March 2011

The Octapol, a Flower Conservatory, and WTF?

I came across this great DIY midi controller by Flickr user Mikest

In addition to having a great aesthetic appeal the prototype for the LED ring digital encoders is bitchin’. Hats’s off to Mikest.

Just as an additional observation, usually when i find a flickr user with some cool audio/midi/synth stuff i like to look at all their images. More often than not you can get an idea what the person is into, their hobbies, personality. While browsing Mikest’s pictures this is what I cam across. So I get it, I can see what the flowers resemble, and it appeals to me. But what I think is really awesome is that one image wasn’t enough… another, zoomed in version was necessary.

What a ‘Titty’ sounds like

This is a follow up to my previous post on manipulating file’s header information to make them waves. It occurred to me that now that I know how the waves are rendered I could create some custom wave shapes of my own. Of course, being that I have the mind of an adolescent boy, my next though was to spell out ‘dirty’ words with a wave shape and then listen to what they sound like. The image below is the first result on my mission to create a dirty word audio library. Please allow me to introduce “Titty”…

Waveshape as a font

You can grab the Wave File Here

How to turn any file format into a wave

Boing Boing posted a link to this video from YouTube user r2blend. R2blend used Adobe Audition but also suggests using Audacity’s ‘import data as audio’ feature to render an executable file (and presumably other file formats) to a listenable audio format.

This is awesome and I wanted to give it a try but I don’t have Adobe Audition. I do have Audacity but it’s on the Linux boot of my only laptop so using it there doesn’t do me much good on the Windows 7 boot, where I do most if not all of my audio work.

So I decided to come up with a way to create a valid .wav file header for any file format which can be inserted with the use of a hex editor. Here’s how to do it…

.Wav file headers are incredibly straightforward and require very little calculation to generate. There are numerous sources available on the web but I find this single, 7 year old page on Stanford’s site really easy to understand.

Simplifying the info from stanford further in most cases (i won’t delve into the exceptions here) you need a 44 byte string as follows:

52 49 46 46 “RIFF”
6E E8 02 00 the file size minus 8 bytes
57 41 56 45 “WAVE”
66 6D 74 20 “fmt ”
10 00 00 00 16 for PCM.
01 00 PCM = 1
02 00 Number of channels
44 AC 00 00 sample rate (this example is 44100)
10 B1 02 00 sample rate * Num Channels * Bits per sample/8
04 00 NumChannels * BitsPerSample/8
10 00 bits per sample (this example is 16)
64 61 74 61 “data”
00 E8 02 00 Total file size minus 44 bytes

Now that you know what you need we can get started. First make a copy of the file you want to turn into a .wav and change the extension to “.wav”. I used the executable for ESET’s NOD32 64bit anti-virus software.

Right click on the file to determine the file size.

Input the file size information to my handy excel worksheet along with what sample rate you want, how many channels, and the bits per sample. Take note that you can have more than 2 channels…

Open the file you are converting to a working .wav file in your favorite hex editor. I use HxD which is more than sufficient for any of my needs.

Paste the copied 44 byte hex string…

Save it and open it in your favorite audio software and voila! You have audio, where previously there was none.

and as a treat, a look at what happens when you change the channels from one to eight using the same source…

And an example of the audio…