Posts Tagged soundcloud

Scary and Stretched

In the last few months I’ve found myself listening to Skrillex non-stop – usually because I’m working on some sort of Skrillexed-based hack. One thing about Skrillex – his music is quite layered, there’s lots of interesting sounds packed into every second of a song. I thought I’d explore this layering a little bit by applying Paul’s Stretch to Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.  The effect is quite pleasing.

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Here comes the antiphon

I’m gearing up for the SXSW panel on remix I’m giving in a couple of weeks.  I thought I should veer away from ‘science experiments’ and try to create some remixes that sound musical.  Here’s one where I’ve used remix to apply a little bit of a pre-echo to ‘Here Comes the Sun’.  It gives it a little bit of a call and answer feel:

The core (choir?) code is thus:

for bar in enumerate(
 cur_data  = self.input[bar]
 if last:
     last_data = self.input[last]
     mixed_data = audio.mix(cur_data, last_data, mix=.3)
 last = bar

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Rage against the pop machine this xmas

There’s a movement this year to take back the Christmas charts from smarmy pop artists churned out by music factories like the  X factor and Idol franchises.  The kickoff to this movement is this exhortation posted in the ‘Rage Against the machine for Xmas #1‘ Facebook group:

Fed up of Simon Cowell’s latest karaoke act being Christmas No.1?
Me too… So who’s up for a mass-purchase of the track ‘KILLING IN THE NAME’ from December 13th (DON’T BUY IT YET!) as a protest to the X-Factor monotony?

The group already has nearly 150K members and has received press coverage in stereoboard, nme, Drownedinsound and  BritishMusicScene.

Now ‘Killing in the name’ isn’t exactly your typical Christmas song, so to help get people into the spirit of the projects I thought I would try to make the song be a bit more appealing to those with traditional Christmas music sensibilities.  And so, I fired up the Echo Nest Jingler and generated a Christmas version of ‘Killing in the Name’.  (The Jingler is a bit of software that will Xmas-ify any song by automatically adding sleigh bells, signal bells and the occasional Santa-ho). Here are the results:

This is just to get you in the Rage against Christmas mood.  Remember to buy the track on December 13.




At the recent Berlin Music Hackday, developer Hannes Tydén developed a mashup between SoundCloud and The Echo Nest, dubbed SoundCloudEchoNest.  The program uses the SoundCloud and Echo Nest APIs to automatically annotate your SoundCloud tracks with information such as when the track fades in and fades out, the key, the mode, the overall loudness, time signature and the tempo.  Also each Echo Nest section is marked.  Here’s an example:

This track is annotated as follows:

  • echonest:start_of_fade_out=182.34
  • echonest:mode=min
  • echonest:loudness=-5.521
  • echonest:end_of_fade_in=0.0
  • echonest:time_signature=1
  • echonest:tempo=96.72
  • echonest:key=F#

Additionally, 9 section boundaries  are annotated.

The  user interface to SoundEchoCloudNest is refreshly simple, no GUIs for Hannes:

Hannes has open sourced his code on github, so if you are a Ruby programmer and want to play around with SoundCloud and/or the Echo Nest, check out the code.

Machine tagging of content is becoming more viable.  Photos on Flicker can be automatically tagged with information about the camera and exposure settings, geolocation, time of day and so on.  Now with APIs like SoundCloud and the Echo Nest, I think we’ll start to see similar machine tagging of music, where basic info such as tempo, key, mode,  loudness can be automatically attached to the audio.  This will open the doors for all sorts of tools to help us better  organize our  music.

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