stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter (7)

The Shouter part 1 is here -> The Shouter

The Guards, Guarding..

“Yea did wha?” “Like, year not dumb fellas, clearly, but ah, what are yea even at playin wit dis stuff, sure yea coudda lost an eye!” Donegal Guard happy he has enough down in his notebook for the insurance company, nods at Dublin Guard. The nod said “We have enough, now lets get outta here before there’s more paperwork”.

Dermot, Declan, Tweedie Dum, Tweedie De; lookin at eachother. Not a tight squeeze anymore, not a shed. Quite airy now with the rather large hole punched in the wall. “Here, I know we said no strings attached, but…” Dermot, who saw this coming, says “Ah I fuckin knew it, no strings me hole”.

The equipment wrapped up and carted off. Summer ending approaching like a small ball of energised air on a collision course. Like a truck now. Dermot figured out it was Thales, a “we make satellities, but also we make missiles” company from across the pond, who had rented the building.

School starting again. The final year. Time to get the head down and start studying for real.

Radio Wow back on the air, two lads in the shed, bit of a squeeze, sharing a can of Dutch Gold. Dermot sighs. Declan, who knows about sound, says “Well look, I was thinkin…”

The end

This was my first series and first try at writing for public consumption. I hope you enjoyed it! You can follow me on mastodon if you would like to be notified of new stories”-

stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter (6)

Part 1 -> The Shouter

It was the smallest driver in the center of The Shouter. Small and skinny like the expensive cans of coke in the pub. It’s so small, a few kilowatts pushed through it’s windings move it fast. Move it very fast.

It shoots forward, fast. Faster than the speed of sound. A sphere of super compressed air left sitting there, about the size of a ping pong ball. The centre driver moves so fast, but the sphere of pressure sits, compressed, kilowatts of energy, formed in the air itself.

The larger driver, encircling the thinner driver, moves backwards. A donut of almost vacuum. The focus drivers, sitting around the perimeter of The Shouter like eyelashes of a fucked up looking eye, they squeeze.


Observe a slinky shook on one end, and the wave of energy speeding down it. Observe, a nugget of compressed shock, speeding down a path shaped out of thin air.

Slow motion. Dermot and Declan’s faces pan by, slightly out of focus. Open Mouthed. Hints of Tuborg making a hasty exit from Dermot’s right nostril (he’s had a bit of a cold, hence the asymmetry). In sharp relief we see a small ball of hell travelling past. It appears to be growing as it passes them. Declan, who knows about sound, has a hint of a smile on the corner of his mouth.

Crack. Crack may be too small a word for what happens next. Our favourite small (although bigger than when it started) ball of hell energy, impacts a solid lab wall. Cavity block and steel structure.

A few kilowatts of energy finds a nucleation point on the dappled paint, a tiny scratch. Our hell ball vanishes. The few kilowatts (a few more now as it had some mass added along the way) is a thin root, squeezed between molecules of paint and cavity block, and it expands.

A hole appears. Energy is released, then absorbed by every bit of glass in the building. Every crystalline structure gets a dose. The glass is sick of this abuse, the stress of these fuckin ejits messing around. The glass gives up. All the glass, in the entire…. fucking… building.

A smoking, football shaped hole in the wall. Alarms all over City West shreeking their siren calls; they are jealous of The Shouter.

Declan, who knows about sound, Dermot, who doesn’t. Still there. Still have Tuborg (less now thanks to sympathetic foaming actions). Can’t say anything cause they can’t hear anything. They don’t need to. The smiles on their faces says it all.

Continued in part 7 -> The Shouter (7)

stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter (5)

The Shouter < Part 1 here

The Crack cracks every bit of glass in the lab, it cracks every bit of glass in the building. It cracks the shit that shouldn’t fucking crack at all!

The night in question. Drizzle, wet, manky. Dermot and Declan. Few cans of Tuborg. They got a few bob now, no strings attached. They got a swag in their step now that gets them the few cans in the offie with no ID.

Their pirate radio station, Radio Wow ( ‘Wowing you out every Monday to Thursday after homework yowsa‘) has not been Wowing anyone after homework for about two months now. That’s ok tho, cause it was the summer holidays. But now… The end of summer is coming on like an onrushing truck now. The boys sense it. No way could they make this trip to citywest after school, once school comes on.

The end of this whole project was coming on like an onrushing truck now. The end of the fuckin night was coming on like an onrushing truck now.

Dermot, who dreams and and looks at too much YouTube, leans back on the beanbag, faces the roof and closes his eyes. Like an onrushing truck now. In his closed eyes he sees a centre of quiet black, and all around is black with thin silver lines. Movement and indistinct shapes on the edge of his vision. ‘Am I looking at my phone too much? Have my nurons formed new patterns that see a bright rectangle in front of my eyes that brings me laughter, joy, sadness and anger? Nurons which in times past arranged around faces of people I saw everyday, now arrange around this bright rectangle in space? Ignore the surrounding? Makes my heart beat fast? Makes me fall into the quiet black hole, fall down the tunnel like an onrushing truck now?’

