Making sampled noises using strange files

This is a simple technique I've been using several times when I began to make music. I first discovered it when using the Octamed Sound Studio tracker for the Commodore Amiga and later used it on modern DAWS. Actually with Wavelab it is possible to recreate it and experiment with it.

During the years I heard many other artist employing it in their music so I realized its creative potential were being a bit abused. Anyway here is how to proceed:

Choose one file from your HD bearing in mind that the size in bytes will be the final size of the sample. Better go for something between 100Kb for percussive material to 600Kb for longer synths.

Let's say we've chosen a file called aaclient.dll from the System32/ directory.

Let's rename it to aaclient.raw so we can drag it into Wavelab.

We'll be prompted to insert some sample details as RAW format don't have any. Set as follows:

Of course experiments are possible, like with less bits or changing big endian settings etc.

A sample like this should appear:

The crazy noise is served!

It will be wise to eliminate the DC Offset as it can be very shifted sometimes.

Another process could be to load big files and the chop out the most interesting parts. It is important to load variegated samples with different data inside (for example any .ZIP file will result as a continuos noise...not very useful!)

Further manipulation like time stretching or pitch bending will make the sample sounds better.

Here are a few .WAV samples I made as example.

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