Steps to an easy online #1000tracks

Yesterday morning i had some time to think about how to implement our #1000tracks in an easy way online.

My first idea was to do the administration of files online with WordPress on board tools. Realizing that its not possible to add tags to media files in a standard WordPress install i found a plugin, that allows to do that.

So the WordPress media library could be our file repository.

Currently there is an upload limit to our media library concerning the size of a single file. There is a way to bypass this (basically: upload via ftp, then pull in the files to the WordPress media lib) – but it is possible to lift the upload limit (i just have to check if it works via .htaccess, a php-ini file or maybe via the WordPress functions).

Then i had the idea, that the basic Schnitzler concept (using a cassette-player for each track) could be implemented easily in the browser: just add the audiofiles to an HTML5 audio player, one player for each file, and start playing, by pressing the play and pause buttons and increase or lower the volume. Because there is a limitation to one file that can be played at once on a site, the audiofiles have to be implemented each to an iframe. Depending on the browser you are using the player offers some nice add ons: e.g. the player, that comes with firefox is able to loop files and to switch the tempo: 0.5x, 1x, 1.25x, 1.5x, 2x

One more problem if we are using the audioplayer that is integrated to the browser: after loading the site all players start to play immediatley.

I think there should exist a javascript based audioplayer, that offers more possibilities across platforms: e.g. to stop the player onLoad, to loop automatically, to switch tempo and maybe more … If we decide to go this way i’ll do some research. This could be a good one:

The process of creating the single player pages – which then are put together in a site with iframes – sureley can be setup so that this can be done in an easy and comfortable way.

Vision for the future: soundsets (a subset of the 1000 tracks) can be generated and stored to a website; to do a concert all you need is a device, that is able to open websites (e.g. a smartphone) and a (fast) internet connection; #1000tracks concerts can be done all around the world; everybody can be the musician …

Here i prepared a very basic example. Maybe you want to lower the volume when checking the example, because all audioplayers start playing together 😉


I got one idea for a way of collaboration – inspired by the work of Conrad Schnitzler. I had the idea to take one of his basic principles on which he has been working his whole life: in his early works in the seventies he started to work with several simple cassette players. Each one served like a track in a mixer. It was possible to influence two basic parameters: play/stop and volume. In his walking performances alone (as 3-track mixer) or together with another musician (another 3-track mixer) or with several musicians (each one playing one track), as you see in the stills from the videos:

He was working in producing 1000 different cassettes (= tracks) to be played in this way in a concert (but didn’t finish the 1000).

So my idea is to work (with digital means) in a similar way: produce 1000 tracks that can be played together. I did some work in Ableton and prepared 8 tracks, mixing them (with some more parameters than just play/stop and volume) and recording this mix:

It would be very easy to create a setup for a lot of tracks (basically this can be done in each sound editor who is able to handle multi tracks).

Next Stop: Conrad Schnitzler

Inspired by a three hour emission by Deutschlandfunk i started to research about Conrad Schnitzler. Paraphrasing the intro text:

A Long Night About Conrad Schnitzler
Sometimes even music comes out

By Beate and Stefan Becker

Chirping, bubbling, flickering: it sounds like factory sirens, sometimes like a chattering train. Intermedia artist Conrad Schnitzler mixes all these sounds into new music. As a craftsman without musical education, he becomes an important “sound worker” – and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the electronic music scene of the 1970s.

Conrad Schnitzler (1937 – 2011) was inspired by the new music from Cage to Stockhausen. In 1968 he opened the first underground club in Berlin with Zodiak as a space for happenings, theater and music performances.

Here two short portraits:

Here you find a huge listing of videos and sounds available in the web: