Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sonification Round 1

I am experimenting with the sonification of digital images as abstract granular sound masses. When this is realized the visual component will have one to five central images, which are each accompanied by derivative images.

The frequency (low to high) will correspond to the position of the image. In the examples that I have below I used 2 frequencies, one relatively low (875 Hz) and the other higher (5555 Hz). Another component that has a great effect on the perception of pitch (I am considering how I might analyze the image in order to create a meaningful correspondence between some aspect of the photo and grain length) is grain length.

In the final presentation the position of the sound in the stereo field (actually I envision 8 channels of audio, but treated as a stereo field) will again correspond to the position in the visual field.

Finally, the sounds fade in and fade out as the images do. Here are some sketches, where the title indicates the central freq and the parameters that are unique are indicated.

TEST 1 - 5555 Hz, grain Size = 18, grain pitch variation = 0.09, pan = center with deviation

TEST 2 - 5555 Hz, grain Size = 18, grain pitch variation = 0.4, PAN left = 1 right = 1 with deviation

TEST 3 - 875 Hz, grain Size = 111, grain pitch variation = 0.03, PAN left = 1 right = 1 with little deviation

TEST 4 - 875 Hz, grain Size = 150, grain pitch variation = 0.3, PAN left = 1 right = 1 with little deviation

Other details and thoughts.
The sound source is a bandlimited sawtooth wave and pink noise. The Q of the filter is ranging roughly between 1 and 20 at the rate of 0.4 Hertz.

The challenge I see in this project will be to have each sound be able to maintain a degree of autonomy once there are multiple instantiations. Still, it is important that all of the sounds present blend into a cohesive unit as well.

Images inherently are perceived differently. The temporal presentation of photographs works to change how images are perceived. In working with sound that is related to the temporal and positional scheme of imagery I imagine my task to be that of further animating aspects of them and through temporal and spatial cues endowing inherently fixed images with the movement and evolution through time that sound inherently has. This will also work the other way. Sounds are not often considered with the attention to detail that images are as they are not stagnant. Increased meditation on a single sound is a difficult task for a listener.


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