Visual Music: A Waveform Made of Vinyl Records, Benga Single, Inspired by Seeing Sound

Benga’s latest video was released early last month and made the blog rounds, but it’s worth considering as we continue our ongoing thread on visual music and how sound can go from invisible to tangible. A stunning video whets fans appetite for the upcoming Benga full-length Chapter 2, constructing a wave shape in physical form as a series of vinyl records. Using some 960 hand-cut vinyl records, the track’s waveform materializes in stop motion-filmed animation. Physical as it may be, the inspiration, say the creative team, was SoundCloud. UK-based creative team Us, consisting of Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor, explain:


From Sounds to Wave Patterns to iPhone Cases, a Design Made from Footsteps

Adorn your iPhone with audio, courtesy 3D printers Shapeways and an unusual use of the SoundCloud API to get at the data. The content we watch on the Internet is, ultimately, just data. We view that data in fairly narrow, conventional ways, but there’s no reason that has to be the limit. In one of the more novel applications of the API for audio-storing service SoundCloud, one 3D printer is happily turning your music tracks and recordings into custom iPhone cases, each uniquely based on the waveform of your sounds. This week in Austin at South by Southwest, SoundCloud was …


Extreme Time-stretched Hamsterdance and Free and Open Source Sound Treasures

Before Bieber, there was Hamsterdance – what in 1998 counted for viral on the Internet. In today’s ever-geekier times, even obscure sound software can go viral. Photo (CC-BY) twodolla / Wendy. In this age of the 24-hour news cycle and instant publication of stories, sometimes it’s good to slow down and wait. And thus, while for whatever reason I didn’t get around to mentioning the extreme audio stretching of a certain Justin Bieber track (see Synthtopia), I can’t let an ethereal, ambient reworking of 1998 Internet hit Hamsterdance go unnoticed, here shared on SoundCloud. As it happens, while folks have …


The Speaking Piano, and Transforming Audio to MIDI

Austrian Composer Peter Ablinger has transformed a child speaking so that it can be played as MIDI events on a mechanically-controlled piano, making the piano a kind of speech speaker. Via Matrixsynth, the readers at Hack a Day get fairly involved with how this may be working. It seems not quite accurate to describe this as vocoding in the strictest sense, so much as a simple transformation to a (much) lower frequency resolution – that is, the 88 keys of the piano. Ablinger, for his part, describes the events as “pixels.” It’s pretty extraordinary that without a bandpass filter, you …


VisualVox Polyphonic Tone Manipulation: The Indie, EUR25 Celemony?

Sonic scientist Peter Neubäcker of Melodyne has been wowing Internet audiences for some time with the automagical powers of the company’s Direct Note Access (DNA). The vision: manipulate individual pitches as easily as MIDI notes, even in polyphonic passages of a single instrument. At NAMM last month, the company showed the first product, Melodyne editor, due to ship in the spring for US/EUR 349. There’s just one little catch: a solo developer has beaten them to the punch, at least prior to them shipping their DNA flagship editor tool. And if you want it right now, it’s yours for 25 …


Muon: Spectacularly Beautiful Speakers, with Gorgeous Sonic Visualization in Processing

The Speakers and Processing-coded visualization got a fittingly-lovely venue in Italy. Photo by Chris O’Shea, via Flickr. Looks can be a powerful agent for changing how we think about sound. Pairing liquid, organic speakers with equally fluid and dynamic visualizations, the launch of Muon last month in Italy made this principle readily apparent. I’m all about lo-fi, cheap gear here on CDM, but if you absolutely must launch luxurious aluminum speakers with spectacular animated visuals at a posh party in an Italian salon, I sure won’t complain. Pass the prosecco, please? This short YouTube video gives you an idea of …