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This web app turns $9 billion particle accelerator into a musical instrument

May 30, 2016

The Large Hadron Collider has never sounded better.

With a circumference of 27 kilometers, a cost of US $9 billion, and the ability to aid in the discovery of new particles, the Large Hadron Collider is pretty damn impressive. Still, other than some suspenseful scenes in Angels & Demons, the world’s greatest scientific instrument hasn’t directly affected the lives of us average Joes much. Thankfully, a web app named Quantizer has arrived to change all that and finally give the LHC a useful purpose: making spooky cosmic music.

MIT Master’s student Juliana Cherston and University of Victoria Doctoral student Ewan Hill partnered up to design Quantizer, which provides real-time audio samples by translating ATLAS (the ongoing LHC experiment) events into notes and rhythms, using MIDI to generate the music. The platform made its performance debut last year at the Montreux Jazz Festival, performing a duet with celebrated jazz pianist Al Blatter. On the website, you can run real-time collisions through different style filters (cosmic, house and suitar samba) as well as listen to prerecorded efforts by a number of composers. The real interest to musicians, however, is the Quantizer team’s open offer to help facilitate the making of your own music through simply dropping them an email. [h/t Engadget]

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