pig-monkey.com

You are currently viewing all posts tagged with audio.

Holly Herndon composes music with machine learning.

I learned of her thanks to Bruce Sterling‘s mention in his 2020 State of the World, wherein he defines her music one of the few current examples of “genuine technical novelty”.

She used machine learning to train a program (referring to it as “AI” seems popular but I’ll refrain) that could reproduce human voices, and then used that software as a vocalist for PROTO. Neat.

This post was published on . It was tagged with micro, audio, media.

Around the turn of the century there was an ambient music transmission called Blue Mars.

It and Rant Radio Industrial were important sources of music in the early days of streaming. Blue Mars described itself as Music for the Space Traveller:

Long ago, when the waters of Mars were still under the ground and above the sky, our ancestors came to this place and called it “Home”. And from the high Plains of Tharsis to the Elysium Ocean, from as high as Mount Olympus to as deep as the floor of the Hellas sea, one can still hear the song of our brothers and sisters chanting to us throughout the ages.

This melody is one that is made of hopes… It is sang with the voice of nostalgia, and looks ahead with pride. Listen…

Blue Mars: Signal Lost

The transmission ceased some years ago. For a time, recordings of the stream were rebroadcast at a site called Echoes of Blue Mars, but that too seems to have come to an end. Recently I stumbled across someone who had created YouTube playlists of much of the original music.

There are also playlists for Blue Mars’ two alternative stations. Cryosleep, which was described:

Most people who underwent cryosleep have reported that the mind seems to naturally retreat into a place of infinite tranquility, where the experience of Time itself is distorted in a subtle way.

Although there is no trace of conscious activity in the brain of sleepers, it appears that Experience itself never ceases, creating atemporals bubbles of memories of transcendental calm when the subject awakes.

It may be possible that chemicals used in the cryosleep process alter the outer cortex in a way that is not yet understood, however we believe cryosleep is a perfectly safe means of interstellar travel.

And Voices from Within, explained:

In these days of stellar explorations, encountering alien lifeforms is the dream of many space-travellers, but Language will always hinder the realization of the full potential of such an event.

Thus, Voices from Within tries to prepare cosmonauts for the experience by focusing on the abandonment of Words in favor of Vibrations, which, being uniquely suited to channel your Emotions, will usher Comprehension into the Mind of your new alien friends.

  • Blue Mars: Cryosleep
  • Blue Mars: Voices from Within

This post was published on . It was tagged with micro, audio, media.

Delta Drone

Last year BoingBoing linked to a video featuring delta waves produced by the idling engine of an ice breaker in the arctic. I found it to be a useful tool, so downloaded it for offline access. Later, I decided I wanted the audio on my phone. The video is a 10 hour loop, resulting in too large a file for mobile storage. To turn it into something reasonable for a phone, I used ffmpeg to extract the audio, chop it down to 3 hours, and add a 10 second fade on either end.

$ ffmpeg \
    -i ~/library/video/web/White\ Noise\ Sounds\ of\ Frozen\ Arctic\ Ocean\ with\ Polar\ Icebreaker\ Idling\ -\ Creating\ Delta\ Waves-gpW7iYfuGDU.webm \
    -vn \
    -ss 00:00:00 \
    -t 03:00:00 \
    -af afade=in:st=0:d=10,afade=out:st=10790:d=10 \
    ~/library/audio/misc/soundscape/arctic_white_noise.mp3

I then added ID3 tags from the metadata of the original video.

$ id3tag \
    --artist="Relax Sleep ASMR" \
    --song="White Noise Sounds of Frozen Arctic Ocean with Polar Icebreaker Idling - Creating Delta Waves" \
    --year=2017 \
    ~/library/audio/misc/soundscape/arctic_white_noise.mp3

The result is a 165 MB file of loopable delta waves, perfect for drowning out the world.

The original video has since been deleted (a reminder to download any data that you find to be useful), but is available at the Internet Archive.

Delta Waves

The above spectrogram of the file is produced by Spek.

This post was published on . It was tagged with audio, sleep, shell.

The score to Blade Runner 2049 failed to live up to the original, and is the only thing that prevented me from scoring the film 10/10.

But as an ambient soundscape, it excels. The soundscape creator wrote about his experience cutting, slowing, and mixing the score. I keep a copy of his audio on my phone and play it whenever I need white noise – concentration, meditation, sleep. It proved excellent on an airplane a couple weeks ago.

Ambiance

Luv loop via reddit.

This post was published on . It was tagged with micro, audio, media.

The Axolotl Tanks

I’ve been using an isolation tank every few weeks since the beginning of the year. The tanks are large, enclosed bathtubs, filled with body-temperature salt water, in which you float and not much else.

Before my first float I wasn’t sure if claustrophobia would be a problem. I’d never experienced claustrophobia, but I’d never enclosed myself in a bathtub before either. What I was missing here is the key component of the experience: sensory deprivation. With the tank closed, there’s no light, and the tank is large enough that I don’t touch the sides. Without any incoming data telling you that you’re in a small tank, you could be in an Olympic-sized pool, or simply floating through space.

There are odd an unusual claims about the benefits of isolation tanks which match the odd and unusual experience of the tanks themselves. To me, the tank is just a venue for meditation. It eliminates distraction, making the process a bit easier, but does not offer any additional benefits of its own. (Telekinesis has yet to manifest.) If you are not comfortable in your own head, you won’t have a good time.

I enjoy playing music during my sessions, sometimes for the whole hour, more often just for the first and last 15 minutes. Ambient textures are best, as anything with a beat requires too much attention. I tune in to SomaFM’s Drone Zone every now and then, which usually ends with at least one new purchase that I’ll queue up for the next tank session. Tom Heasley’s Where The Earth Meets the Sky and Massergy’s The Vast Colure have recently been useful. I’ll also sometimes go a less electronic route, opting for chanting from Gyuto or Georgian monks. It should go without saying that I’ve tried ending a session with Akira’s Requiem.

Isolation Tank

This post was published on . It was tagged with health, audio.

Didgeridoo Dreaming

For the past couple weeks I’ve been listening to Didgeridoo Dreaming: Aboriginal Spiritual Music. It’s an excellent two-disc set of didgeridoo, clapping sticks, and chanting. I think it’s much more conductive to inducing trance than any modern electronic music I’ve heard, even Shpongle.

(And the guy on the cover is hardcore.)

This post was published on . It was modified on . It was tagged with audio.