Here is a goofy little tool I concocted in Max/MSP which creates swirly, broken sounds. It modulates the playback rate of an audio file stored in a buffer (whether a single drum hit or an entire song); just as frequency modulation synthesis does with a carrier oscillator. The modulation rate can be slow enough to make vibrato or rapost_id enough to generate FM artifacts.

There are many parameters which can be set manually or made to change randomly on their own. To start, load one of the example sounds and play around with the various presets -- I usually switch on #4 and zone out for hours.

If you don't have Max/MSP, you can load this patch with the free runtime (Windows, Mac OS X), though you won't be able to edit it.

* Note 1: All comments and feedback are welcome. (Also, I haven't tested this in OS X, so if the display comes out messed up, please let me know.)

* Note 2: I slapped together the patch during an electronic music class this summer (which I took purely for credit, as it was, for me, largely redundant knowledge). The class was taught by Dr. Michael Zbyszynski, a unique and inspiring fellow who has often contributed his skills to the Max community.

File: 15-26-waveshape_burster.
(37.54 KiB)

Download the patch with example sounds

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Silliness in action

An audio showcase of the tool being used on various short and long samples


Today's theme is rare creatures.

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Angler glowfish

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Famous parasite

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Leaf fly with bear face and hair legs

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Rhino car


Three Things Which Should Exist

1. Court jester for a court of law: The best way to lighten up the legal process. An opening defense statement is accompanied by a lively jig on the lute. The joker juggles colorful balls in the face of a sobbing murder witness. Objections are followed by puns and punchlines until, eventually, the judge slams his gavel down and yells, "Order! Get that clown out of here!"

2. Formal football: An American favorite adapted for the upper class viewer. The familiar grass field is surrounded by candlelit dinners. Grunts from sweaty linebackers accompany chatter about investments. Live chamber music is punctuated with the clash of helmets and heavy flesh, followed in turn by polite golf claps.

3. Noah's Ark Combo: Inspired by the turducken, this legendary meal of biblical proportions is designed for the biggest eaters on the planet. One of each kind of animal is stuffed inside one another, like a colossal matryoska doll -- recursively, deliciously.


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My copy of Norrland arrived! This is a game by one of my favorite game designers, Cactus (aka Jonatan Söderström). I payed for one of the ten physical copies on auction to help him continue to make games.

In Norrland, you go on a hunting trip and do all sorts of "backwoods" things: kill stuff, drink beer, row a boat, sleep and have nightmares, take a shitzo, even hump some bears. It's more vulgar and satirical than his previous games, but still seizure-inducing and otherwise in character.

The disc also came with a bunch of unreleased games he's made, plus some other goodies, such as... a personalized coffee filter!


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Front design

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I have no. 10 of 10

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Classy Swedish postage stamp!

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Extra points


Renoise is one of my favorite music composition programs. One interesting feature it has is the ability to load any file as if it were a raw, headerless audio file. I like loading non-audio files like images, text, and executables, trying out different assumed sample rates and bit depths. This can generate some weird sound sources.

Here is a short tune I made in 2007 which uses a BMP image loaded as the main instrument.



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4 pictures with captions


Today's theme is how to eat properly.

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Prism tiger

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