Extracting Audio from Pictures
April 5, 2013 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Extracting Audio from Pictures
posted by JeffL (14 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- travelingthyme

Immediately made me think of Digital Needle and ELP Japan's laser turntable.
posted by mrbill at 8:29 PM on April 5, 2013

How did they print this so that the ink wouldn't seep into a neighboring groove?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:00 PM on April 5, 2013

The little audio snippets all sound kinda like something from the mouth of a beatboxer.

seep into a neighboring groove

Reminds me of the potential for misplaying by being diverted in a drum ensemble which is playing very polyrhythmically: you can seep into a neighboring groove, when you're supposed to be holding your own.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:14 PM on April 5, 2013

Well, it's just a picture, and they were very used to woodcut graphics, and exactly how much pressure and ink to use, to get maximum clarity. The fact that it's a picture of sound, instead of a diagram, wouldn't matter much to them.

What I'm wondering is how they generated the original image so that they could print it. I can't imagine it being done by hand. Maybe a casting?
posted by Malor at 9:16 PM on April 5, 2013

posted by charlie don't surf at 9:31 PM on April 5, 2013

Maybe a casting?

Perhaps a rubbing? Seems feasible.
posted by dylanjames at 9:33 PM on April 5, 2013

Digital needle - a virtual gramaphone featured efforts to scan a record and play back the audio, back in 2002 (which I found on Slashdot, for what it's worth).

Related, but inverted: Extracting pictures from audio
posted by filthy light thief at 9:48 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have a theory that eventually this will get good enough that anything that might have acted as a stylus, and might have been affected by sound, will be scanned and ancient sounds will be brought back to life from the grooves in Roman pottery and flint marks on prehistoric caves.

I'm probably wrong, but I no longer believe in the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, so I need a little magic in my life.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:25 PM on April 5, 2013

ancient sounds will be brought back to life from the grooves in Roman pottery

I seem to recall an episode of CSI where someone had been murdered in a ceramics studio, and one of the detectives figured out a way to extract audio from the surface of the clay pot the victim had been making when they were stabbed, thereby solving the case somehow.
posted by oulipian at 11:58 PM on April 5, 2013

ancient sounds will be brought back to life from the grooves in Roman pottery

"hey, thish ish zum rilly good wine ya got here *hic* Antonius..."
"yeah, s'pretty good eh? S'from *burp* Pompei..."

and flint marks on prehistoric caves

"Og! Og! Move, MOVE! That stalactite is about to fa--" *CRASH*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:39 AM on April 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

From Wikipedia's article on Archaeoacoustics,

"An early interpretation of the idea of archaeoacoustics was that it explored acoustic phenomena encoded in ancient artifacts. For instance, the idea that a pot or vase could be "read" like a gramophone record or phonograph cylinder for messages from the past, sounds encoded into the turning clay as the pot was thrown. There is little evidence to support such ideas, and there are few publications claiming that this is the case. In comparison the more contemporary approach to the field now has many publications and a growing significance. This earlier approach was first raised in the 6 February 1969 issue of New Scientist magazine, where it was discussed in David E. H. Jones's light-hearted "Daedalus" column. He wrote:

[A] trowel, like any flat plate, must vibrate in response to sound: thus, drawn over the wet surface by the singing plasterer, it must emboss a gramophone-type recording of his song in the plaster. Once the surface is dry, it may be played back.
—Jones, 1982[8]"

Maybe a couple decdes ago, someone loaned me a book on Fortean objects and the volume closed with a tale of two boffins who were able to procure sound from an ancient Sumerian or Babylonian clay vessel. The book included a cd with the recording (and various ephemera).

The sound was like a busy city street with people muttering and a donkey's bray. Then a loud voice speaking in some unknown tongue. It made my hair stand on end and I listened to it repeatedly for days.

Was it real? Doubtful. But what a fantastic and beautiful hoax.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:57 AM on April 6, 2013

Ha! And with a little research here's a video in french of a Babylonian urn being played. The link downloads the MP4 file on this Windows box (at work), but it does play.

Bil Levase.MP4
posted by artof.mulata at 1:18 AM on April 6, 2013

I'd like to see how a broken record could be put back together this way. I have a good scanner at my disposal and some broken 78's.
posted by facesonflags at 4:46 PM on April 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

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