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Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch - Aaawwweeesssooommmeee

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Very interesting. Thanks @Edvard.
Yes, I thought of the Shepard tones too, listening to those "Musical illusions".
I followed all the links you gave and also downloaded the collection of 9 historical files of Windows startup sounds. I only had a couple of those.

Been playing about with PaulsStretch a bit lately, and it seems to me that:
(a) the music you input to it has to sound nicely harmonic/in harmony before you can expect to get a particularly good output;
(b) the music might need to be in a relatively fast tempo to sound its best.

Here is: Wuala introduction (John cartoon) stretch.wav (200.5Mb)
- as an example. The music was taken from from an advertisement video for Wuala. It's a fast and very catchy little tune.

I also stretched Widor - Symphonie V, op.42 no.1 Toccata - Allegro, which worked out to 502.3Mb and about 47mins of playing time. I didn't put that up in the cloud. That piece of music is one of the most powerful and beautiful organ pieces ever written. Must be a hellishly difficult piece to play - very fast, and necessitates the player using both feet and all 7 digits of each hand. It sounds spectacularly different when stretched. Reminded me of the forgotten pleasure I used to get in my childhood, when I would listen for hours to slow piano chords as I played them loud-pedal (un-dampened) on the piano, one after the other. The harmonics fascinated me.

Some of the stretched sounds in the Wuala music have an envelope that makes them sound rather like listening to rotating-vane speakers.

I am currently experimenting with stretching recordings of throat-singing voices. The secondary (resonating) notes/voices seem to go up in 10ths above the primary voices, so are not much like more conventional harmonies.

Since this thread got resurrected it does pay to mention that long time DC member Renegade has a neat app for slowing down music for helping musicians learn:

^^ Thanks @mouser. That's interesting - it's a novel idea to me. I never realised that "slowing down" music might help to learn it. I was taught just to look at the notation on the musical score to see what was going on and at what tempo. I might try out this slowing-down idea for Lily's guitar practice.

Thought I'd tack this onto this thread as it relates to another excellent Radiolab audio post - this one about the speed at which music is played, in the context of the "metronomic" beat. They play some stretched music of the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth to illustrate the contrast in tempos and the effect on our senses of altering the timing (tempo) of music.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Speedy Beet
tags: beethoven, classical_music, idea_explorer, shorts, speed
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit.

Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola.

And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri’s book on Beethoven’s Fifth.

Support Radiolab today at
radiolab_podcast20speedybeetrerun.mp3 (23:47, 22MB), popup


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