Wolfram and Sound

Two weeks ago, Stephen Wolfram posted the introductory video for Wolfram Language, the coding language that underlays all of Wolfram Alpha. The language appears to be a code-lover’s dream—Brett Terpstra called it “pornography”, and I tend to agree. It is incredibly exciting to see the ways that you can physically interact with the scripts and data via sliders, buttons, and other graphic elements.

But I was even more excited about something that wasn’t discussed in the video: sound. One of the main modules for Wolfram Language is simply called “sound,” and from a quick glance at some of the documentation it is clearly a powerful tool that could really advance digital humanities work in sound studies. There is this overview of signal processing, and also tutorials like analog filter design and digital filter design. The ability to generate spectrograms appears to be built-in (!!).

After spending just 30 minutes with these online documents, I can’t wait to see what is possible with this language—especially in the hands of people more capable of coding then I am.



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