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Lo-Fi ATC (lofiatc.com)
396 points by blerb795 82 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 82 comments

This reminds me of SomaFM's 1033 which plays music overlaid with SF public safety radio traffic.

[1]: https://somafm.com/player/#/now-playing/sf1033

It reminds me more of SomaFM's Mission Control[1], which plays music overlaid with NASA mission audio.

[1] https://somafm.com/missioncontrol/

For anyone who enjoyed that one, I can also recommend Public Service Broadcasting's The Race for Space [1] which does something similar.

[1] https://publicservicebroadcasting.bandcamp.com/album/the-rac...

There's also "You're listening to": http://youarelistening.to/

Oh, Soma FM..

Brilliant. I’m someone who has lofi playing most of the day at work or at home in the calmer times. I use an old JBL Bluetooth speaker that i found on the side of the road. Must be 10 years old. It distorts a bit at 75% volume which I like. The whole thing sounds lofi and beaten up.

I loaded this site and it just naturally fit in. I got Hawaii airport. I just felt like I was in the tower. The music was just how I was playing but now I’ve got beautiful lofi air controller audio. Thank you very much

The chilling to lofi and boring radio messages may suddenly be interruped by "mayday, mayday, mayday, ...". Be prepared.

beautifully written as it paints a picture in my mind

For me the picture is Pilotwings 64.

Might have to give that a play tonight while listening to some lofi :)

Kinda shitty to not even credit liveatc.net anywhere on the site while directly streaming their feed.

The speaker or broadcast symbol just above right of the the airport code in the middle takes the user straight there.

This is great. Wish it had more international airports (could only find US and canada)

edit: I see you can request them since they are added manually

Cool, hope the poor site author is not deluged with too many requests from us HN nerds outside the US (I already put in a bid for Zurich and Geneva, if that saves on duplicate requests...)

I understand the feeds come from LiveATC, which has a FAQ answer explaining why UK feeds are legally forbidden [0]. Anyone happen to know why there are no German/Austrian airports on LiveATC [1], is it a similar legal issue?

[0] https://www.liveatc.net/faq/ [1] https://www.liveatc.net/feedindex.php?type=international-eu

According to wikipedia [0], ATC in Germany is subject to the Fernmeldegeheimnis [1]. It’s the same law that protects snail mail and other communications. Anyone who wants to even listen to ATC has to be certified [2], and then has to comply with that law.

[0] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flugfunk [1] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernmeldegeheimnis [2] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprechfunkzeugnis_(Luftfahrt)

One major exception is that you can listen to air band from a car if you're doing so in order to be able to retrieve a balloon, glider (sailplane) or other recreational aircraft.

(husband is a glider pilot who makes an "outside landing" every couple of years)

It's also protected in Germany by Datenschutz I believe.

The UK (maybe even all EU) ATC traffic frequencies arent allowed to be braodcast publically

I got Tokyo Approach by default

RJAA for anyone curious

Nice. Is there a way to get local time displayed somewhere on the site?

If you like this you might like the song Contact by daft punk https://open.spotify.com/track/2KHRENHQzTIQ001nlP9Gdc

Ah ! This album !

I was a huge fan of Daft Punk and I bought that disc day one.

Well, I totally hated it when I first listened to it.

It was probably too different from their previous work.

Still, I listened it again, not that terrible. Again, actually pretty cool. Again, incredible. And after multiple listenings, I finally accepted that, at least to me, it was just a masterpiece and I totally missed it.

And now, already a decade later, I have a strong feeling of nostalgia every time I stumble upon it and it’s one of my favorite music albums ever.

Still, I cannot describe why I love it so much. It just talks to me.

I wouldn’t even recommend it nowadays because if you are like me, you’ll not appreciate it by listening to it once on Spotify.

Or maybe I’m wrong, it’s just awesome and I was the one having a block. In this case, I’d recommend you to avoid listening to this track or this track but go for the full album because it was totally made like a full art piece.

And it’s actually a nice album to listen in background.


It's absolutely a masterpiece. There's no small amount of irony that THIS is the album that shows them to be Human After All, considering just how much live-action instrumentation is on this album. It demonstrated this flexibility and scope that their typical pure genius sampling hadn't necessarily ascended to.

My favorite track is almost certainly Moroder. What a thing to gift us: a brief autobiography/biopic from the grandfather of electronic music himself, explaining how he came to create the ancestor sounds of what we're listening to... and then on top of which some of the goddamn best drums (and real drums, to boot) and just an absolute banger.

Couple that with Nile Rogers appearing multiple times with some of the best guitar licks... the genius of Contact, building this narrative of an alien from Apollo 17 recordings... and the beautifully textured... almost "chunky" Motherboard. Man, this album is great. I really love Daft Punk.

Daft Punk and Gorillaz do that to me.

First listen of new albums, it's a no.

Then with each and every listen, it gets better and better.

I have no idea why that is.

This is exactly how this album unfolded for me too

> Audio streams may not be used in any third-party products.

Says the source that seems to be https://www.liveatc.net

Looks like you're right, this is breaking their TOS:

>4) Since there are only limited numbers of connections available for streams, and because the site is funded through advertising and donations, you agree to consult LiveATC.net prior to linking directly to any of the audio streams. When you do link you agree to give credit to LiveATC.net with a prominent link to www.liveatc.net.

Not nice.

>you agree to consult LiveATC.net prior to linking directly to any of the audio streams

Why jump to that conclusion? She could have consulted with them while building this.

I would hope crediting and/or linking LiveATC would be a part of such an agreement. More likely, they are breaking TOS.

