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Sonic identity & transformation

Hi Ursula, and list

I would propose that the question is not well-defined as to 'what you want to do', and (possibly) why.

There is an entire art-form that has been involved in this area for half a century, "electronic music", "musique concrete", or more recently called 'electroacoustics' in the generalized sense, and 'acousmatics' is the more specific sense.

This is, for me, a question about sonic 'identity', and the meaning (semantic) of the word "same" (as recognizable would appear to have to imply aspects of similarity). Through training and inclination, I am able to extract reversed, time-stretched transposed filtered voice inside complex textures (even when they are not there), but maybe you are not looking for 'expert' ears. Interestingly, after a little training in the techniques of sonic transformation, most of our students quickly develop this fundamental ability.

And so the question regarding the nature of the encoding of the sonic identity, and 'how far' (and in what ways) a sound can be transformed and still be considered a member of the (root) family. [Google "families of sounds" ].

For further information on the plug-ins available for transformation, you may also want to Google "VST plugins" and "AUDIO units" and read through the descriptions of a number of the software packages listed. You will most likely see that they fall into a number of basic categories, amplitude, time, spectrum (added, reduced, substituted) etc.

To hear how electronic sound artists have used these ideas and materials, spend a little time listening to some of the 1700 electroacoustic works on Sonus.ca http://www.sonus.ca/index.html, more than 90% of which use some form of sonic transformation that you may be looking for.

Should you wish to pursue the 'artistic / creative' aspect of this further, there are a number of lists devoted to the practice. (Google "electroacoustic music" or "electroacoustic studies").

Best wishes


Date:    Tue, 12 Sep 2006 18:26:22 +0200
From:   Ursula Kirmse <ukirmse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: making a sound unrecognizable

Dear list members,

I'm looking for a possibility to change/edit a environmental or at least
natural sound in a way  that it is not any longer recognizable as what
it is, but, however, for doing this with changing as less acoustic
parameters as possible. ;-)  The intention is to use these sounds in a
MMN paradigm and it is important that  both "versions" of the sound are
acoustically as similar as possible.
The main point is that the sound (that can also be a more complex thing
as the sound of a barking dog or a something like that) should be not
possible to be recognized as what it is.

I would be very happy about ideas or would like know if maybe somebody
has already tried something like this?  I would also be very happy about
recommations for software or matlab scripts that could be helpful in
respect to this. For example I'm looking for a way to transfer the
amplitude envelope from one sound to another (I already wrote a matlab
routine for this, but its not yet functioning perfectly fine and the
result is not completely convincing).

So if anybody has a an idea I would be grateful.

best regards and thanks a lot,
Ursula Kirmse

Ursula Kirmse
University of Leipzig
Cognitive & Biological Psychology
Institute of Psychology I
Seeburgstrasse 14-20
04103 Leipzig, Germany
Phone +493419735978/Fax +493419735969