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Experimental: The sound made when you import a binary file into an audio app

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  • Experimental: The sound made when you import a binary file into an audio app

    This could provide an interesting sound source for dark ambient/industrial artists:

    http://stereoklang.se/blog/experimen...o-an-audio-app



    I gave this a brief try on my Mac using Audacity, but I didn't have any luck being able to Import the Raw Data. Audacity does seem to have the ability to do so as there are dialogs to select Raw Data vs Audio or MIDI. And it has dialogs to selects the sample rate, mono/stereo, etc. but nothing appears in the track that is created...
    This would be fun if you can get it to work - especially processing with various DSP.

  • #2
    My ears are bleeding!
    Very interesting technique, a creative soul could do a lot with it.
    http://jimgrahammusic.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Might give that a go when I get home. If I can get it working that is.
      https://soundcloud.com/ian-haygreen
      https://ianhaygreen.bandcamp.com/

      Comment


      • #5
        Listening to these, so far I like the third one...opto-digital elephant talk

        Comment


        • #6
          Many years ago I tried the opposite route. The Commodore64 used to use a cassette drive and I tried putting recorded tapes in it and seeing what happened.

          Nothing worthy of interest, usually just a couple of random characters on the screen.

          Certainly less expressive than the fabric (or paper) discs I'd put on record turntables.

          From the point of view of someone who does not code, it seemed interesting to me it started and ended with a variety of things, but the central part seemed to be more or less consistent. That may not surprise those who understand how files are structured, though.
          Last edited by aoVI; 03-17-2015, 03:54 PM.

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          • #7
            funny...ive been trying this out myself the past couple of days. ive been using audacity...and so far i havent been having much luck. seems 9 times out of 10 all i get static like white noise. the times where i get some kind of variation are all too similar. im sure its just a matter of i just dont know what the import selections really do. it also seems like some file types are better than others...maybe.

            i did come across this page: http://zhangjw.bai-hua.org/audio_test8.html that produces some interesting results. however its really buggy on my computer...crashes my browser a lot and the files downloaded dont produce any audio, i can only hear anything if i select "demo sound".

            over all its an interesting concept...but i havent found a way to make it useful enough to me for the time spent on it.

            edit - lol...im a dope....the demo sound isnt a demo of what you upload...its always the same.
            Last edited by chaosWyrM; 03-18-2015, 04:01 PM.
            http://chaoswyrm.com
            http://soundcloud.com/chaoswyrm

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by chaosWyrM View Post
              funny...ive been trying this out myself the past couple of days. ive been using audacity...and so far i havent been having much luck. seems 9 times out of 10 all i get static like white noise. the times where i get some kind of variation are all too similar. im sure its just a matter of i just dont know what the import selections really do. it also seems like some file types are better than others...maybe.
              You are not doing anything wrong. 9 times out of 10 you do only get static....
              However, some files are 'guaranteed' results:
              The easiest type is PICTURES.
              - Repeating patters should work well (and muchg better than your holiday photos!) so go to the internet and grab a few background textures.
              - Fractal files are also likely to produce interesting results, so grab a few of those also.
              - Open them in a graphics editor (the Microsoft Paint that comes with Windows will do fine for what we need). Save the pictures as bitmap format (.bmp).
              - The typical compressed file formats (JPEG, GIF, etc) are (more) likely to produce only white noise but bmps allways sound interesting (unless they are a plain colour or some other really boring picture).

              Of course, once you have done this, you also open the possibility to manipulate pictures in a graphics editor and create variations...

              Anyway, bpms should be interesting regardless of import parameters in Audacity. But do experiment with different parameters (normally you obtain very different sound results).

              Ahhh.... and keep volumes low! - these sounds tend to be ear-piercing, brain-melting and downright nasty!

              Good luck !

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by AlienXXX View Post
                Originally posted by chaosWyrM View Post
                funny...ive been trying this out myself the past couple of days. ive been using audacity...and so far i havent been having much luck. seems 9 times out of 10 all i get static like white noise. the times where i get some kind of variation are all too similar. im sure its just a matter of i just dont know what the import selections really do. it also seems like some file types are better than others...maybe.
                You are not doing anything wrong. 9 times out of 10 you do only get static....
                However, some files are 'guaranteed' results:
                The easiest type is PICTURES.
                - Repeating patters should work well (and muchg better than your holiday photos!) so go to the internet and grab a few background textures.
                - Fractal files are also likely to produce interesting results, so grab a few of those also.
                - Open them in a graphics editor (the Microsoft Paint that comes with Windows will do fine for what we need). Save the pictures as bitmap format (.bmp).
                - The typical compressed file formats (JPEG, GIF, etc) are (more) likely to produce only white noise but bmps allways sound interesting (unless they are a plain colour or some other really boring picture).

