368: Bass

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And sometimes I use it to retaliate against the guy upstairs with the loud girlfriend and the elliptical dish.
Title text: And sometimes I use it to retaliate against the guy upstairs with the loud girlfriend and the elliptical dish.


Black Hat and Cueball are standing inside a room behind a window hearing an obnoxious car outside playing loud music with deep bass. Black Hat, owing to his destructive nature, has created a machine that is able to blow out the car's speakers. The machine evidently does this by playing the same soundwaves back at the car but with the phase slightly offset, tuning the phase difference to create a resonance in the car's speakers big enough for them to destroy themselves. In a stroke of evil, he then starts playing Shirley Ellis' The Name Game to show how annoying the man was acting. Cueball is horrified by this act of evil, as Black Hat carries on into the song Macarena.

The title text refers to comic 316: Loud Sex, where an elliptical reflector is used to focus sound waves from a couple having sex. Black Hat obviously gets annoyed by this and sometimes uses his machine to retaliate.


[Black Hat and Cueball are standing in a room with one window. Black Hat is pushing a box with an elliptical dish on top towards the window.]
Cueball: The bass from that car is driving me nuts.
Black Hat: Me too. Give me a hand here.
[The dish is aimed out the window; Black Hat plugs the device into the wall.]
Cueball: I'm afraid to ask.
Black Hat: The system detects bass rhythms and floods the target with a phase-shifted replica signal.
Black Hat: The resonance should blow out their speakers.
[The side of a building. The dish of the device is visible through a window, emitting sound waves.]
[Back in the room.]
Black Hat: Speakers down. Now flip that red switch.
[Cueball does so with a "click."]
[Back to the outside view, more sound waves.]
Cueball: You're horrifying.
Black Hat: Okay, now throw the switch labeled "Macarena".

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Okay, I have to ask this, and this as good a place as any. Am I the only one who reads Black Hat (and Danish) with an affected English accent? Anonymous 21:04, 3 December 2013 (UTC) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Talk to someone in Scotland, and then some Australian, South African and finally compare Texas with LA and NY, or the London suburbs. English is still not easy, especially for non native speakers. But Black Hat and Danish are quite sure talking at some American English slangs. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:25, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Firstly, is this destructive resonance thing actually possible for car speakers? (note: don't worry, I'm not going to try this myself, just wondering)... secondly, I hadn't thought about accents before. I'm English but all the characters have my own internal voice... maybe I should put some effort in and give them all different accents (wouldn't know which accents but the aforementioned affected-english for Black Hat doesn't work in my head, as good as that suggestion was). Squirreltape (talk) 14:38, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

This is more of a theoretical scenario I guess. Fatal resonances usually builds up on a naturally repeating signal. Most music isn't that repetitive, but maybe the bass line is, which carries some momentum. If the loudspeaker elements are pushed close to their max, adding to their energy might be enough, but this energy doesn't get time to build up so it can't really be called resonance IMO. Todor (talk) 19:11, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Would this actually work though? I'm wondering what the phase-shift would have to be for the resonance to blow out the speakers, or could you just play a song with inverse sound waves in order to cancel them out? 17:16, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Maybe I should clarify: I am American and, in my part at least, British accents are considered "snooty" and "superior", a trope Black Hat would gladly take advantage of, as would Danish, for they do consider themselves vastly superior the "commoners" and "plebs" around them (why else would they be so casually sadistic?) YMMV on the stereotypes, but that is the one I am familiar with and the one I assume they use. That said I, personally, do not think the British themselves are "snooty", but am guilty of affecting such an accent when feeling snootily sarcastic. Anonymous 08:02, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I didnt have an accent in my head for these stick figures, but now i have them talking like the people from "i love lucy," with black sounding like fred mertz. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Okej, he says to throw the switch labelled "Macarina", but it doesn't say that that's actually what it does. This is Black Hat we're talking about. I wouldn't trust his labeling if I were you. 00:59, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

How would the machine work against the loud girlfriend/elliptical dish? It seems to me that creating a phase-shifted replica of her moans would be pretty much impossible. If it were, what would the resonance do, blow out the girlfriend's lungs? How would that feel to her? -- 21:37, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Possibly for destroying the elliptical dish. The problem this machine would not resonate with the elliptical but the GF as you stated. Maybe he just uses it to play annoying songs at them. -- Flewk (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
It would also have to be positioned perfectly in the elliptical dish' focal point to even work reflecting sounds back to her. Todor (talk) 19:11, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

I can’t help but wonder, why is Cueball so willingly helping Black Hat to accomplish his diabolical scheme? And then he follows up by commenting on how horrifying Black Hat’s actions are. So is it just because he’s so annoyed by the car speakers, or is Black Hat somehow coercing him into doing his bidding? 20:41, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

i dont understand how this works and its scaring me a lot. can someone please explain what all this stuff in the comic means? i dont want my speakers to break. Squishmallow fan (talk) 22:41, 6 February 2024 (UTC)

Step 1: Don't annoy Black Hat.
Step 2: ...
Step 3: Profit!? (Or at least have less chance of your speakers breaking.)
(As to how it works... Well, it needs technical cleverness at Black Hat level.) 23:04, 6 February 2024 (UTC)