Beats from a barcode

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Mads sent us info on this project which derives beat sequencing data from barcodes –

It questions whether barcodes can contain musical qualities and be used as a media of sound and rhythm. It is intriguing to see everyday items, like milk, transform into sound. The user uses a standard barcode scanner to scan a barcode and hear what sounds are produced. Users have the opportunity to scan multiple items, and create a composition of sounds. The sounds of each barcode is unique and contains among many things the information of rhythmical qualities and the type of sound.

Barcode Beats

Resident blogger Becky Stern built a similar project generating some awesome compositions

Sternlab Barcode Beats2

UPC Sequencer is an application that employs a barcode scanner to create music from UPCs. By creating an audio composition unique to each code, the composer begins to value products based on their contribution to a musical score rather than marketing and package design. The one part of the package not designed to appeal to the consumer’s wallet becomes the most valuable component. Items from a similar manufacturer have similar UPCs, creating recognizable patterns for similarly governed corporations. As patterns in sound are known to be highly recognizable, users can understand complex corporate ownership chains by composing music. Controller codes allow the user to select which type of intstrument a particular product should be. The product takes on a new meaning that is defined by the user and is therefore much more personal and genuine. Undermining the marketing hype surrounding consumer goods, the UPC Sequencer helps take back control over deciding what roles these products play in our lives.

UPC sequencer @ Sternlab