                Of course, once you have done this, you also open the possibility to manipulate pictures in a graphics editor and create variations...

                Anyway, bpms should be interesting regardless of import parameters in Audacity. But do experiment with different parameters (normally you obtain very different sound results).

                Ahhh.... and keep volumes low! - these sounds tend to be ear-piercing, brain-melting and downright nasty!

                Good luck !
                cool! thanks for the advice. i make a lot of fractals and thats what i was mostly trying to use...and those were what were giving me the most trouble...every one was static. buuuutttt...i was not converting them to .bmp first. ill try that tonight. thanks again!
                http://chaoswyrm.com
                http://soundcloud.com/chaoswyrm

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by chaosWyrM View Post
                  Originally posted by AlienXXX View Post
                  Originally posted by chaosWyrM View Post
                  funny...ive been trying this out myself the past couple of days. ive been using audacity...and so far i havent been having much luck. seems 9 times out of 10 all i get static like white noise. the times where i get some kind of variation are all too similar. im sure its just a matter of i just dont know what the import selections really do. it also seems like some file types are better than others...maybe.
                  You are not doing anything wrong. 9 times out of 10 you do only get static....
                  However, some files are 'guaranteed' results:
                  The easiest type is PICTURES.
                  - Repeating patters should work well (and muchg better than your holiday photos!) so go to the internet and grab a few background textures.
                  - Fractal files are also likely to produce interesting results, so grab a few of those also.
                  - Open them in a graphics editor (the Microsoft Paint that comes with Windows will do fine for what we need). Save the pictures as bitmap format (.bmp).
                  - The typical compressed file formats (JPEG, GIF, etc) are (more) likely to produce only white noise but bmps allways sound interesting (unless they are a plain colour or some other really boring picture).

                  Of course, once you have done this, you also open the possibility to manipulate pictures in a graphics editor and create variations...

                  Anyway, bpms should be interesting regardless of import parameters in Audacity. But do experiment with different parameters (normally you obtain very different sound results).

                  Ahhh.... and keep volumes low! - these sounds tend to be ear-piercing, brain-melting and downright nasty!

                  Good luck !
                  cool! thanks for the advice. i make a lot of fractals and thats what i was mostly trying to use...and those were what were giving me the most trouble...every one was static. buuuutttt...i was not converting them to .bmp first. ill try that tonight. thanks again!
                  let us know how that works for you! I want to try this again.And thanks to alienXXX for your input!!!

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Metadronos (a.k.a. Trebblofang @ Freesound) and others have been uploading sounds to freesound using this technique for years. As well as other image-to-sound techniques.
                    I advise anyone interested to run a few searches at Freesound: image-to-sound, file-hacking, bmp-to-sound, picture-to-sound...

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      As the old saying goes: "Garbage in. Garbage out."

                      Why not just import some good sounds and then mutilate those?

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Jack Hertz View Post
                        As the old saying goes: "Garbage in. Garbage out."
                        Why not just import some good sounds and then mutilate those?
                        This kind of technique is not for everyone. And certainly not to everyone's taste. I have done it a few times. Even started doing it back in the days of the Amiga computers (I am talking late 80s to early 90s).
                        On the PC I have experimented with this technique maybe about 3 times, playing with it for 2 or 3 days at a time. There is a gap of several years between each of these sessions...
                        So I would not say it is a technique I use often. I tend to get bored after a bit.

                        The point is: it is a tool. Try it, see if you like it. If you don't like it move on to something else.

                        As a technique, it is uncontrollable. You get what you get. You have no idea what a particular file will sound like.
                        Some people like this kind of 'no control' some people hate it.
                        But the fact is: you might stumble across a sound you would have never created yourself.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          A bit on the side, the old ZX Spectrum programs saved on audio cassette... all the digital information via hair-raising modulated encoding leading to a characteristic, and nostalgia-inducing, sound sequence... It can drive one up the wall, and pity I don't have any of those cassettes any more... I should have digitised some
                          http://levente.bandcamp.com/
                          http://levente.fourfour.com/discography
                          https://soundcloud.com/levente-toth-2
                          http://routenote.com/r/Levente

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Jack Hertz View Post
                            As the old saying goes: "Garbage in. Garbage out."

                            Why not just import some good sounds and then mutilate those?
                            Until you've listened to a sound, how do you know whether it is 'good' or not? All this is, is looking for 'good sounds'. Not unlike Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry looking for 'good' sounds within their acetates and tapes, whilst inculcating the notion of musique concrete.


                            This is effectively databending, and thus has plenty of precedent.

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Databending

                            We are allowed our own interpretation of 'good sound' arent we?
                            ObSC : http://soundcloud.com/viablehybrid

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