Declan, who knows about sound; ‘What if… What if the inner driver went faster than the speed of sound? What if we got the Shouter to break the sound barrier?’

Dermot, who doesn’t, lifts from his torper. He sees the inner coke-can looking driver getting rammed through the tube like an onrushing truck now. The driver that looks like a coke can, pushed faster than air likes to move. He says, ‘What if we focus it?’.

Crack goes the building, like it was hit, by a truck now.

Contines in -> The Shouter (6)

stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter (4)

The Shouter < link to the first part

The big yellow warning sign on the lab entrance states “Ear protection must be worn”. They bought the sign on amazon, but they had a few bob now, no strings attached.

A lack of thinkimentation and a lot of experimentation happened. The power output of The Shouter quickly grew with better materials. A few 1 farad capacitors from the boy-racer scene brought Dermot and Declan closer to their own mortality, but also brought The Shouter to ever higher performance levels.

Dermot went to a science fair once and saw an ‘air cannon’. A bin with a circle cut out at the bottom and an elasticated plastic bag at the top. He saw the performer scienctist invite young ‘uns up onstage and fire air at their parents.

Declan, who knows about sound, listens to Dermot, who has little sense, gush about how exciting it would be to make The Shouter act like an Air cannon.

Surprisingly easily, Declan, who knows about sound, manages to make the driver tube (the coke can looking bit) nested, with a smaller coke can, like the ones pubs charge a fortune for, sitting inside the larger driver. Dermot, who knows a little about a lot, places a number of smaller shouters around the circumference of the central, nested shouters.

Hook up a controller, Dermot, who likes computers, models the new, admittedly scary looking, Shouter, in the open source Godot game engine. By moving the different drivers at slightly different delays, they can make a highly linear smoke ring looking thing travel all the way down the lab.

Declan, who knows about sound, wants to experiment some more. It’s a computer game now, like a brilliant new toy hooked up and ready for action, but what else can it do?

Dermot, who likes to shmoke a bit, blows shmoke into the front of the Shouter “Ha we should rename it the Shmoker” Declan plays with the Xbox controls. ‘Bang’ a square of shmoke rolls down the lab, ‘Boom’ an octagon skews to the left and rattles glasses on the rack.

Rattles glasses? What if…. Schreeeech pull over a rack full of science looking glasses. They came with the lab who cares.

They can smash them all easily, just by turning it up, but Declan, who knows about sound, picks them off, one by one like some gun toting sherrif in the wild west. A sound like scratching your thumb down the low E string on a guitar, a smash of glass giving up all hope.

They have a few bob now, no strings attached, What if…. Laser range finder, exact distance to wall is… 8 meters, resonant frequency would be…. f =c/2L, let’s say air temp is normal, dunno how to account for all the fuckin shmoke in here, 343 meters per, lets call it 21.267hz. Infrasonic eh, well if a pipe organ can do it so can we.

Eyeballs vibrating in their own sockets, plaster shearing off the walls in sheets, Dermot and Declan, swallowing hard to keep their hot chicken wraps down, looking at eachother. Fuck.

The Shouter (5) < Part 5

stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter (3)

Link to the first in the series here

Fu-kin legends bai. Rumours and stories flit around the school like bats. Parish priest makes an announcement; ‘We are not sure what exactly happened in the local last Friday, but we ask that we, as a…. communitee, do not pass judgment on what looks to be two young lads working hard on the science’.

Barman, half a head of hair and covered in steri-strips, ‘sure lookit, it could put this place on de map!’. A village where everyone plays or listens to music.

A car pulls up the drive, two tweed suits get out, and crunch up to ask mammy where the ‘young fellas’ are. ‘The shed’.

Dermot, Declan, Tweedie Dum, Tweedie De, are a close fit in the shed. ‘Youse boys are running a pirate station, that’s illegal’. Dermot, who reads too much; ‘Akshually, you’re meant to make a citation in pursuance to the Broadcasting act of 2009’. Dead air. Dermot often causes silence, this was nothing new.

‘We’ve ben asked to approach yez around an opportunity’, ‘a certain company has said thy have an empty electronics lab there in city west, no strings attached’. ‘No stings me hole’. Phone number swapped. shoulders shrug and ‘sure why not’. Offer accepted that night.

Declan, who knows about sound, looking forwards to getting his hands on some better equipment. Dermot, who reads a lot; ‘No strings me hole’.

