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Stop-Motion Waveform
April 20, 2012 6:20 AM   Subscribe

For his video "I Will Never Change", London-based musician Benga used 960 records to create a stop-motion waveform of the song.

[via]
posted by quin (14 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was pretty awesome but I swear to god I am one day going to make the most annoying mixtape ever and that mixtape will be "Tracks That End Right Before You Think The Beat Is Going To Drop."
posted by griphus at 6:35 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Tracks That End Right Before You Think The Beat Is Going To Drop."

Well, in all fairness, he ran out of pole.
posted by three blind mice at 6:40 AM on April 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Am I being too skeptical when I doubt that this was dine using physical records, and is actually CG? In which case it would hardly stop motion.
posted by hanoixan at 6:51 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


(oh grammar you vex me)
posted by hanoixan at 6:53 AM on April 20, 2012


What would interest me would be to hear the music played back by reading the record diameter for each sample and then converting back to sound. The sample is about 82 seconds long. This implies a sample rate of about 11 records per second - he would have needed about 3600 records - and the full width of the room - to get CD audio quality. It looks like the entire exercise was constrained by the length of steel tubing available.

(I am assuming - that he actually cut up some records - but I guess the whole thing could have been done as an animation).
posted by rongorongo at 6:54 AM on April 20, 2012


If i understand you correctly, thats about 3.6 million records and 1000 rooms, as CDs are 44 kilohertz. A very interesting way to make audio physical, nonetheless.
posted by Llama-Lime at 7:24 AM on April 20, 2012


This is a cool concept, but except for the tail end of the clip, I don't see how the music is dynamic enough to be very interesting when depicted visually. Before clicking the link, I envisioned stacks of records, laying flat as they do on a turntable, bumping up and down like a graphic EQ meter (which is different from a waveform, I know). Maybe that would have been cooler?

/armchairquarterback
posted by Rykey at 7:31 AM on April 20, 2012


Thanks to the loudness wars, doing this with the latest rock hit doesn't even require cutting down any vinyl.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:21 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Am I being too skeptical when I doubt that this was dine using physical records, and is actually CG? In which case it would hardly stop motion.

Here's how it was done. Basically, build the entire waveform and then break each lastmost piece of vinyl off the sculpture after capturing a picture of it. Animate by flipping the order of the captures and adjusting for timing. Fairly painstaking work, by the sounds of it.
posted by MUD at 8:33 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Am I being too skeptical when I doubt that this was dine using physical records, and is actually CG? In which case it would hardly stop motion.

When I saw the screenshot before it loaded I was sure it was going to be fake because I thought the waveform was actually going to be animated.

Since it's just adding a record 960 times, and the fact that the records moved as they got squished around, and the slight reflection of the photographer and crew in the pipe itself, and the fuzzy edges where they cut out the center through the label, I am convinced that it was actually done in stop motion.

It's only 960 records. MUD's "how it was done" link says it took a bit longer than I would have estimated, but stuff usually does. It sounds like it took a few people a couple weeks. That's not such a huge amount of effort to be implausible, or to make me think it isn't "worth it" to not do it with CG (which, if you want to get all the details right to make it look convincing, is also quite a lot of effort).
posted by aubilenon at 9:31 AM on April 20, 2012


I really like the track, but I feel like a dance club remix might be more satisfying.

The records are rad. I'm a fan of all three things (vinyl, stop motion* and waveforms)

* The oxford comma can take a long walk off a short pier, though.
posted by poe at 11:08 AM on April 20, 2012


here's the full track, since the music video features a truncated version of it.
posted by raihan_ at 11:47 AM on April 20, 2012


1:19 was super cool. This whole thing was cool. I like it.
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:06 PM on April 20, 2012


I was thinking to myself that there really only needs to be one dubstep song. This sample seemed to confirm it. A neat idea for an animation though. (the numbering on the records kinda spoiled it a little bit for me)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:41 PM on April 20, 2012


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