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Shepard Tones (was RE: Claude Voit's See What--Ipoulkapek--I Can Play It--I Can't Pronounce It)

At 05:07 PM 8/29/2003 -0700, Tim Nelson wrote:
>--- Relay <relaydelayband@earthlink.net> wrote:
> > this pattern (in Em Dorian, it's Root fifth min 3 four second flat 
> > for your edification) moves up and up like an Escher painting!
>A different animal to be sure, but your description kinda reminds me of 
>what some people call a 'barber pole': a delayed/looplayered rising or 
>falling tone that never reaches its destination because as it fades away, 
>it's beginning again (and in the middle of itself as well). Example of 
>one: the end of Pink Floyd's 'Echoes' from 'Meddle'.

I think the proper term for those are 'Shepard Tones' -- named after the 
perceptual scientist who discovered them, Roger N. Shepard.  There's also 
an excellent example of Shepard Tones used on the last track of Yellow 
Magic Orchestra's album _BGM_, titled "Loom".

If you're interested in recreating them, do a quick Google search.  It 
came up with a few different tips on implementing Shepard Tones on a 
variety of electronic instruments.


"i want to reach my hand into the dark and *feel* what reaches back"