Since the creation of sound-producing machines, the sheer number of devices, both analog and digital, being used as sources of inspiration, is incalculable. In this sense, synthesizers came into the world as hopeful grids of thousands of resonances that beyond their musical legacy, have strived technically to share an innovative and essentially poetic language with the world.

In amongst all of these devices, is a collection of artefacts reconnecting us with the sounds of the environment. A recent online project now permanently within this network synthesizes the songs produced by whales.

WhaleSynth is a tool for playing with all of these enchanting frequencies. With but a small menu of options, the synthesizer allows visitors to modulate the sounds of three different species, adjust the chorus (the number of whales involved), their anchor (depth in the ocean) and pleats (the resonance, or a kind of echo). The project also allows musicians who use Ableton Live to share and modify the sounds of the whales with greater fidelity.

Although it’s a very basic modulator, WhaleSynth is able to construct surprisingly musical melodies very concretely, and the result of the simple mix of channels is fascinating. It’s no wonder because, at the end of the day, we’re playing with some of the most secret and melodic sounds of the seas. The sounds of cetaceans have proven to be, literally, a kind of musical language, made up of “phrases” which are repeated every few minutes forming a “theme,” while themes, in turn, can form a sort of melody – or, even, a sort of speech.

While the songs of whales remain the subject of speculation and mystery, their sound continues to amaze those who’ve had the opportunity to hear them off in the distant nebulae. Fortunately, for facilitating a greater intimacy with these songs, someone’s created WhaleSynth.

 

*Image: Public Domain

Since the creation of sound-producing machines, the sheer number of devices, both analog and digital, being used as sources of inspiration, is incalculable. In this sense, synthesizers came into the world as hopeful grids of thousands of resonances that beyond their musical legacy, have strived technically to share an innovative and essentially poetic language with the world.

In amongst all of these devices, is a collection of artefacts reconnecting us with the sounds of the environment. A recent online project now permanently within this network synthesizes the songs produced by whales.

WhaleSynth is a tool for playing with all of these enchanting frequencies. With but a small menu of options, the synthesizer allows visitors to modulate the sounds of three different species, adjust the chorus (the number of whales involved), their anchor (depth in the ocean) and pleats (the resonance, or a kind of echo). The project also allows musicians who use Ableton Live to share and modify the sounds of the whales with greater fidelity.

Although it’s a very basic modulator, WhaleSynth is able to construct surprisingly musical melodies very concretely, and the result of the simple mix of channels is fascinating. It’s no wonder because, at the end of the day, we’re playing with some of the most secret and melodic sounds of the seas. The sounds of cetaceans have proven to be, literally, a kind of musical language, made up of “phrases” which are repeated every few minutes forming a “theme,” while themes, in turn, can form a sort of melody – or, even, a sort of speech.

While the songs of whales remain the subject of speculation and mystery, their sound continues to amaze those who’ve had the opportunity to hear them off in the distant nebulae. Fortunately, for facilitating a greater intimacy with these songs, someone’s created WhaleSynth.

 

*Image: Public Domain