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Fun with Spectral Editing in Adobe Audition

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Some audiophiles might be interested in this


Using the copy/paste functions using Adobe Audition's spectral editing tools, I wrote my name with pink noise. I call this The Snow in My Name:


lo-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m...534250&q=lo

hi-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m...534250&q=hi


Spectral Views

Click for larger images:





A similar idea using a recording of Canelloni Sonata. Here's Variations on Canelloni:


lo-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m...534271&q=lo

hi-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m...534271&q=hi


Spectral View (snippet)



I always wanted to "paint" sound, now I can B)


More info:





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Sounds like a broken vacuum cleaner. :)b


I took a linguistics course once where we learned to "read" spectral graphs of speech to distinguish the phonemes of the actual words being said. You could just look at the graph and say, "Oh, he's saying 'dog'".


I think it would be funny if we were shown one of these graphs. "Oh, he's saying 'A. Scott Kingston'. .... Wait a second...!"

Edited by demagogue

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Staying with the idea of working with pink noise, I created drums sounds:


Pinky Beats (beware, lo-fi sucks)

lo-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m...562775&q=lo

hi-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m...562775&q=hi


For the drums sounds (all sounds on this track were created from pink noise)

  • I first generated pink noise
  • Trimmed the time to whatever I thought was appropriate
  • Applied a dynamics envelope for the attack and decay
  • Used various EQs to get the sound I wanted
  • Applied some reverb
  • Then I arranged everything in a multitrack editor

Sometimes I wonder about myself :laugh:

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Actually I'll be honest. It sounds like shit. I don't know why you would bother wasting your time with it. It's like giving a retarded kid finger paints and instructing him to recreate the Mona Lisa step by step.

Edited by Ombrenuit
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I wouldn't go that far. Even silly play with spectral graphs can give you a real sense about how the images match up against the sounds they produce. If you are paying attention, you can really get to understand how sound is nothing more than the union of different frequencies of air vibrations converging in time and space, and how that happens.


I enjoyed trying to recreate phonemes and just weird sounds by applying what I knew about spectral graphs to see if the sound came out as I predicted. Lots of things are like this ... silly play is often the best way to get a feel for the actual, hands-on mechanics of what's going on, rather than the mere theory by the book.


I'm thinking about this because, inspired by Max's recent Lightwave action, I'm trying to get a feel for how 3D modeling works, and I have to tell you at this early stage I'm learning more by just screwing around with the different functions and seeing what happens.


But yeah, if he's not paying attention to what he's doing and just doing it for the sake of doing something silly, then it's probably a bloody waste of time! :laugh:

(...not much worse than a throw-away game of minesweeper, though.)

Edited by demagogue

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Yeah, you can learn a lot from playing with these kinds of things. It's kind've like looking at an image and its Fourier transform in optics, except in this case you're looking at the Fourier transform and listening to the image. :) For anyone who hasn't built a square wave with sine waves before, I whole-heartedly recommend that self-enriching activity.

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Ishtvan and demagogue are right, playing around with toys like these is a very good way to enhance your grasp on spectrum to sound relations. For a musician, the approach to form sound with a spectrum is pretty much the opposite of what he or she's usually doing. In the normal scenario, you would arrange a track and then monitor the spectrum to equalize it. Doing it the other way around is a refreshing change of perspective.


If you want a good example of how this technique can be employed, I can recommend listening to Aphex Twin's cfa7d0d97a7d468c2258fcdep8.png (Yes, that's the track name. Second track on the Windowlicker EP :P ) and watching a spectrograph while doing so.

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I used to be fanatical about the idea of creating music by creating and changing samples from sound forms, started playing around with csound, but everyone thought it was idiotic and I ran out of time. I was for abolishing the established methods of classical western music theory, and the current electronic music scene method of repeating samples and copying each other's genres. Always craved some operatic in magnitude music which is harmonious, but resembles epic trance in terms of sounds used.

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