Soundstorm by pengtt



The visual representation of changes
in musical atmosphere.

   The idea of visualizing music has been around          After research, I realized that most computer-
   since music sheets. Improvements in computer           based visualizers change in an instance, leaving
   processing power have allowed for real-time            little to no “marks” from previous parts in a song.
   conversion of audio to image. The growth of            I therefore set out with the idea of creating a
   VJing and interactive art exhibitions, as well         program that could create an everlasting “icon”
   as programs like iTunes and Windows Media              for a song. I decided that all of the shapes,
   Player, have slowly nudged music visualization         movement and colour generated in the program
   into the limelight.                                    should be based on the song itself, and avoid
                                                          any “random” interventions from the computer.
   After a leisurely Christmas day I decided to peel      This meant that if the program were fed the
   myself of the sofa and tackle a bit of overly          same song twice, it would produce exactly the
   avoided uni work (which at the time happened           same image both times.
   to be a pretty boring essay). To put off the essay,
   and still clear my conscience, I spent a bit of        I spent a long time glued to a screen, playing
   time playing around with a program that I’d            around with different approaches, until I
   seen in a design mag called Processing. The            eventually decided on a version which created
   program (which is open source and available            shapes similar to that of a thunderstorm.
   free online) is geared towards visual outcomes,        The program slowly creates a musical score
   making it a lot easier to grasp in comparison          throughout a song, by analyzing changes in its
   to many other programming languages. I also            intensity and variety (or atmosphere). The name
   found aspects of it similar to Flash’s Actionscript,   “soundstorm” therefore seemed to make sense.
   which I’ve experienced a bit before. I didn’t get
   that far, but I realized Processing’s potential and
   kept it in the back of my head until our
   self-initiated project.
How it works                                        Other Applications                                  This Book
It always starts with four dots at the centre       I like the idea of playing an entire album          The sole purpose of this book is to showcase
of the screen. Each dot represents a different      through the program sometime, and using it          the visualizer using a collection of songs
frequency band (one dot for low-end bass-           to generate cover artwork for that album. The       that slowly increase in intensity. To reflect
like sounds, one for mid-range sounds, one          idea of printing onto clothes (people wearing       the resemblance that the visualizer has with
for higher pitches, etc). The song then begins      the songs they enjoy) could be explored.            changes in weather patterns I have decided to
and each dot constantly looks at the difference     The program would make for quite a nice             give each track a number on the beaufort scale
between its frequency band (A) and a frequency      screensaver. I hope in the future more efforts      (which is commonly used to measure storms).
slightly above or below (B). The dot then moves     will be made in creating visualizers that leave     As the numbers increase, the intensity of the
left, right, up or down using the difference        the user with some kind of memorabilia. The         songs increase, which in turn affects the scale
between A and B. If a dot makes it to the edge      visualizer has many possibilities and could         and movements in the image produced
of the screen it is reset to the middle where       easily be used in an interactive exhibition where   by the visualizer.
it began. Additionally, the dot is counting         it listens and doodles to visitors instead of a
the beats in a song and will show when an           pre-made song. Imagine having the walls of a        The colours created by the program have
important part of the song has occurred by          conference room listen to it’s occupants whilst     been changed to resemble those used when
drawing a line or triangle between its location     generating a wallpaper based on the talks that      displaying wave height and wind speed from a
and the centre of the screen.                       occurred inside the room each day.                  weather forecast. The book begins at deep blue
                                                                                                        (the kind of gentle wind that might just flap a
The main program itself is also monitoring          I only have a basic knowledge of programming,       dogs ears) and ends in deep red (the kind of
beats. Every time it counts 8 beats it draws a      so I was confronted by many boundaries whilst       conditions that would propel the dog through a
semi-transparent quadrilateral based on the         creating the software, some of which I had to       brick wall).
current locations of the four dots. These cloud-    work around. Working with someone that knew
looking shapes allow you to see where the most      what they were doing would allow me to break
intense parts of a song occurred (these patches     these boundaries and possibly make something
are the most darkened). After it counts 32 beats    even better. One thing I would criticise the
it is able to create a colour based on the music,   current visualizer of is being pretty dull to
using a similar method to the one above (for the    watch. At some point maybe this
dots). Following this it alternates between using   could be improved.
a colour and using black.
Sea Conditions: Flat.

Land Conditions: Smoke rises vertically.
Requiem (Lacrimosa)

The autograph of the Requiem was placed on
display at the World’s Fair in 1958 in Brussels. At
some point during the fair, someone was able
to gain access to the manuscript, tearing off the
bottom right-hand corner of the second to last
page (folio 99r/45r), containing the words “Quam
olim d: C:” (an instruction that the “Quam olim”
fugue of the Domine Jesu was to be repeated
“da capo”, at the end of the Hostias). To this day
the perpetrator has not been identified and the
fragment has not been recovered.

