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Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Infectious Staff

Name: Studio Tonne • Rating: Hella Cool • Format: Online Software • Play

A musical staff on the move. The website for the France-based record label Bip-Hop features one of the finest audio-games currently on the web. The game, introduced on the Bip-Hop homepage as “a present from Studio Tonne,” is deceptively elegant: You are provided with a dozen colored objects, each representing a single sound. There are also four horizontal lines, reminiscent of a musical staff. Along each of the lines a bright white dot runs back and forth at a steady pace. If you drag one of the colored sound objects onto one of the lines, every time it is crossed by the white dot a specific sound is emitted. A brown dot and a yellow dot both trigger for the word “bip,” a grey dot triggers “hop,” but most of the sounds are light snippets of percussion, like a snap of white noise or a tiny aspiration. The pace can be sped up or slowed down, thanks to prominent plus- and minus-sign buttons. Though the game provides no proper instructions, the rules become apparent with some simple experimentation. The length of the staff lines can be altered by dragging the translucent tubes that appear at each end. And each colored dot, as it turns out, can be triggered in one of three manners: as the white dot crosses from the left, from the right, or coming and going. Studio Tonne is a multimedia studio with clients including Ford Motor Company, Penguin Books and Sulphur, the record label run by electronic musician Scanner.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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