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Or, the Hazards of Sound Checking

Anyone who has ever fiddled with recording software has seen the visual waveforms that happen when noise is made. And lots of folks have done beautiful and inspired things with the waveform images. But I think the well of stupidity has remained largely untapped...

Believe it or not, the waveform "Fishbones"  in this Instructable were created by yelling the following into the microphone: "HEAD! Rib, RIB, RIB, Rib, Rib, rib, rib,.. taIL!" (Listen to the Mp3 for the sad, sick proof... So deeply stupid on so many levels).


Step 1: The Rules

Here are the rules (that I made up):

1. The noise you make into the microphone has to be words describing the thing you're building: either its parts or it's name. Example: the fish below was done by saying the names of the parts, but it would also have been legal (and theoretically possible, though I haven't tried it) to stutter "Fi-i-i-i-i-i-SH!"
2. No editing, via audio or image editing software; it's gotta be live.
3. There is no number four.

Step 2: Materials

You will need:
1. Audacity (great freeware: multitrack recording) or something else that behaves in a similar fashion
2. Microphone (I used a Shure SM58 and a preamp, but a crappy PC mic will work fine: this ain't brain surgery!)
3. Computer that can accommodate the things in steps 1 and 2
4. Alone Time: you don't want anyone overhearing this recording session: the neighbors will think you have finally lost it (or perhaps, lost it again?).
5. An image in mind. Has to be symmetrical because that's the nature of the beast, and has to follow the rules!
6. See step 4.


Step 3: Make the Noises

Now, start making the noises!

It's surprising to see what your voice "looks like" when it's making certain noises. Loud noises make taller peaks and lower valleys, gradually increasing or decreasing volume creates a slope. Your pitch, or the "note" you're singing, has far less to do with the look of the waveform than your volume.

I suppose that there is a chance that the act of watching these waveforms happen might have some educational value, but it's mostly just a silly thing to do.

It's mostly trial and error, so try, and err.

If you start getting really good at it, you should probably stop and go find a more productive hobby.

Step 4: Now What?

Chances are good that you'll come to your senses and hide all evidence that you squandered any portion of your life engaged in this. But if that doesn't happen:

-Share! let's see & hear! Youtube it, and/or post it as a reply to this 'ible. It's okay, you can use a pseudonym.

Ideas for future silliness:
-A few attempts were made where the fish was preceded by: "fiiiishingliiiiiine....hoOK!"
-Insects: How about a duet? Voice #1 could say "hhhEAd...tHORRRAx..ABDomennn," and Voice #2 could say "...LEG!....LEG!...LEG!"
-Snake eating... well damn near anything, right? Elephant, horse, lawyer...
-More fish stories: How about two fish kissing? Or a tiny fish about to be eaten by a bigger fish which is about to be eaten by a bigger fish...
-So, how about it, folks? Let's out-stupid each other!!

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Bio: Warthog-faced buffoon.
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