If the most common authorship theory is true, then
“Quam olim d: C:” might very well be the last words
Mozart wrote before he died. It is probable that
whoever stole the fragment believed that to
be the case.
Light Air
Sea Conditions: Ripples without crests.

Land Conditions: Wind motion visible in smoke.
Red Hot

Porcelain is the eigth song on the seventh studio
album Californication, by American alternative
rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on
June 8, 1999 on Warner Bros. Records. Produced
by Rick Rubin, Californication marked the return
of John Frusciante, who had previously appeared
on Mother’s Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik,
to replace Dave Navarro as the band’s guitarist.
Frusciante’s return was credited with changing the
band’s sound altogether.
Light Breeze
Sea Conditions: Small wavelets. Crests of glassy
appearance, not breaking.

Land Conditions: Wind felt on exposed skin.
Leaves rustle.
Monday Massacre

Quentin Dupieux aka Mr. Oizo was born in 1974.
At the relatively young age of 12, he found a
camera and started taking pictures of anything
and everything. At 17, he began to play music
to illustrate his images, and bought his first
synthesiser. In 1997, Laurent Garnier of F. Com
bought a car from Mr Oizo’s father. Garnier then
found out about Dupieux’s talents and let him
direct the music video for his song “Flashback”.
Later Dupieux was signed by F. Com Records where
he released his first EP fittingly titled, “#1”.
Gentle Breeze
Sea Conditions: Large wavelets. Crests begin to
break; scattered whitecaps.

Land Conditions: Leaves and smaller twigs in
constant motion.
Useless (Kruder &
Dorfmeister Remix)

“Useless” is Depeche Mode’s thirty-fourth UK single,
released on October 20, 1997, and the fourth and
final single for the album Ultra. It was released
with “Home” as a double A-side in the US due to
“Useless” getting airplay on US radio stations before
“Home” was announced.”Useless” is a hard-rock
track in the vein of “Barrel of a Gun”, with more of
a pop twist.

The single remix, by Alan Moulder, changes the
intro and has an updated beat (similar to the
changes done to the 7” versions of Walking In
My Shoes and Condemnation) and adds some
extra synth during the chorus. The “The Kruder +
Dorfmeister Session” is a very prominent remix by
the DJ duo of the same name.
Moderate Breeze
Sea Conditions: Small waves.

Land Conditions: Dust and loose paper raised.
Small branches begin to move.
Daft Punk

“Aerodynamic” is an instrumental track by Daft
Punk that is particularly well known for its guitar
solo. The track was released on March 28, 2001 as
the second single from the Discovery album.

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo once described
the Discovery album as “A mix between the past
and the future, maybe the present.” Thomas
Bangalter also elaborated in a 2001 interview that
“A lot of house music today just uses samples
from disco records of the ‘70s and ‘80s... While we
might have some disco influences, we decided to
go further and bring in all the elements of music
that we liked as children, whether it’s disco, electro,
heavy metal, rock, or classical.”
Fresh Breeze
Sea Conditions: Moderate (1.2 m) longer waves.
Some foam and spray.

Land Conditions: Branches of a moderate size
move. Small trees begin to sway.

The members of Foo Fighters meld melodic
elements with harder sounds. Grohl noted in 1997,
“We all love music, whether it’s the Beatles or
Queen or punk rock. I think the lure of punk rock
was the energy and immediacy; the need to thrash
stuff around. But at the same time, we’re all suckers
for a beautiful melody, you know? So it
is just natural.”
Strong Breeze
Sea Conditions: Large waves with foam crests
and some spray.

Land Conditions: Large branches in motion.
Whistling heard in overhead wires. Umbrella use
becomes difficult. Empty plastic garbage cans
tip over.
The Creeps

The Creeps is a remix by Vandalism of an
instrumental from a couple of years back. Freaks
vocalist Stella Attar provides the vocals.

The music video shows a male security guard who
works in a mortuary. As he patrols the mortuary,
three female corpses with vampyric elongated
canines come to life and chase him through the
facility. He is cornered at a locked door, but as
they attack the scene changes to leave him on his
own. He returns to the security centre to watch the
CCTV replay where he sees the truth. The three
girls were real, and are shown sensually attacking
him with their canines.
High Wind
Sea Conditions: Sea heaps up and foam begins
to be blown in streaks in wind direction.

Land Conditions: Whole trees in motion. Effort
needed to walk against the wind. Swaying of
skyscrapers may be felt, especially by people on
upper floors.
Limp Bizkit
My Generation

“My Generation” is a song by Limp Bizkit from the
album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored
Water. The song was released as the first single
simultaneously with “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)”.

