Remix Contest: Sounds from the Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest particle accelerator that resides in a tunnel 27km in circumference beneath the earth near Geneva, Switzerland.
The purpose of the LHC is to help us understand some of the most fundamental questions of physics, and to allow scientists to engage in all sorts of interesting experiments, such as smashing protons together at energies so high that the inside of the detector will resemble the universe at the first moments after the big bang, and creating mini black holes.
The scientists working with the LHC have created sound samples based on real and simulated data from the ATLAS detector:
The data is first processed using the vast and all-powerful ATLAS software framework. This allows raw data (streams of ones and zeroes) to be converted step-by-step into ‘objects’ such as silicon detector hits and energy deposits. We can reconstruct particles using these objects. The next step is to convert the information into a file containing two or three columns of numbers known as a “breakpoint file”. It can also be used as a “note list”. This kind of file can be read by compositional software such as the Composers Desktop Project (CDP) and Csound software used for this project.
Pretty much any data can be converted to sound – NASA uses this principle to listen to the sun, and seismic data has been sonified to great use.
For example, the following is a sonofication of “Calorimeter Endcap Layers” – a group of 8 notes, each note corresponding to a layer in the endcap of the ATLAS calorimeters.
Of course it follows that if the LHC is creating something that can be converted into sounds, the we must make music from it! Presenting, the…
Remix the sounds from the LHC remix contest
Music production school Point Blank Online have generously donated one of their award-winning online music production courses as a prize for the remix contest. The winner will be able to choose between the Cubase course (value £575.00) or the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) on Ableton Live course (value £325.00).
Point Blank Online Music Production School offers a range of music production courses designed to give you the same level of skills and tutor interaction you could expect if you attended their award-winning music production college in London. They pride themselves level of interactivity online. They have courses covering almost every area of music production from introductory courses to pro-level courses in mixing, music production and music business. If you’re interested in furthering your career, getting up-to-date on current software or techniques, or just want to learn how to do it like the pros, definitely check them out.
This is a remix contest – you must use the sounds form the LHC as the basis for a remix. The best remix will be chosen, and the winner will be given their choice of the Point Blank Online Cubase or EDM courses.
To be eligible, you must:
- First, leave a comment below indicating that you are interested in working on a remix. We will use the email address that you comment with (which is not shown to the public) to inform you of contest updates.
- Use any or any combination of the sounds below in your track. You can use other sounds, but samples from the LHC must be the focal point or basis. Feel free to chop, mangle or destroy though!
- Your song may not use any copyrighted material that is not yours
- Upload your track to our dropbox on SoundCloud
- Once your track is uploaded, post another comment on this page with your track name, artist name, and the soundcloud ID# of the track
- Submit your remix before February 28, 2011.
Preference will be given to entries that use the samples in interesting and creative ways. So, that’s it, let’s get started!
Here are the sounds from the LHC, with a brief explanation of each. For working on your remix, you can download all the sounds in mp3 format all at once right here. (5.8MB) Uncompressed (and very large) files available here.
HiggsJetSimple – explanation
Sweep_tthracks – explanation
Sweep_ttclusters – explanation
HiggsJetRhythSig – explanation
HiggsJetMotif – explanation
HiggsJetHarmSig2 – explanation
HiggsJetEnergyProfilePiano – explanation
HiggsJetEnergyProfileCrotale – explanation
HiggsJetEnergyGate – explanation
EventMonitor – explanation
CalorimeterEndcapLayers – explanation
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