There is a link to LiveATC. It isn't clearly labeled, but that isn't required in the TOS and since this site has been up since at least November of 2021, I expect they're fine with it.

Since the music is used without permission, it's reasonable to assume that the liveatc stream is as well.

I went to the link the music was playing from and it says

> This music is free to use for your videos/livestreams

So I don't know if we can assume either the music or the ATC stream is being used without permission.

It could be but without explicit credits one shouldn't wonder when others do question this assumption.

Suggestion: volume mixer for the two tracks. That said, awesome mashup. Similar to myNoise B29 noise generator with unintelligible comms.

There is a volume mixer; see the button 'Settings' in the top-right corner.

Ah I see, it doesn't load on mobile view.


Great work, love this!

I like this to an unreasonable degree. Really nicely done.

The music currently playing (Kurt Stewart x Lomme – Window Seat) takes me back to this video https://youtu.be/6KRZEZTTcWk?t=555 , from the cockpit of a SWISS flight (Shanghai to Zürich) flying over Kazahkstan ("Middle East" seems to be a mistranslation)

That entire video is wonderful.

The segment on alternate routes (avoiding 5000m mountains, and staying below 3000m?) in case of decompression was quite interesting. Of course, in darkness and bad weather, it sounds terrifying.

This is surprisingly soothing, great concept for background white noise!

This is awesome.

How would something like this she made? I had a similar idea (but mixing entirely different types of streams) and did a whole bunch of searching and couldn’t find a way to mix two external streams.

Do you record/buffer the streams and write local chunks to stream from? Or is it more like “bounce this stream but mix some local audio files over it”?

I guess you could always play two streams at once and let the users audio device sort it out.

That's exactly what is happening here. There are two audio streams played by your browser, one being an mp3 file on the server (the lofi track) and the other coming from liveatc.net.

You have to decode both streams into straight samples and add them together, this can be done with a small memory buffer.

You could also make a custom audio widget that played two streams at once and the local audio mixer will handle it.

What is the license of ATC audio? This could easily be made into an amazing repository for lo-fi music creators.

No license. It's public domain.

And without an inkling of feeling hyperbolic, I said “I can’t imagine anyone disliking this.”

This reminds me of the chorus of "Rockets on the Battlefield" Kool Keith/Black Elvis

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP6EK9ydDUs#t=1m20s

This is interesting, I could hear controller and pilot talking. But they had some sort of stereo-separation! Pilot was to the left and tower to the right. Thats not possible, is it? I assume the audio is mono in real life.

LiveATC often mixes multiple feeds for one airport (out of tower, ground, approach etc) into a stereo stream with one feed in each channel so you can listen to more than one frequency at once

All the x.y multi-speaker configurations are missing a "top" speaker. Why hasn't anyone invented that yet?

For the recording, with the ground transmitter stationary, it could be separated by one receiver shilded to look at only the ground transmitter, and a second omni-directional one for anything flying.

The human ear doesn't really have the ability to determine the height of a source reliably, only left/right. A better effect might be putting the audio out of phase on left/right, which usually has the effect of making it difficult to hear where the sound is coming from (it kind of makes it sound like it's omnidirectional like you mentioned)

I mean, why can’t the ATC streamer mix the audio sources into stereo?

it might pan the audio side to side each time there is silence just for effect.

Feeds are from liveatc.net but looks like only some are available.


This is great. As someone who enjoys the aviation industry and needs something to listen to while I work, its nice to have two things to be used at the same time.

I've been using this now since it was posted but I'm realizing that it often stops the music (Safari), once I visit the tab again it continues playing.


Edit: Now that I switched to the tab I could see for brief second a "Music could not load, try refreshing" message flash. After a brief moment it started playing again.

Great job! I love this idea.

In fact, I love it so much that I could not resist trying to implement it with two running mpv instances: https://github.com/phazus/lofiatc.sh

Big fan of lofi. I don't get this, why would you want air traffic chatter at the same time?

Same reason people listen to coffee shop chatter as background noise, or keep the tv running.

I listen to local approach and departures when I'm in the car. I can hear ground too if I'm close to the airport. I find it really soothing.

if you enjoy this you might also enjoy http://listentothe.cloud/

Very nice. Thank you.

This is fantastic- somehow works so perfectly as background noise for working in my home office.

this seems especially great with KBOS for some reason. kudos to the creator.


Guessing you're a pilot? This is my new go-to background noise. :)

I'm not the creator of this site, but the creator (who showed me this a few months ago) is indeed a pilot!

Would be nice mash with the OG lofi: Music for Airports by Brian Eno

This concept reminds me of the intro to Sublime - April 29, 1992.

looks like there's no ATC coverage in my area by anyone... what would be the best (and cheapest lol) way to broadcast my local airport?



If you want to stream to liveatc, they’ll work with you to establish a receiver that ships packets to their reflector. Very low bandwidth, just have to have a spot to host the RF gear.

oh awesome, thank you! I shall have a look into this :)

edit: how important would antenna placement be? I assume it's not just like receiving an commericial FM music station signal in a building eh? I could mount it on the roof; but setting up a big mast would be an issue landlord wise! "As the crow flies" I'm fairly close to the airport

Should be fine to do an interior antenna at the distances you’re talking. Enjoy!

Sweet! Thanks so much :)

Half the transmissions come from airplanes, rather than the tower, so signal distance and strength will vary.

Any airborne aircraft are easy to hear, due to line of sight.

The tower and anyone on the ground are usually the trickiest signals to receive unless you're close to the airport.

Line of sight, so you'll probably pick up the planes fine but not the controllers.

this is so weird but I love it


Maybe you should become an ATC if you're that fascinated from listening to it

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