June 25, 2024


Technology and Computer

How to compose audio with just a single line of code

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This article was initially published on .cult by Mynah Marie. .cult is a Berlin-centered neighborhood platform for developers. We produce about all things job-related, make first documentaries and share heaps of other untold developer stories from close to the earth.

In 2011, a programmer heading by the name of Viznut printed the following video clip on YouTube:


Accompanying the video were being numerous article content written by him and posted on his weblog. In them, he describes how he unintentionally identified that by running a easy C program outputting one people and piping them into the audio interface of a computer system, it’s possible to encode these bytes and turn them into not just sounds, but songs.

The online video and post produced an uproar in the Demoscene local community. People today started experimenting with fundamental C courses and coming up with fascinating melodies. Quickly, Viznut published a additional tutorial paper detailing the idea powering how to compose elaborate new music compositions making use of this strategy.

A new subgenre of digital tunes was born: bytebeat.

Identifying the strong abilities of just one-liner C programs

In its essence, a bytebeat software is a smaller C application consisting of an infinite loop, outputting to the terminal an limitless string of ASCII people. These chars can then be piped to another software and interpreted as uncooked audio output.

By influencing a variable t as a result of bitwise functions at each individual loop iteration, we guarantee ourselves that the output of the method will always be a various character, so different combinations of seems will be listened to.

The beauty of a bytebeat method arrives from its simplicity. With 1 line of code, the programmer has the capacity to create complex audio items only by manipulating a one variable.

When reading Viznut’s very first articles on the matter, it’s interesting to take note his individual feeling of bewilderment when identifying that one thing so straightforward hardly ever seemed to have caught anyone’s focus ahead of.

“A Bytebeat components is a very simple arrangement of electronic-arithmetic operations that have been elementary to computer systems given that the really starting. It is apparently a little something that ought to have been learned decades ago, but it was not. […]

It is thoughts-boggling to believe that the space of really shorter applications remains so uncharted that random excursions there can churn out new fascinating structures even after seventy many years.” — ViznutBringing magic back to technologies

Bringing back again a sense of “magic” in today’s rapidly-paced technological entire world

“One definition of magic […] is that it breaks people’s preconceptions of what is feasible. In order to problem and ridicule today’s technological bloat, we really should notably goal at discoveries that are significantly as well basic and random to operate but continue to do,” Viznut, Bringing magic back to know-how.