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Mr MycoBag

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 549
Loc: NC, USA
CDs 'sound better' with fungus
    #1974373 - 10/02/03 11:31 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

This is too cool  :smile:


CDs 'sound better' with fungus
From correspondents in Paris

WANT to listen to something really different? Smear yoghurt on your favourite CD.

Let it dry.

Slide the disc into the player. Crank up the volume. And hear that music in a completely fresh, possibly spine-chilling way.

The bizarre innovation - an "optical biocomputer" if you must know - is the brainchild of an Australian scientist, Cameron Jones, who as well as being a mathematician with a record of published research also owns a nightclub and bar in Melbourne, New Scientist reports.

Jones' pet area of research is how signals can be transmitted through biological cells, which grow in a so-called "fractal" way, like tree branches.

He became intrigued by experimental musicians and DJs who, from the mid-1980s, sanded, varnished or even slapped paint onto CDs to create new sounds to sample.

Music on CDs comes from tiny etched pits in the tracks that represent binary digits, the "0" or "1" that make up a computer code. The code, reflected back by the laser in the CD player, is then processed back into an electronic signal and converted to sound.

Mutilating the surface, so that some of the pits are missed, thus changes the sound.

But Jones found that much subtler sounds could be achieved using fungal or bacterial growth, rather than scraping or coating the disc's surface.

This is because these life forms introduce tiny errors, on a micron on nanoscale level rather than the far bigger millimetric scale.

In addition, the way fungus and bacteria can shape the sound in weird ways.

Bacteria grow by cell division, while fungi grow by branching. Both processes can be controlled by adding malt extract to the disc as food.

Jones told New Scientist that he came across the discovery quite by accident, when he was DJing in his bar.

"I often change CDs when my hands are wet with beer," he told the British weekly. "One night I must have changed the CDs, touched the data surface, then left them for use on another night."

The following week, he put on a CD by Nine Inch Nails and found that it would not play properly because fungus had grown on it.

But the fungus had not ruined the disc. The original audio sequence was there, but it would sometimes change in pitch and there were small staccato noises in the background.

He asked himself: "What would happen if I purposely grew fungi, yeast or bacteria in direct contact with the media, and manipulated their fractal dimensions?"

Yoghurt-on-a-disc was born.

Jones says that he has yet to damage any of his discs or players with his pioneering work, but warns that the technique does crash CD players on computers because the software cannot cope.

Judge the sounds for yourself on (www.swin.edu.au/chem/bio/fractals/refslist.htm), which has details of his work and samples of "fractal" music.

Agence France-Presse


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Registered: 07/12/99
Posts: 8,117
Re: CDs 'sound better' with fungus [Re: MycoFactory]
    #1975100 - 10/03/03 05:59 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

OMG thank you for posting that.

/running to the AM/PM for some Yoplait...

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creator ofworlds

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 693
Loc: Florida
Last seen: 7 years, 2 months
Re: CDs 'sound better' with fungus [Re: Middleman]
    #1976572 - 10/03/03 04:22 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Yeah, this post was great! has anyone tried it yet?

Just another animal embeded in a technological coral reef extruded psychic objects...

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Octi Doci

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 1,598
Re: CDs 'sound better' with fungus [Re: MycoFactory]
    #1976803 - 10/03/03 05:23 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

whoa bro. no way

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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 23,093
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Re: CDs 'sound better' with fungus [Re: MycoFactory]
    #1977137 - 10/03/03 07:26 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Doesn't really sound very special to me. Just sounds like a fucked up CD.

What am I missing?


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