LD-50 -- Sixty Minutes, Six Megabytes

February 21, 2009 12:56 PM

WARNING (OR PROMISE): Highly abstract and very, very long.

LD-50 is a track I created recently which is 59:35 in length. The track was made entirely within Reason using a feedback loop and a number of effects.

The album-length track is encoded at 16kbps, which brings the full composition to under 7MB. This was done intentionally to use the MP3's perceptual encoding as a compositional aspect of the track. Throughout the track you can hear compression artifacts which are not in the original WAV file that sound, at various times, like whistles, flutes, sci-fi "blinkenlights" sounds, and even occasionally a crowd of voices.

Many of the more obvious artifacts of whistles/flutes/voices are found in areas of high spectral density (that is very noisy highly harmonic portions), but there are some fascinating results in the portions which are more nearly pure tones as well.

If experimentalism isn't your cup of tea, you probably won't enjoy this track, but based on feedback from friends, if you find this sort of thing interesting, it rewards your patience.

I hope you enjoy what is likely the longest track ever posted to MeFiMusic that conforms to the 10MB limit.

*The built-in Flash player plays this almost perfectly but does add some crackly noise not in the MP3 file (though it has crackly noises anyway, to be sure), so if you find it interesting it may be preferable to listen via direct download.

posted by chimaera (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I forgot to mention, there are some silent and near-silent sections in the track, some as long as 20 seconds.
posted by chimaera at 12:58 PM on February 21, 2009

Very cool experiment. It's amazing what sorts of textures extreme lossy compression can create. I just listened to the whole track, and I think my ears will be ringing for awhile.
posted by man vs sun at 9:20 PM on February 21, 2009

I thought people only used Reason to make drum and bass tracks. Just kidding.

Your technique reminds me of Bit Rate Reduction, which people have used to create glitch percussion. But you've done it an entirely new way (new to me anyway!). Nice work.
posted by wastelands at 4:49 PM on February 22, 2009

This kind of does something wierd to my ears and nose. Like a vibration throughout my ear and nasal cavity and it kind of clears up my sinuses. And I think it hurts my jaw...

I'm going to try to enjoy this with some of my physics homework and drugs mabye.
posted by saxamo at 5:53 PM on February 22, 2009

Have you heard about that Haters track that is 25 hours long? It's a low bitrate MP3 and ogg/vorbis on a DVD. Click the following link, then search for the 25th anniversary album.

I have played around with the consequences of low resolution and bitrate quite a bit myself, in particular I made an erotic movie about the sun with my cell phone, a few years back (caution - high amplitude noises).
posted by idiopath at 12:39 AM on February 23, 2009

Glad you guys like it.. or at least found it interesting!

Though I do not endorse such a thing, the experience may well be heightened by mind altering substances... however I've found that some parts are fairly harrowing and an intensification of that might not be preferable.

I've heard of The Haters, but wasn't aware of their 25-hour sound collage. Idiopath, I'll check your video out when I get home tonight.
posted by chimaera at 9:28 AM on February 24, 2009

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