Friday, August 27, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different...

I used to subscribe to a dozen or more blogs about educational technology, as that was my area of interest for my masters program and had some crossover with my work. My own ed-tech blog has been shuttered for a while (and the masters long dropped), but I've stayed subscribed to a couple of sites from that old network. One of them is Stephen Downes, who I think of as a brilliant, occasionally curmudgeonly iconoclast, although I've never met him in real life to confirm those virtual impressions. He sometimes links to things that have no obvious application to education, and those tend to ignite my interest in learning in a more authentic way.

Yesterday he posted a pointer to a Lifehacker post about using software called Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch to stretch music (sort of slow it down). I couldn't resist trying it out, which meant that I didn't get nearly as much sleep as I should have last night. You can adjust the default settings to make further changes to the sounds -- things like octaves, harmonics and effects frequencies.

I was totally lost and playing happily, starting with an mp3 of one of my string quartets and stretching it different amounts (3x, 6x, 9x, 12x), tweaking the sounds, and then pasting the interesting bits together in Audacity. I thought the finished result was pretty cool, if a bit eerie...not hard to picture it as the soundtrack to interesting images or film: Geometric-Stretch.mp3. Hit play below for a listen, and if you want it to be even trippier, watch a slideshow of my abstract photos while it's seeping into your brain.

Geometric-Stretch by jeremyhiebert

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