FuckingAudacity is simply audacity with its memory sonified.

Note: sound won’t work through mac hardware speakers because of some weird d/a conversion/filters that don’t like 0 and 1. It will only make sound for a second and cut off. To hear sound use headphone/jack or Firewire or USB interface. Listen at a reasonable volume, especially if your woofer doesn’t have a dc leak, or you might melt your voice coil

Download the source (32MB) or ppc app (12MB) intel app (12MB)

Audacity GUI performance from Michael Takezo Chinen on Vimeo.

Audacity is an open source sound editor. I modified the code so that the sound playback depends upon the physical memory state of the program. Because the memory is dependent upon the user interaction, the user interface (buttons, menus, etc) as well as the structure of user-driven processes (effects, importing files, etc) become a part of the sonification process. The noisy quality of the sound is due to the fact that chunks of uninitialized memory are continuously sent to the audio output.

This recording was done with a point and shoot camera, so the audio quality is not so good, but it gives you an idea of what I’m trying to do.


The sonification only takes place while the audio thread is running. So you need to hit play to begin hearing anything. You can also hit pause if you don’t want the audio track to interfere with the sonification (the audio thread still runs until you hit stop.)


Compiling FuckingAudacity is the same process as compiling regular audacity, except you use my source instead of the Audacity svn repository’s. If you don’t have a ppc mac compiling the source is the only way to get the app. Unfortunately compiling audacity is kind of a pain – you need to first get wxWin/wxGTK/wxMac, compile it, then set up audacity to point to it. Fortunately the audacity team maintains a wiki on how to do this for win, linux, and mac.

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