For this project, I used a ton of different samples and sounds. My main samples are from Peter Gabriel’s Big Time, and Huey Lewis & The News’ Hip to be Square. I also took some samples from the movie American Psycho of Christian Bale speaking.
The program I used is called MuLab, and also causes occasional white noise over the rest of the audio, as it is a free program. I paulstretched both songs to around 69.6 bpm, and then pitch shifted them both down 6 semitones. I then added some EQ’d drums over Big Time. The drum samples I got mostly from Alex’s sounds. I automated a distortion to ramp up from the beginning. I added some effect called a “spiral echo” on the vocal sample of Christian Bale saying “I’m just a happy camper”, and automated the pitch direction of that echo. There is a grain synthesis module for MuLab, but it is difficult to use. I recorded myself messing with the grain synthesis to start with a really low grain rate then increasing towards the middle of Big Time, then decrease playback speed by a ton. I used a comb bass filter hit, pitched it a bunch after the grain synthesis on Bit Time and added a really low noise over Christian Bale freaking out over Paul Allen’s business card. I really liked how this turned out, it sounds way different and much more personal than the rest of the track. The final section includes a slowed down version of Hip to be Square that has the “Happy Camper” sample again.
Everything has EQ on it, the master output has compression running.
The general concept to this piece follows the facade of Patrick Bateman’s seemingly perfect life, but he can’t cope with being perceived as normal for that long. As in the movie, Bateman then has a moment where he loses it slightly in the business card scene, then continues with his attempt at fitting in for the rest of the piece.
I made a PD patch that randomly changes the reverb dry level and volume mixed in with the dry mix. This is my patch.
This is the phase vocoder I built for my presentation. It slows things down pretty well. It uses a STFT (Short Time Fourier Transform) to grab a variable number of samples at a time, compute the STFT, and mess with the phase matrix accordingly to change the perceived pitch and playback rate of the original audio. The main thing that is cool here is the Paul Stretch algorithm is implemented which randomizes the phase going back into the STFT so you don’t hear any LFO when you slow things down with an STFT algorithm that accumulates phase. It sounds weird when you don’t slow it down, but that is supposed to happen. I included the max patch in this post, please let me know if you have any questions or want to mess with it at all.
I’ve never seen this done in real time, which is my favorite part about this project. You can create variable slowdown speeds with this, and even freeze the playback if you want which kind of acts like a permanent sustain.
Viewing Golan Levin’s presentation was refreshing. It is always nice to take a step back from working in a very specific field or genre and to take in different flavors of the art. I had never given visual aspects of music much serious thought, and Golan’s collection of personal experiences and youtube videos gave me some serious perspective into how Golan thinks about the interaction between sound and visuals.
The historical aspect was interesting in particular to me; I did not know previously that waveforms could be printed and read with film without a digital or magnetic interface. I can appreciate a little bit more the convenience of being able to shape waveforms how I choose on the computer with fancy programs.
Lissajous patterns on oscilloscopes are incredibly fun to watch. They are made twice as interesting because of the nutty amount of testing and detail that goes in to create certain aesthetics. I bet some of the formulas for making a shape of a face or a car take up dozens of exponents, coefficients, and sinusoidal functions. It makes you think, maybe these images can be mathematically derived with a program? Is it possible that some of these artists have created these patterns as images first?
After some research, I found out that the guy who does “Oscilloscope Music” videos does a lot of his work with PureData, or at least a lot of simpler shapes. I can’t find out if he does use a software to convert images to sound, but he does reference this software which is currently in development to change 3D models into sound.
This is such a crazy way of creating music, but very cool.