Skip links

Spectrum analysis in Delhi

AlexBraidwood-SpectrumIntonation-DB_Gupta-photoA fascinating trip to Delhi, India today courtesy of Alex Braidwood from Des Moines, Iowa. The field recording is from a busy overpass overlooking Delhi rail station –a rich recording with lots going on.

For the project, we dealt Alex the cards Spectrum analysis and Is the intonation correct? Here he explains – with the help of video – how he approached the reimagined sound.

“The two oblique strategies I was randomly assigned were 1: spectrum analysis and 2: is the intonation correct? I found these both to be very interesting as a sound artist and a graphic designer. As a designer, I’m very much interested in what sounds look like whether it be spectrograms, visualizations or listening maps.”

“I’m also very much interested in language. I decided to try and develop a process from both of these pieces of inspiration that would create the final composition using only the original recording as source material. In the end, I developed a system that used the spectrum analysis of the original recording to manipulate the intonation of the recording by manipulating its speed during playback.”

“I first recorded a video screen capture of the spectrogram as the sound played. I then read that video into a Max patch and analyzed it in real time, using the values from the analysis to control playback of the original sound. I then routed that sound through to Ableton Live for the application of some minimal effects for mastering.”

“The final piece is created using this process and the original field recording is the only audio material used.”

Alex has included a video capture of the process so you can see how it worked and how the reimagined piece came to be:

City version:

Memory version: