Recreational Music Destruction
May 25, 2014 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Sure, you like your mp3s well enough; you just wish they would steadily collapse into a wall of distortion and white noise. Good news: The Disintegrator is here to help. [via mefi projects]
posted by cortex (29 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

I enjoyed the hell out of this. I uploaded a few files. I wish it was a bit more tweekable, and wish there was a progress bar for the playback, but it was still fun.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:21 AM on May 25

I ran Massive Attack's version of "Man Next Door" through it. The result was sort of awesome in a strange way.
posted by FishBike at 9:22 AM on May 25

Ooh. Works nicely with Wild Beasts' End Come Too Soon I suspect most tracks with gradual builds & pristine, minimal production will be great. The only thing I'd want is some way to shape the rate at which distortion is applied.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:25 AM on May 25

Well, the only thing I'd want right now. I'm sure I can make up some new demands.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:25 AM on May 25

Yeah, I'm still just checking bunches of things at it and seeing what happens. I've gotten the most joy out of stuff that's either significantly acoustically instrumented or synth/drone stuff, where the distortion can really bring a new element into the whole thing instead of e.g. making heavily distorted guitar/vox into somewhat more heavily distorted versions.

Also, in what might be an issue on my end or a bug in the script, it seems to me like after playing several files the rate of distortion increase goes up significantly; maybe the eventhandler getting multiplied or something despite being reset to zero. I found reloading the page between songs fixes it.
posted by cortex at 9:26 AM on May 25

This works remarkably well for short songs. Napalm Death's "Scum" and Rotten Sound's "GDP" basically sound like they were meant to be that way. Maybe grindcore bands should just have this running by default.
posted by ignignokt at 9:31 AM on May 25

I put AC/DC's "Girls Got Rhythm" in and pretended I had found a classic rock station signal in my spacesuit helmet radio as I floated further and further from Earth into the void.
posted by evisceratordeath at 9:32 AM on May 25 [8 favorites]

Neat! The Web Audio API is glorious. I wish the page could spirit the audio files out of online sources like SoundCloud or YouTube, but that may be difficult or impossible depending on same origin nonsense. Would also be nice if it did drag-and-drop of files. Turns out that's really easy in modern browsers, here's some sample code.
posted by Nelson at 9:33 AM on May 25 [2 favorites]

LCD Soundsystem's "All I want" works very well in this. Almost sounds sparklehorse-ish.
posted by Philipschall at 9:48 AM on May 25

Hey, thanks for posting this Cortex and glad everyone's enjoying it. I definitely spent a lot of time throwing stuff into it and enjoying the varying results. Like Cortex I enjoyed more acoustic stuff like Rodrigo Y Gabriela or piano heavy songs.

There are a few bugs that need to be sorted out alright. I discovered a pretty nasty memory leak in Firefox, probably because of the distortion curve array in the 'update' function, but that doesn't seem to be a problem in chrome.

I discovered that bug while I was trying to add a progress bar, which I think I can knock out pretty easily, along with mapping the distortion level to be proportional to the length of the track.

I'm also hoping to create a bookmarklet to do this to YouTube audio. It's definitely possible to grab from a HTML5 video or audio source so that'd be pretty neat.

These audio doohickeys are pretty much the first time since college I've played with JavaScript so it's been a really fun project to learn with!
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:09 AM on May 25 [5 favorites]

Oh I know someone who would looooo0ove this.
posted by jessamyn at 10:15 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

ooh, acoustic Neil Young getting trashed is pretty great.
posted by wens at 10:27 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

A bookmarklet would be super keen, yeah. Also Nelson's drag-and-drop notion.

I just plugged The Cranberries' "Dreams" into it and it's kind of tremendous having all that super clean shimmer-and-tremelo pop drive achieve dirty liftoff. Also put Sleater-Kinney's "Modern Girl" through just to Yo Dawg things up a bit and see if the universe would explode.
posted by cortex at 10:38 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

I grabbed a file at random from my collection - Alan Vega's "Cheap Soul Crash". Wow.
posted by davebush at 10:40 AM on May 25

trust that this will be utilized on many Randophonic radio programs to come ... because noise is not unlike entropy. Inevitable.
posted by philip-random at 10:46 AM on May 25

I listened to "Bummer" by The Grifters and it was hard to tell when it started disintegrating. But then, that's the Grifters for you.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:41 AM on May 25

I just put all of Autechre's 'Exai' into this and it spat out an acoustic version of 'Rockin' In The Free World.' THE SYSTEM WORKS.
posted by mintcake! at 12:09 PM on May 25 [7 favorites]

I expect the band to handle that for me.

(just kidding this is really cool)
posted by lumpenprole at 12:26 PM on May 25

This is basically the Mogwai-ifier.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:32 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]

Guys, Julie Cruise's "Falling" sounds so amazing through this that it should've been part of that big Twin Peaks rerelease box set.
posted by cortex at 12:45 PM on May 25

I fed it with Sunn O))) and it was glorious.
posted by Foosnark at 1:20 PM on May 25 [4 favorites]

I put Merzbow in and out came MUSIC!
posted by symbioid at 1:59 PM on May 25 [4 favorites]

damnit mintcake! you stole my joke!
posted by symbioid at 2:00 PM on May 25 [1 favorite]

it seems to me like after playing several files the rate of distortion increase goes up significantly; maybe the eventhandler getting multiplied or something despite being reset to zero. I found reloading the page between songs fixes it.

I get the same thing; and similarly I often have a hard time getting the page to play the song it says I've uploaded - on a fresh reload I get about 3 seconds of the same song that I don't recognize, and after a song it keeps trying to play the old one.

That being said, this is awesome. Time to plug in some philip glass and see what happens!
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:34 PM on May 25

I put in the first mp3 I had handy, which was 50 Cent's "In Da Club", and I sat there listening and longing for it to disintegrate faster.
posted by NikitaNikita at 4:56 PM on May 25

i love stuff like this!
posted by rebent at 5:14 PM on May 25

I think that's down to using an AudioBuffer (which is really meant for short audio clips) rather than a MediaElementStream to process the audio. The default track is a few seconds of The Beatles 'And your bird can sing'. Since it takes a while to load the full track into the buffer, if you hit play too soon it'll just play the old buffer (but it should continue loading the new track). A 'loading' progress message would be nice but I couldn't figure out how to get that working before.
posted by TwoWordReview at 5:48 PM on May 25 [1 favorite]

I think it works best with older songs because you're adding a modern techno/industrial sound to vintage music. It's like DIY Moby or Verve Remixed.

I tried it with Dean Martin's Mambo Italiano and France Gall's Laisse tomber les filles and it worked nice. I'm sure it would complement old Southern blues and gospel songs too.
posted by dgaicun at 6:34 PM on May 25 [1 favorite]

I tried to load Alvin Lucier's "I Am Sitting in a Room" too quickly, so when it started to play "And Your Bird Can Sing", I seriously thought I had broken the app.

Probably for the best; putting Lucier through any more distortion would probably summon Yog-Sothoth to come eat my soul or clean my carpets or some crap.
posted by maqsarian at 8:47 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]

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