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Tag: how-to

Imitation Experiment: The White Rabbit Project

Recently, I was talking about The White Rabbit Project with a friend at work, and he mentioned how much he liked the opening credits. He said the music was really good. I hadn’t noticed the music, so I went back and watched the titles again.

The opening credits really rock, and I wanted to find out why. So this weekend I recorded the intro, dropped it into Reaper, and started breaking it down. Using Kontakt, Massive, and Battery, I was able to create a pretty good imitation of the musical portion of the theme.

But when I listened to the music alone it felt lifeless. It starts with a single note on the piano with a low pass filter removing the fundamental frequency, then it moves on to a simple beat made with a bass drum and snaps/claps. It’s basic, even cliche stuff. Even when the synths take over, my music-only imitation seemed to have none of the vivacity in the original.

So I watched the intro again, and this time I listened to all the stuff that isn’t made with synthesizers or drum machines. The intro actually starts with some technobabble type foley, then uses explosions, thunder claps, and glass breaking to punctuate various moments. The foley is really interesting because it is neither strictly “foley” nor is is “musique concrete”; it is neither strictly synced to the video, nor is it strictly synced to the music. The sound effects are used as foley at times, then as musical punctuation at other times.

The sound effects are the glue that hold the piece together. They being together the rocking theme and the badass visuals. Notice that there are more sound effects at the beginning of the track. They act as an introduction to the sound world of the piece and allow the kicking lead synth to land with full impact when it finally comes in.

Here’s my final remake on SoundCloud.

I used almost exclusively Reaper and Native Instruments plugins in this remake. So the source material consists of three Massive patches, one Battery kit, and several audio files from Here’s the source material for my remake of the White Rabbit Project Theme bundled as a zip file: White_Rabbit_Project_Source.

“Sonifying Processing: The Beads Tutorial” Introduces Sound Art Creation In Processing

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering Oliver Bown’s wonderful sound art library, Beads. Beads is a library for creating and analyzing audio in Processing or Java, and it is head-and-shoulders above the other sound libraries that are available for Processing. From the ground up, Beads is made for musicians and sound artists. It takes ideas popularized by CSound, Max and other popular sound art environments, and intuitively wraps them in the comfort of the Processing programming language.

Today I’m proud to announce the release of my free ebook on sound art in Processing, Sonifying Processing: The Beads Tutorial. Also available in print and Kindle editions from

The cover of the print edition of my book on sound art in the processing programming language.

The book covers all of the standard sound-art topics in straightforward tutorial style. Each chapter addresses a basic topic, then demonstrates it in code. Topics covered include Additive Synthesis, Frequency Modulation, Sampling, Granular Synthesis, Filters, Compression, Input/Output, MIDI, Analysis and everything else an artist may need to bring
their Processing sketches to life.

It’s true that these topics are well-covered by other environments in other places. There are a plethora of sound art platforms these days. I love Pure Data, Max, SuperCollider and even Tassman and Reaktor. But there are a million people out there making visual art in Processing who don’t have a good way of exploring multimedia in the environment in which they’re comfortable. This tutorial is aimed at Processing programmers who think that sound art is a bridge too far.

In fact, Beads makes sound art incredibly easy while staying within the comfortable confines of Processing. So stop reading blog posts. Download the Beads Library. Download the book. Download the source code. And get to it!!