Dan Paluska

Experiments with timelapse and audio

timelapse audio

After spending all this time making timelapse movies, I had to make some timelapse audio. I wrote a simple script and here are a few samples of the output:

ELP live at the middle east. 60 minutes compressed to about 1 minutes:

A conversation with Bill and Jamie that went from 40 minutes to about 1.5 min.

A performance of Handel’s Messiah from the Brooklyn Pentacostal church (missing the famous ending). About 70 minutes down to 1.5 min.

How do they make you feel? They correctly convey the feelings of being there but don’t really reveal too many details? I will continue to experiment with versions of this. Play with timings, mixings, etc.

This was a shell script implemented with SoX, a free and open source audio toolkit. Download for free from http://sox.sourceforge.net. It requires a little bit of UNIX/LINUX know-how but is pretty straightforward. Check the attached SoX README file on installing the separate LIBMAD and LAME for dealing with mp3s.

Here is the script:

The script calls on another script you can get for free from the SoX page as well:crossfade_cat.sh. edit the $SOX line in this file to point to correct location. varies slightly on mac/linux distros.


also, superbowl 44 in 2minutes:


7 Comments so far
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This reminds me of fast forwarding through DV tape, where you get little parts of a frame for a moment. That’d be great if you used frequency-dependent windows — so lower frequency sounds were slower to change and higher frequency sounds were faster to change. It could be wonderfully confusing.

I did some experiments a few years ago with time lapse video + audio. I was really interested in the idea of creating an image that was just slightly impossible to create on film (overlapping exposures). I called them “ambient lapses”: http://vimeo.com/217205

Comment by Kyle McDonald

those ambient lapses are really great. and i will think about that frequency domain stuff too…

Comment by danielpaluska

[…] links to check for more info on scripts and other necessary installs: https://plainfront.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/experiments-with-timelapse-and-audio/ […]

Pingback by snips and layers « Plainfront.com/Dan Paluska

Great! I’ve just had this exact idea, and being a Java programmer I thought to be able to build an “audio snapshot taker”, just as a time lapse camera would take a snapshot on a set interval.
But Java isn’t too fantastic with DSP, and I immediatelly ran into the zero-crossing problem. But this is fantastic too, I like shell scripts a lot! Though this method needs lots of memory. The plus side is that you can experiment with what settings works best for the recorded material.

This kind of work unveils some interesting differences in audio and image perception, the brain already kind of melts the images together on a high enough framerate, whereas the audio needs to be pre-melted.

Comment by Robbert

Hey I’ve been using that script and some adapted versions of it now, thanks! Installing sox on OSX wasn’t easy, I ended up using http://www.macports.org/ to install sox. I’ve created that java tool to take ‘snapshots’ of audio, which an adapted script then processes. Got some pretty cool results. It’s funny that if you take a conversation and you make sure there are a lot of overlapses, it seems like you’re in a room at a party :)

Comment by Robbert

cool. i also just reinstalled sox with macports when my drive died and os was wiped. worked well for me.

i agree about the layers. some layer stuff here: https://plainfront.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/snips-and-layers/

Comment by t he ans weri saque stion?

[…] The scripts are similar to those used in the Timelapse memory server. It also has an audio component which is similar to the methods described in this post. […]

Pingback by All Asia Timelapse Twvee « The Broadcaster Project

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