steim | about | news | EVENTS | project applications| products | contact | resources

STEIM Events | STEIM Events Archive 2011

27 March 2011 | 14:00 - 18:00 | Workshop | €15,-

Drive-By Workshop

Make Every-day Software into a Sonic Instrument

Original annoucement:


If you register now, you will be on a reserve list.



Ever wonder what your web browser sounds like? In this workshop, performer and programmer Michael Chinen will teach guided sessions where you will turn software you use every day into new sources for sound and inspiration through the use of sonification techniques.


Sonification, the practice of turning data into sound, is a topic all practitioners of interactive art will have to deal with at some point. How do we represent interesting phenomena as sound? It's a broad question that ultimately boils down to how we deal with streams of data. All phenomena, from the motions of the planets to the wiggle of a joystick is eventually brought in to your computer as data. Sonification is all about illuminating the structure and qualities of such data as sound and, further, as music.

Topics we will cover include

  • History of sonification and sonification techniques
  • Sonification of every-day software (such as TextEdit and VLC) through real-time debugger data and recompiling a program to sonify itself
  • Sonification of computer processes
  • Other considerations, such as the relationship of information and noise to the sonic result


The hands-on portion of the workshop covers how to create and use sonified software for generating sound for composition, performance, or just for fun. You are encouraged to bring a mac program that you use often which you would like to sonify. The focus will be on the use of the tools to create new sources of sound for your projects. No prior programming knowledge is necessary, but it might make for some interesting results!

Sonify your Software is presented as part of STEIM's Drive-By workshop series. Short and illuminating hands-on workshops which deal with relevant and eccentric uses of technology intended to teach and inspire artists working with sound.

Date: 27 March, 2011
Time: 14:00 - 18:00
Cost: €15 presale, €20 at the door.
Location: STEIM, Achtergracht 19, Amsterdam

Maximum number of participants: 16
Reserve a spot online through the registration link above no later than one week before the workshop!

A mac computer with a piece of software you use often and would like to sonify. STEIM has a limited number of computers to provide to participants. Please let us know if you don't own a mac and would still like to attend this workshop.

If you're knowledgeable in C/C++ you can bring the source code of a program you can successfully compile and Michael will work with you to add elements of sonification to your code!

Michael Chinen was born in Honolulu in 1982.  He is a  programmer, involved in several open source projects including Audacity, FFmpeg, and the Institute for Algorhythmics, a group which focuses on sonification.  He also composes and performs.  He studied computer music and synthesis with Charles Dodge (Dartmouth College), Richard Karpen (University of Washington) and Naotoshi Osaka (Tokyo Denki University).

Subscribe to the STEIM maillist