Beet Five Shop

An experiment to see how common Photoshop filters might effect a piece of music when applied to its spectrograph.

The first 80 seconds of audio from Beethoven’s Fifth was ripped from YouTube and fed into the ANS synth. This produced a spectrogram which was exported and edited in Photoshop using tools in the Filter menu. The resulting manipulated spectrogram was then played back, and recorded, in the ANS synth.

Original audio

Original in ANS

Crystalised filter

Extrude filter

Find Edges filter

Halftone filter

Pinch filter

Polar Stretch filter

Note 1: Vimeo is my preferred video hosting service but they rejected two of the videos due to copyright infringement. I had assumed a composition by someone who’s been dead for 188 years would be out of copyright, but I forgot that performances are copyrighted too. Thanks, Royal Philharmonic. YouTube is happy to host the videos because it’ll put ads next to them, which is why I pay to use Vimeo because YouTube’s ads are obnoxious and intrusive. So it goes.

But this is actually really interesting. When does my manipulation of the music stop it being recognised, and how far after that point does it continue to be recognisable? The Crystalised filter is probably in that zone.

I think the next stage would be to repeat this for a massive number of effects and chop and slice between them somehow. And to not use a recording in the copyright ID database…

Note 2: Yes, very Wendy Carlos…