Last time we talked about how one can use pitching, reversing and time stretching to create some eerie sounds. Today I want to talk about another really awesome tool I used to create a bunch of sounds that anyone can create using their own computer.
It’s called data bending or data destruction and is pretty much what it sounds like, you manipulate any form of data in a way it was not originally intended to be manipulated. The Wikipedia article on databending is very informative for the one who is interested in learning more.
I never took this process as far as I know you can take it, but I never had to because this technique will give you some awesome results instantly anyway. All you need is a software that can import raw data and play it back to you, I know audacity can do this. I should tell you that there are many other, perhaps easier, ways of manipulating data to create astonishing audio using photoshop, notepad, or even scratching CD:s, but I will stick to importing raw data as it is the method I chose.
When I chose which file to import I went with files that weren’t very compressed as those that were compressed seemed to give me little other than white noise. Instead I went with Stairs.exe as it provided me, not only with amazing audio, but also with a strange satisfaction knowing that a part of the game is in the game, presented to the player as audio. The more you know.
Unfortunately I’m not able to provide you with the data I used as a source so your results will likely be very different from mine, no less awesome though.
Warning: Very loud audio!
And after some simple editing and adding of effects we get something usable. Sound quite rough and harsh doesn’t it? Just the way I like it.
Being a sound designer is so much fun!
Very cool article! I haven't been playing with data-bending yet but I definitely have to give this a shot!