CD Mosaics

Have a look at these awesome mosaics of influential artists made from CDs.

The original reason for these mosaics being created by artists Mirco Pagano and Moreno De Turco was a campaign called “Piracy”, aimed at raising awareness of how piracy is hirting musicians.

Strangely, many of the musicians are dead, and so they seem like odd choices for this kind of an ad – what harm can piracy do to a dead person?

Either way, we get to enjoy the fruits of their labour.


12 Places You Can Download Quality EDM Samples for Free

Audiotuts+ have compiled a list of twelve places that you can obtain free EDM samples.

Samples. You can love them or you can hate them. But what you can’t do is avoid them, or their use in Electronic Dance Music production. In addition to paid content, there are many great sample libraries that are completely free, made available by independent sound designers and top production houses. In this article, I want to share with you some free EDM sample resources, and also some of the free sample libraries I have stashed away in my personal sound library that I find myself using often.

Have a look at the full Audiotuts+ list here: 12 Places You Can Download Quality EDM Samples for Free

Band Mate is One Year Old!

Band Mate's one year birthday!

Band Mate’s one year birthday!

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Band Mate site-launch! I am very pleased that the site is still running and gathering users. I am also very grateful to everyone that has signed up, created musician ads or shared the site with friends during the last year.

I accept that the site is still small in terms of the number of users. When I embarked on building Band Mate I certainly envisaged the site gaining more users within it’s first year, but the internet is a ruthless place, and I set no advertising budget for the Band Mate site. As such, the site has grown exclusively through ranking in search engines, as well as my occasional tweets reminding people that the site is out there, ready and waiting.

When a site of this nature launches, there is little to attract the initial visitors to the site. They see a musician-finder with little to no musicians listed on it. Why sign up? Yet it is only through people taking that step to sign up that there will ever be scores of musicians listed on the site. It is for this reason that I appreciate those who have taken the time to sign-up so much. They made the effort and showed their support for a young site like Band Mate.

Thanks again to everyone who has used Band Mate. Kudos to you. Here’s to more years on the internet, more users signing up, and more bands forming as a result of the former two points!

Record grooves under an electron microscope

Chris Supranowitz is a researcher at The Insitute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Along with a number of other spectacular studies (such as quantum optics, trapping of atoms, dark states and entanglement), Chris has decided to look at the grooves of a vinyl record using the institutes electron microscope.

The process of capturing the images is not as simple as just sticking a record under an expensive microscope, there is a lot of preparation (such as gold-sputtering the surface) and post-processing to be done.

Vinyl grooves 1

The dark bits are the top of the grooves, i.e. the uncut vinyl


Vinyl grooves 2

The grooves even closer up – the little bumps are dust on the record

Vinyl grooves 3

A single groove magnified 1000 times

CD pits

Chris also imaged the pits in a CD – here’s what they look like, just for contrast

3D image of vinyl grooves

Chris created a blue/red 3-dimensional image of the record groove! If you have a pair of 3D glasses (anaglyph), pop them on and take a look at this!

Source: SynthGear

Infinite Descent: Shepard Tones

Shepard Tone in spectrum view

Shepard Tone in spectrum view

Can you imagine hearing a tone that sounds as if it is constantly ascending or descending in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower? It sounds like some kind of sorcery, but it is a fairly simple auditory illusion. A trick played on the mind. The tone in question is called a Shepard Tone.

Before I go on to explain how such a tone is constructed, you may wish to hear an example of this sorcery. You can hear it for yourself in this video which combines the Shepard Tone with fractals – a fascinating topic in their own right.To prove a point that the tone never does get any lower in pitch, the creator of the video made it 10 hours long! Watch the whole thing if you want, but I think you might be in some odd trance but the time it finishes.

So how is such a tone created? The basic concept is that there are a series of overlapping sine waves that start at a given pitch, and glissando down to the same pitch one octave lower/higher. For the purposes of this post we will assume we are dealing with a downward glissando. Here is an except from Audiotuts+ which explains the concept well.

You start with a Sine wave say on note A4 which sits at 440 Hz and you have it glissando down to A3 at 220 Hz over a period of time. During the same time you have another glissando starting on A5 at 880 Hz and dropping down to 440 Hz.

If you were to repeat this cycle the glissando starting on 440 Hz would pick up where the glissando starting on 880 Hz left off. This creates the continued sensation of a falling pitch. However, if you repeat the cycle then you will quickly jump back to 880 Hz and will noticably hear it. So what do we do? In order to achieve a smooth and seemingly endless cycle we need to fade in the upper most glissando and fade out the lower most.

Through the use of fades we can create a seamless join and the effect is an infinitely decending tone. Really quite cool, wouldn’t you say?

Read the full article from Audiotuts+.

The World’s Ugliest Music

Scott Rickard at TEDx

Scott Rickard at TEDx

You could be mistaken for thinking that this post will be about Justin Beiber or some other ‘musician’ of that calibur, but no — this music actually requires talent!

Scott Rickard set out to do what no musician has ever tried — to make the world’s ugliest piece of music. At TEDxMIA, he discusses the math and science behind creating a piece of music devoid of any pattern.

Scott Rickard has degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering from MIT and MA and PhD degrees in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Princeton University. At University College Dublin, he founded the Complex & Adaptive Systems Laboratory, where biologists, geologists, mathematicians, computer scientists, social scientists and economists work on problems which matter to people. He is passionate about mathematics, music and educating the next generation of scientists and mathematicians.

Have a look at the video here.

As Rickard says: Try and find any enjoyable aspect of this music, and then revel in the fact that you cannot!