A Better Place

A Better Place is an experiment using lissajous figures generated by a virtual phase correlation meter. Audio manipulated in Renoise and Reaktor. Visuals created in vvvv. Original sample by 43

Read on for a more detailed explanation of what’s going on.  

A Better Place is the first sketch in a series I intend to develop further.

I’m certainly not the first person to mess around with a phase meter and discover the incredibly engaging visuals you can get by deliberately feeding it out of phase signals. A Better Place is my first attempt to contextualise these figures as an artwork. The meter code will also be a useful tool to deploy on other sound reactive works in future.

The lissajous figures are a literal representation of the audio data. In each loop the delay system resamples itself. As the pitch changes the quantity of data that must be represented in a given amount of time is varied, meaning the loop algorithm takes an imperfect snapshot of the data from the previous instance. EG. As the pitch increases the system must represent the data from 8 bits using only 7 bits. Something like generation loss occurs.

As the audio information is destroyed the visuals somehow become more communicative for us as they take on various patterns and shapes. This seems like some kind of paradox. My theory (at this stage) is that it’s a function of our brains finding certain simplified data sets more meaningful than the cloudy data of the original sound. Even though mathematically the original sound contains much more information we find more powerful images in the distorted, repetitive patterns of the streteched and destroyed data.