output file format (flac, ogg, mp3), and the dry/wet ratio. Your sound will be played through a set of JBL speakers and recorded by a matched pair of Røde NT-5 microphones, providing a good quality recording. I was expecting to hear a huge reverb tail and I found the result a bit disappointing the first time, but it actually sounds very good. Try it yourself or get an idea by listening to the examples on their website.

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