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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 487
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:54 pm 
 

Earlier today I was watching this TED talk on the song structure of pop music.

Youtube: show


In the video, Colin Morris, the talk's host, shows these matrices he's made for the lyrics of songs that are meant to highlight any repeated words. The idea is that you write a song's lyrics across the top and side of a grid, and then study the intersections in the grid. If at any intersection the top word matches the side word, you fill in that cell in the grid sort of like this:

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Because the top and side lyrics will inevitably match themselves 1:1, every matrix will have a solid line running from top left to bottom right like the above example. However, the repetitive nature of song lyrics will also fill in spots on the grid other than the center. I've always been interested in visualization of music, so I decided to try my hand at making some of these matrices for several metal and rock songs to see what kind of interesting patterns I could get.

The first few I tried didn't turn out very interesting because they don't really have all that much repetition outside of common words.

Spoiler: show
Bolt Thrower - Salvo
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Iron Maiden - Hallowed be Thy Name
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Colin notes in the video that the most repetitive songs make the most interesting patterns, so at this point I decided to try songs I knew were a bit more sing-along-y than the first two. This approach still produced some boring patterns, but also yielded a few that I think are pretty interesting.

Spoiler: show
Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
I kinda like this one because of the barely defined square in the upper left, and the little QR code things.
Image

Dio - Holy Diver
Lots of barely defined squares. Sort of interesting but not really.
Image

Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls
Same as above but with slightly better definition.
Image

Blood Stain Child - S.O.P.H.I.A.
Had high hopes for this one but it turned out boring
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Annihilator - Alison Hell
This pattern has this noticeable increase in density in the bottom right corner. It looks like all the dots are flowing towards that point.
Image

Gary Moore - Over the Hills and Far Away
The negative space in this one makes an off-center cross thing that's kinda cool.
Image

Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
This one is easily the most dense pattern I got. The amount of repetition in EotT is ridiculous, but makes for one of the more interesting patterns.
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Megadeth - Peace Sells
This is my personal favorite, and definitely the most unique of all the patterns I got. All of the patterns are symmetrical, but the lack of "fuzz" dots makes the symmetry really pronounced on this one.
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Quiet Riot - Cum on Feel the Noize (Slade cover)
The pattern looks like a bunch of sperm. Get it? Cus this is a sex jam? No? Okay it was funnier in my head.
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Anyway, these are the first few patterns I got, with varying amounts of success. I kinda want to get some of these as canvas prints but I don't have the space or money for that right now. I'll probably make some more soon cus' I'd love to get another pattern as cool as the Peaces Sells pattern. I can also make a tutorial on how to make these if anyone is interested.

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Apteronotus
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
Posts: 961
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:51 pm 
 

This is really cool. I bet Bathory's Equimanthorn would look like a weird flag, with what I imagine would be the large black square in the bottom right. I really like how these make interesting patterns while at the same time teetering between a kind of nerdy/psychotic fascination with music. The Gary Moore one is my favorite.
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gasmask_colostomy
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 264
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:00 am 
 

Well that was unexpectedly cool. If something similar could be made for the musical part, that would be amazing.

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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 487
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:08 am 
 

Apteronotus wrote:
This is really cool. I bet Bathory's Equimanthorn would look like a weird flag, with what I imagine would be the large black square in the bottom right.


Bathory - Equimanthorn
Turned out okay I guess. You were definitely right about the solid black square in the bottom right though lol
Image

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
Well that was unexpectedly cool. If something similar could be made for the musical part, that would be amazing.

I'm sure that's doable if you have access to sheet music or tabs. I think there'd be a lot more variables to consider though. Like, are all instances of a given note considered the same, or do we make a distinction when a note is played in one fret or string versus the other? I think you might end up with either an incredibly dense, or totally barren matrix depending on the song, and the direction you go with. Also, what about differences in playing techniques like picking, tapping, or sweeping? Or even effects and distortions?

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gasmask_colostomy
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 264
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:53 am 
 

tahu157 wrote:
I'm sure that's doable if you have access to sheet music or tabs. I think there'd be a lot more variables to consider though. Like, are all instances of a given note considered the same, or do we make a distinction when a note is played in one fret or string versus the other? I think you might end up with either an incredibly dense, or totally barren matrix depending on the song, and the direction you go with. Also, what about differences in playing techniques like picking, tapping, or sweeping? Or even effects and distortions?

I like complexity in visual designs, so I'd love to see as much of that as possible. But you're right that it wouldn't account for the feel of a song. On the other hand, it might produce surprising similarities between otherwise very different kinds of song.

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