In the summer of 1999, Limp Bizkit played at
the highly anticipated Woodstock ‘99 show.
Violent action sprang up during and after their
performance, including fans tearing plywood from
the walls during a rendition of the band’s single
“Break Stuff”. Several rapes and sexual assaults were
reported in the aftermath of the concert, resulting
in deliberately lit fires and looting when the Red
Hot Chili Peppers played the next day. Some have
blamed the band for this outbreak, although Fred
Durst claimed that none of the instigations he had
made at the concert were intended
to cause damage.
Fresh Gale
Sea Conditions: Moderately high waves with
breaking crests forming spindrift. Streaks of

Land Conditions: Twigs broken from trees. Cars
veer on road.
Green Day
American Idiot

“American Idiot” criticizes the post 9/11 U.S.,
referring to such issues as paranoia, propaganda
and media.

The music video for the song opens in a large open
building, presumably a warehouse, with the band
members playing in front of a large green-and-
white American flag. Throughout the song, various
stunts are performed, including Tre Cool leaving
the drum set and running around the stage. As
the video progresses, the green coloring is drained
from the flag, leaving only white with the outlines
of stars and stripes. When the solo begins, green
sewage-like liquid (presumably the coloring from
the now-drained flag) explodes from the speakers,
and floods the set. At the end of the song, the band
members all drop their instruments in the sludge,
and walk off the stage.
Strong Gale
Sea Conditions: High waves (6-7 m) with dense
foam. Wave crests start to roll over. Considerable

Land Conditions: Larger branches break
off trees, and some small trees blow over.
Construction/temporary signs and barricades
blow over. Damage to circus tents and canopies.
Square Dance

The Eminem Show is a reflective album, featuring
a more personal and serious side of Eminem. This
change gives the album a lighter tone, a departure
from the hardcore and controversial nature of his
previous albums. Over the course of the album, he
touches on the issues of race in hip-hop (“White
America”), his childhood (“Cleanin’ Out My Closet”),
the United States Government, army, and terrorism
(“Square Dance”).
Sea Conditions: Very high waves. Large patches
of foam from wave crests give the sea a white
appearance. Considerable tumbling of waves
with heavy impact. Large amounts of airborne
spray reduce visibility.

Land Conditions: Trees are broken off or
uprooted, saplings bent and deformed, poorly
attached asphalt shingles and shingles in poor
condition peel off roofs.
Plug In Baby

Though the meaning of the song is debated, it
could be about genetically engineering puppies to
remain young and live forever, as Matt Bellamy has
stated jovially in a magazine interview.

This song is widely praised for its intro riff, almost
instantly recognisable for use of a rising triad motif
to move through a distinctively harmonic minor
scale. It made it to #5 in Kerrang!’s Top 50 Riffs. The
beginning of the riff shows similarities to Bach’s
“Toccata and Fugue”. Bellamy has also stated in a
2005 interview that it elaborates on the riff from DJ
Shadow’s track Organ Donor. The bassline is very
similar to that of Air’s single Sexy Boy, which was
released 3 years earlier.
Violent Storm
Sea Conditions: Exceptionally high waves.
Very large patches of foam, driven before the
wind, cover much of the sea surface. Very large
amounts of airborne spray severely reduce

Land Conditions: Widespread vegetation
damage. More damage to most roofing surfaces,
asphalt tiles that have curled up and/or fractured
due to age may break away completely.
Still D.R.E.

“Still D.R.E.” is a song by Dr. Dre, released as the
lead single from his multi-platinum second album
2001. This song features Snoop Dogg on the intro,
chorus and outro.

The song, co-written by Jay-Z, was produced by
Dre with Mel-Man, with Camara Kambon and Scott
Storch on keyboards. Scott Storch was the one
to create the famous riff of the song, the final cut
using a synthesized koto effect.
Sea Conditions: Gargantuan waves. Sea is
completely white with foam and spray. Air
is filled with driving spray, greatly reducing

Land Conditions: Considerable and widespread
damage to vegetation, a few windows broken,
structural damage to mobile homes and poorly
constructed sheds and barns. Debris may be
hurled about.

The Bloody Beetroots are an Italian electronica and
dance music duo. Formed in late 2006 by producer
Bobby Rifo, an international indie producer, and DJ
Tommy Tea. The album Cornelius was in the Top
100 International iTunes downloads. This album
was a complete art project composed of music,
videos, and fashion. A collaboration with french
label Sixpack France was done to edit a limited tee
shirt. Often compared with French band Justice,
the duo wear spiderman masks while performing.

The duo had a short tour of the United States in
early 2008, alongside DJ Steve Aoki. In 2008, the
song “Butter” was included on the
soundtrack for FIFA 09.

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