Andy Wilson

Saturday, 16-Dec-2017 21:18:09 MST

SoundRaider

Released
1998
Format
PC Software
Label
n/a
Cat
n/a
Personel
  • Andy Wilson
Links
Availability
Freeware

Release Notes

Sound Raider is a music creation tool that works by scanning your hard drive for WAV format sounds and uses them to create industrial-ambient sound. Leave Sound Raider running on the desktop and listen to your hard drive muttering to itself. Sound Raider starts working as soon as its loaded - the best way to use Sound Raider is simply by launching it and leaving it to look after itself while you work.

Reviews

Your Computer, Your Symphony

Tired of hearing the same old sounds on your computer day in, day out? Rather than changing the sounds, maybe you should change their context. A new shareware program will search your computer for sound files, then manipulate and string them together to create otherworldly, ambient music whose underlying familiarity adds to its intrigue.

SoundRaider was developed by British programmer and experimental musician Andy Wilson, who drew inspiration from generative music composers, who write computer programs that automatically create music. Wilson admired works of generative music such as Brian Eno's "Koan" but wanted something more like "'real world' sound, sound that everyone might be familiar with," he said.

As a result, SoundRaider plunders its host and plays up to 10 sounds at a time, which have been stretched, compressed, and looped. The result, says Wilson, "is sometimes a bit like listening to your machine cursing, singing, and muttering to itself." Wilson compares the program's creations to 'isolationist ambient' music, and says that "many people - of strong disposition - like to leave it running on the desktop while they work."

Next on Wilson's plate may be a version that trawls the whole Net for sounds. Maybe the sounds of the Web's internal conversations will be the signature symphony for the end of the century.

John Alderman, Wired Magazine

Continuous Harddrive Remixer

Although a few years old, SoundRaider is a tool for exploring what everything audio on on your hard drive sounds like at the same time - SoundRaider. The software constantly scans and remixes your sound collection, creating a continuous audio flood of bizarre and pointless sonic ruminations.

Many beepSNORT readers have been purported to leave it running constantly!

Jeff, Beepsnort

A Strange Little Program

Here's something that everyone will be interested in. It's a really, really strange little program that takes all your WAV files and creates and ever-changing loop or noise and chaos. Incredible. I've had it on all evening and it's still freaking me out.

Jeff MacLeod, Loopers Delight

Dark Ambient Experience

Way back in the ’90s, I downloaded a program called SoundRaider, one of the niftiest sound-related software programs I’d ever seen. What it did was to scan your hard disk for .wav files and play them, randomly stretching or compressing pitch and duration. The sound of your computer muttering to itself, as a review once put it, if I remember correctly.

I just happened to find via Google (a little scary, actually), a description of SoundRaider which I posted on the Coil mailing list back then:

Laser beams in outer space… frogs croaking… doors creaking… modems going haywire… the infernal buzzing of insects… rusting industrial machinery… the rush of ocean waves… howling dogs… aerosol cans going “pfft”… clacking typewriters… the moaning of subterranean monsters… drifting shortwave radio stations… power drills and electric saws… video game arcades… humming refrigerators… Just now I very briefly heard the sound of a strangled throat gasping for air (going “kh-kh-kh”), but now it’s gone.

Alas, the (now freeware) version you can download from the one I used to own (and even paid for!) before I lost it in my hard drive crash. In the old version you could mute certain channels and let certain sounds loop, or specify the file directory (if for instance you only wanted to hear combinations of selected sounds, and not the entire computer). This new version — unless it doesn’t work with XP, which is what I have — needs to run on top of all the windows, making it impossible to do other things and listen at the same time.

In any case, do check it out; I guarantee a nice dark ambient industrial experience (though the old version was way better than this one — if anyone has it, maybe you can send it my way?).

Benito Vergara, The Wily Filipino