Last weekend, a collection of popular songs remixed into swing versions went viral on the Internet. They all used the “swinger.py” script in the trunk of Echo Nest Remix, a new python web services API for creating song remixes. The script sends sound files to Echo Nest — a Somerville, Massachusetts company — and then, using the data about the beats and song sections collected, manipulates the track into a swing version by “time-stretching the first half of each beat while time-shrinking the second half.” The result is rather uncanny, with the songs immediately more upbeat and swingy, without significant artifacts.
Although similar effects, at least for swing, can be administered in Ableton Live and other advanced Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), there is something magical about creating interesting remixes straight from the command line (especially with open source software!). Additionally, having the power of Python, along with the Echo Nest data, to manipulate song segments potentially enables an entirely new approach to remixing that is more algorithmic and comfortable for coders.
On Friday, June 25 at HacDC at 7:00PM, Todd Fine will introduce the Echo Nest Remix framework, do some live mixes (bring your mp3′s and wav’s), and the group will brainstorm about interesting algorithmic approaches to remixing (including music video manipulation). He will also talk about how SoX (Sound eXchange) effects can be added to Echo Nest Remix scripts to create an extreme command line studio. When Todd heard about the swinger.py example, he immediately created a version of Rick James’s “Super Freak” which has received over 2,500 listens on Soundcloud in the last several days. He is still learning the potential of the Echo Nest framework, and would highly encourage others in the D.C. area with experience to stop by and describe the work they have done.
When: 7:00PM-8:30, Friday, June 25
Where: HacDC Space, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington DC 20010
Cost: Free and Open to the Public!