Phonopaper and the Virtual ANS

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10 seconds of audio encoded on to paper.

It's analog, not digital, so it survives abuse a lot better.

There's a blank sheet available there, so you can sketch one out by hand.

The technology being used is based upon the Russian ANS, and the same developer has a Virtual ANS:

The default may be small, but with the Virtual ANS, I can make it song length.

... and I have a touch screen, so this will be fun.

Love it, weird and amazing. But simple to see how it works, too.

Oh heck yeah.

That's fascinating! And believe it or not, the tech predates Edison. The first audio recording that is still playable was scratched on to paper covered with carbon black from a candle in 1860, years before Edison made any of his sound recordings.

When a reconstruction of the audio was published in 2008, it had a rather unfortunate effect on the legendary BBC newsreader Charlotte Green:

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That is really interesting! Thanks!

@headfirstonly Poor Charlotte would have to read an obituary while trying to stifle laughter about that Biggrin

@headfirstonly It truly amazes me each time a snippet here or elsewhere from a single person actually rewrites (corrects) the received history we all thought we knew! Thanks!

@headfirstonly The 1860 phonautograms were never designed to be played. They were more an exploration of sound. It's kind of like modern folks figured out how to play back a paper oscilloscope recording.

I had to hunt to try to find an image of one of these. There turned out to be something on the Wikipedia page:

And on a related note: (The existence of this should surprise no one. I expect it isn't the only such instrument.)

The ANS, on the other hand, has photos of Russians sitting over papers to write in the sounds in the 1950s. It was one of those experimental Russian musical instruments right from the beginning.

This would be such a fun STEAM activity to do in a music class.

That Warmplace website is a fun rabbit hole to wander into in general, isn't it? Now I kind of want to create some of those paper-synth songs.

@yam655 thanks for this, I posted it over on the Hey Audio Student group on Facebook. Smile I so want to use this as part of an intro to a song. Then again, I dream of the day that I can spend foolish money on a wax cylinder recorder. Biggrin

@TomS, I don't think buying a wax cylinder recorder is foolish at all.
Money well spent, in my opinion.

@Fuzzy if and when it happens you are invited for as many sessions as you'd care to do!

@TomS Instead of buying your own wax cylinder recorder, you could always do what They Might Be Giants did: pop along to West Orange, New Jersey and borrow Edison's.

@headfirstonly I wish. This is my former bandmate John doing just that, however, with Suzanne Vega some years ago!

@headfirstonly, that TMBG song sounds remarkably Daniel Johnston-like.
Excellent video, @TomS. Fascinating.
If I recall correctly, Edison (or his army of lackeys) invented the wax cylinder recorder for office dictation and thought recording music was a waste of time.

(I've also downloaded the app from the original post; so much fun! Thanx, @yam655!!!)

Very interesting, thanks for posting this.