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Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Babelcast MP3s

The Babelcast, housed at the felexatone.net website, suggests a kind of android version of what Scanner’s often up to: scrounging for choice overheard verbiage in the airways, mixing it in with some digital noise and tonal material, and producing something wherein the words comment on themselves, the non-verbal sounds lend context to what is spoken, and the whole thing has the feel of some abstract radio drama. The difference here is that the Babelcast is at least semi-automated. As described on flexatone.net, “Sounds of U.S. and World leaders and commentators [are] fragmented and distorted into something more sensible and digestible.” The promotional text refers to Babelcast as an “algorithmic, computer-generated podcast,” though judging by the succinct sample choices, featuring such events as the nomination of John Roberts for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court and the approach of Hurricane Katrina, there’s likely some human involvement, at least in the soundbite-selection process. The site promises new MP3s, “built from sounds harvested within a period of days or weeks.” As with the Daily Show on Comedy Central, the Babelcast mediates world news into commentary disguised as entertainment, or perhaps vice versa. Download the August 29 (MP3) and September 1 (MP3) Babelcasts, or check out the site here. (Original link via makezine.com.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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