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Better Music Through Science

Exploring the personality-specific carrier sequence.
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Yes, Halfbakers, it is time for yet another Headcleaner idea. This one concerns something else I've observed and dubbed the personality-specific carrier sequence. No, I'm not sure why I call it this, when I might as well call it good voodoo. Here's the story first, and then the Idea.

I used to be a rather popular and innovative DJ for a local teen club, where I designed a new system for music delivery involving a computer, standard studio audio gear, phase inverters, modulators, signal generators, and a rather powerful amplifier. At the time, I simply wanted complete control over every aspect of the sound - I did not anticipate the effects I would later become interested in.

As my music collection grew with the radio syndication service CDs that we received every month, I was also busy collecting music for my personal tastes. I began to notice a certain correlation in the songs I liked. All of these songs contained an element that I could not quantify, but dubbed a "carrier", after the radio term.

As I began to experiment with cross-generated playlists containing my personal favorites and the favorites of the patrons, I noticed that some of the most well-received pop songs were related at a musical level, depending on the type of audience that liked them. Could this be my carrier phenomenon?

I later determined that the specific carrier that attracted me consisted of the sub-bass area surrounding 22 hertz and harmonic multiples of this area, with sustain exceeding 700 ms and complex sequential repetition. The building housing the club happened to resonate around 26 hertz and along its even harmonics. The songs most requested had an average sub-bass sequence of 24-30 hertz, sustain around 500 ms, simplified sequential repetition.

I began to have the most harebrained idea regarding the music and the resonance of the building, so I spent 5 hours digging through my music library with an oscilloscope connected across my speaker leads set to a 52 hertz refresh rate. I identified several songs of varying genres that contained the appropriate frequencies and sequences to please the majority of the patrons. (I loved that job.)

To make a long story shorter, I deployed the playlist the next Friday night, with 1200 watts going exclusively to frequencies below 30 hertz. For the rest of the songs, I very slightly amplitude-modulated the output with the 26 hertz frequency, pulsed at 500 ms with a repetitive 50% on-off sequence. The patrons became so excited by midway through the night that a riot nearly broke out on the dance floor. I observed manic behavior, a dramatic increase in flirting and overt sexual behaviors, and at least one underage female baring her breasts.

It occurred to me later as I watched the Handycam footage of the response that some people simply weren't feeling it. I came to the later realization that there were "different strokes for different folks" - some people had a certain sequence they responded to. I could also not adequately explain the violent and sexual responses, surely it can't be because of bass alone, can it?

Apparently not. The music that best fit the profile mostly consisted of heavy and obscene rap music, laced with violent and sexual themes. That's when something clicked in my head. I could indeed call this a personality-specific carrier sequence, because it is making people more suggestible to lyrics!

Again using myself as a guinea pig, I saw this to be true. Sad lyrics played over music with this sequence made me sad, and did not do the same in the songs they came from. Same for happy lyrics.

Therefore, my proposal is a computer program that plays different sequences and frequencies, and, by monitoring your preferences using a slick and user-friendly AI (is this a WIBNI?), determines the sequence for maximum enjoyment. You can then have the computer program dissect songs you like and assemble them with this new sequence, in the form of drums/bassline/whatever. This process of reassembly is already being developed for commercial use, but so far nothing has been done to enable the end-user to create the perfect songs for themselves using voodoo musical carrier science. Alternatively, this could be used to create music with lyrics that you want to have affect you, e.g., music that helps you stop smoking or eliminate that pesky urge to murder prostitutes/use custard in sex acts/rob liquor stores.

This could also be used by musicians to create great hits. The possibilities are endless!

Headcleaner, Jan 09 2006

HSS - Hit Song Science http://soundingcirc..._a000195-000103.htm
Spanish commercial application for predicting hit songs and refining music to be a hit. [bristolz, Jan 09 2006]

(??) Hit predictor http://www.fortwayn...azette/13190626.htm
A couple MIT guys codify the "carrier." [bristolz, Jan 09 2006]

RE: WIBNI http://www.fraunhof...nst122005Thema6.jsp
Fraunhofer Institute is working on detecting emotions. [NoOneYouKnow, Jan 09 2006]

Deeper than whale excriment http://www.straight...assics/a1_003c.html
[thumbwax], I've never heard that before. It made me laugh aloud. [Zimmy, Jan 12 2006]


       Interesting observations. You would do well to characterize your room /system frequency response, and note where low frequency tones excite room modes (places where sound waves cancel eachother out due to reflections from walls / floor / ceilings, etc.   

       >some people simply weren't feeling it.   

       It may be that some of your patrons simply are not experiencing what others are, due entirely to room acoustics. This is very likely, reproducible, and no doubt interesting.
csea, Jan 09 2006

       The building was just a large, metal-framed building the size of a medium aircraft hangar, with six speaker cabinets placed about midway up the walls. I moved the speakers around to make the acoustics pretty much consistent, but you might be right. There were a few very small dead spaces behind the pool tables and in three of the four corners. I attempted to counter these dead spaces with raw power, which was amusing sometimes.   

       I actually witnessed the building resonating enough that the water in the toilets would drop an inch or so every time the bass hit.
Headcleaner, Jan 09 2006

       //plays different sequences and frequencies, and, by monitoring your preferences using a slick and user-friendly AI//   

       I wonder if simply monitoring a persons heart rate would work?
There was something vaguely similar in "A Brave New World" but it had no where near the technical concepts you've put forth & is probably not similar enough to what you've written.

       Very interesting!   

       also ...//use custard in ...// Ha Ha Ha!, wait a min. ..
Zimmy, Jan 09 2006

       Heart rate wouldn't do it. My heart rate stays between 80 and 91 just sitting here listening to my Winamp playlist, whether it's a song I hate or a song that enthralls me.   

       In fact, I like this song by Einsturzende Neubauten, and it's actually slowing my heart rate down a little.
Headcleaner, Jan 09 2006

       Can't check from here, but I understand there's quite a bit of literature to do with subsonics and their effect on our responses. Interesting stuff.
moomintroll, Jan 09 2006

       I was expecting cloning Mozard from the skull they found
theircompetitor, Jan 09 2006

       So, do you think that once you find my ideal "carrier", I'd enjoy songs even if they were sung in a nasal chorus by Pauly Shore and Fran Dresher? Inconceivable!   

       And if so, pure evil! That may explain how you have songs stuck in your head and "enjoy" them even though at a conscious level, you just hate it!
sophocles, Jan 09 2006

       Yvan eht Nioj, anyone?
Cuit_au_Four, Jan 09 2006

       I'd call it BS if you hadn't done expiriments to back it up. You should find youself a psychologist and do serious work on this.
5th Earth, Jan 10 2006

       Grab ahold of a CD by Earth. Pentastar: In The Style of Demons.   

       You'll have that building cleaned in about 15 minutes.   

       The Bass on that CD is deeper than whaleshit.
thumbwax, Jan 11 2006

       Perhaps an indication of the "carrier" if your heartbeat matches the beats per minute?
Zimmy, Jan 12 2006


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