Windows Noises - Clown Staples

"Windows Noises" is a short Flash movie by Clown Staples (click here--it loads pretty quickly). It's made using the little .wav (sound file) editor called sndrec32.exe, found in the Windows/system32 folder right next to the viruses and spyware. Windows XP still includes this fun device, although it's usually overridden by RealPlayer or the like. The source material for "Windows Noises" consists solely of four sounds: chimes, ding, chord, and the "Microsoft Sound" (a pre-XP string sample). These have been chopped up, accelerated, reversed, looped, and mixed into a single synchronized file. In the video, an unseen mouse-clicker plays up to six editors like a mini-orchestra. The piece is at once hellishly clever, dumb, resourceful, "deconstructive," and musically very catchy. As explained in the Winnoise FAQ, the Flash film isn't a record of an actual performance but rather a re-enactment of the processes by which the tune was made. All the sound was done with sndrec32.exe but the visuals are animated from cut-and-pasted screen shots of the cursor flitting about the "orchestra," triggering drop down menus and starting and stopping loops. It was actually a relief to learn the piece wasn't done in real time--nobody could be that good. Could they? I still don't believe synch-ing up the parts was as easy as Clown Staples says it was. [via cuechamp, where I also got the screenshot]

- tom moody 5-05-2004 12:23 pm

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