Monday, January 6, 2020

Digital audio forking idea

This is a technical idea for digital music I've thought about. I'm not sure if something like this exists already. The concept is simple:

On playback of a digital audio file, let's say the file itself has boolean logic embedded into the bit stream. And, let's go a step further and apply a "randomness" clause within this layer of logic, so that when a person plays back the audio, they will hear a different "comped" take of a particular instrument during a certain portion, for example.

If your guitarist records two takes of a guitar solo and both are great, this idea would allow the digital audio engineer to list both guitar solos as options for playback and even assign ordering options as well (for instance, should the takes be played sequentially, or randomly).

When the digital audio file is exported (or compiled, or "bounced") it will contain all of this boolean-logic information (i.e. set of instructions) for the playback device software to consider upon playback. Let's call our digital audio file a .wavb  file, for wav boolean.

When you playback the wavb file, the playback device would have to be able to process any .wavb-specific markup, i.e. the bit-stream information with the boolean logic and extra audio embedded. I'm not sure whether a specific playback software would even have to be developed. Existing formats may allow for this sort of concept already.

You could potentially create a song (again, digital audio only) that has different takes (i.e. two different guitar solos, or song outros) embedded into the bit-stream, so that the listener hears a slightly different version each time. I'm sure something like this is possible, and with the advancements in storage size, it's potentially even practical at some point. - Mike

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