Part 4 -> The Shouter (4)

stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter (2)

The Shouter – Part 1

The bus, the way home, the ignominy. Two less than happy campers, Dermot and Declan stared glumly into their box of equipment. Their new invention, “The Shouter”, looked like a coke can on it’s side, wrapped in copper wire, sitting inside a poster tube. Maybe they should have painted it to make it look more… well, fancy. That said, haey knew why no one was impressed… they weren’t allowed turn The Shouter up! They couldn’t hear it!

A mind melding, brain scratching session ensued, how to let people hear the shouter. Like, really hear it. Declan, who knows about sound, knows a local band that plays in the local pub every local Friday. Dermot, who didn’t, thinks this is a great idea.

Friday. Pub with about three locals trying to ignore the ‘young lads’ messing around with the ancient PA system. Declan wiring up two prototype ‘Shouters’. Dermot allowed play with the mixing deck trying to see how much power they could feed in. The band tuning on stage, excited. They play this gig for fun, mostly, and free pints. Everyone in this town plays music. Or listens to it.

Declan, who knows about sound, decides to hold the “Shouters” in reserve, and lets the regular sound system work away for a while. Pub fills up, rock music kicks in. Everyone TALKING VERY LOUDLY to hear each-other. Dermot; signals to bassist who signals to drummer. Singer nods and takes a break. Dermot flicks the ‘on’ switch. The lights flicker a bit. Who cares? But, there is a definite hum in the air. Declan, who knows about sound, adds a filter, adjusts some sliders, and the hum gets softer.

Dermot is excited. He has been telling anyone who would listen, and many who didn’t, about The Shouter. Bored them half to death, but the word was out (the three locals who saw the setup, decided at this point, to “maybe head out for a shmoke”, “yep, mbby down the ways a bit”).

The crowd moved up to the stage. The song was ‘Killing in the name of’, it starts with a chwoooongggggg. It would be incorrect to say the place went silent, it was late Friday in a pub, halfway up a mountain in Wicklow. But there was a ceartain palpable potential in the air. The atmosphere was electric. Dermot was a good “hype man”.

The guitarist and bassist both chwoooongggggged.

– White pain then silence. Screams but no sound. Beer, Spirits and glass blizzarding. The pub, a deranged snowglobe shook hard by a giant. People crying, blood in their noses falling and twirling as Beer and Spirits and glass flurried over them.

A beautiful ringing starting to come out of the silence as ears decided it was time to start working again.

Declan, who knew about sound, turned to Dermot, both of them with the biggest grins possible plastered across their faces. It had worked! They had Heard!

Continued here: The Shouter (3). (I’m new at making this stuff public, so comments etc are welcome!)

stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter

‘That’s like a mule kickin ya’. ‘Jasus, its makin me feel sick’.

Dermot and Declan, one time participants in the annual ‘Young scientist competition’ held every year in Dublin, Ireland; unwittingly experimenting on themselves with a new speaker design…

‘You know regular speakers, they use elastic to bounce the cone back and forth’ Dermot wondered one day while not paying attention in Maths class, or was it Physics? ‘What if we, ya know, used a metal cylinder as a driver, and used an electromagnet to drive it in and out of a box’ sketch sketch sketch.

‘It would mean we could make it move very slowly even if it was small’. Declan, who knew about sound, was sceptical to say the least, but, did admit that the requirement of having a larger cone to vibrate more slowly to produce bass notes would not be required if one could maintain control of the objects position exactly; ‘We could even focus the output’.

Experimentation proceeded in the shed out the back of Declan’s house. This also happened to be the home of “Radio Wow”, the dance orientated pirate radio station blasting the airwaves (and many nearby unprotected electrical devices) ‘Wowing you out every Monday to Thursday after homework yowsa‘. While prototyping the new ‘speaker’ (at this point they wanted to call it a ‘Shouter’) with Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’; had made themselves feel very uncomfortable- ‘intestines weren’t built for shaking Dermot‘.

Success achieved, the Shouter could achieve any low frequency, and up to ultrasonic. The loudness was a function of how long the central cylinder was, and how much power they put into it.

With four of them stacked in a box, they could also make the sound pulse highly directional, and more importantly, focused.

Cue the event, Dermot and Declan set up their display at the Young Scientists. Sleepless nights proceeded, dreaming of just how impressed everyone would be, not just of the ‘Shouter’ as it was officially named, but also of their amazing choice of music which which they would demo it! Declan, who knew about sound, had worked on the playlist all week. Dermot, had thought just how impressed all the female young scientists might be, and did no work at all.

They were asked to turn it down after approximately 47 seconds.

The organisers were not impressed. Dermot and Declan were not impressed. The ‘growing edible mushrooms on poop’ young scientists from the stand directly across from them were not impressed; they were also quite pungent having gotten quite the fright as ‘Whole lot of Rosie’ by ACDC accidentally focussed on them while they were in the middle of a particularly delicate part of their display setup.

To be continued….. and perhaps edited….

The Shouter (2)