Creativity COMPETITION - what can YOU do with just a sine wave and white noise?

Creativity COMPETITION - what can YOU do with just a sine wave and white noise?

Music is all about creativity. But do you need unlimited resources to be creative? Or can you work wonders with just a sine wave and white noise?

Audio Masterclass

This Creativity Competition is now closed. If you are a subscriber to the Newsletter, you will have received the results on April 17, 2006.

Take a listen to this track...

Like it? OK, it's a bit 1980's but we can live with that. The entire track was made using just a 1 kHz sine wave and white noise as the source material. No instruments or synthesizers were involved.

Now although this track is quite good, considering the source material, I don't think it is as good as could be achieved by ever-resourceful readers.

So here is a competition. The prize is fame and glory, and a photo of you and your studio published prominently on this site. It could be the start of your path to fame and fortune!

The task is this - create a soundscape or piece of music lasting around 30 - 60 seconds using only a 1 kHz sine wave and white noise as your source material.

You may not use any other sound source. You may use any processing technique you like.

In the spirit of true competition, please DO NOT CHEAT!! You won't be able to sleep at night if you do.

When complete, please e-mail your track to

The deadline for submissions is Friday March 31, 2006. All tracks will be published on this site in the following week's newsletter, so you need to get started right now. It shouldn't take you more than an hour or so to show off what you can do.

Summary of rules and guidelines...

  • Use only a 1 kHz sine wave and white noise as your source material.
  • Use any kind of processing.
  • Your track should last between 30 - 60 seconds.
  • Your track can be a soundscape or piece of music.
  • Encode into standard MP3 format and e-mail to
  • You are advised to include your name and the title of the track in the metadata of the MP3 file, but this is not compulsory.
  • You may also send a photo of youself in your studio, together with a description of how the track was made. You don't have to do this yet - I'll ask you for these items if you are placed highly in the results.

You will be wanting some source material, and here it is, in .WAV format (right-click, save target as)...

1 kHz
White noise

For a little further inspiration, and to set a benchmark of sorts, here is my attempt. It took me about an hour. Anyone care to guess what processing techniques I used? (By the way, I only used the 1 kHz tone - I didn't bother with the white noise).

Good luck!

By the way, the copyright in your work remains yours.

Publication date: Tuesday February 28, 2006
Author: David Mellor



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Earlier discussion on this topic...

Eugène McLaren, Springs, South-Africa

Hey this is a great Idea! Good luck to all the participants! Are we allowed to use echo's Pitch Shifting to make any tune? :o)
Wednesday March 22, 2006

michaeL, Calgary

ps: will we get to hear each others, that'd be cool too...
Wednesday March 22, 2006


This should be a regular thing... every month or two.. wow... s'fun!!!!!!!
Wednesday March 22, 2006

David Mellor, Thame, UK

I'd just like to say that the entries that are coming in so far are incredible - much better than mine! Keep them coming!
Tuesday March 21, 2006

David Mellor, Thame, UK

The deadline is Friday March 31, 2006.

To explain the prize for Sean, if you win, you get your work featured prominently on There are a lot of industry pros reading this site. If they hear your work and like what you can do....
Tuesday March 21, 2006

Sean, UK

Afternoon David,

Theres no mention of what the prize is – and I’m afraid ‘Fame and Glory’ doesn’t quite cut the mustard!! In what capacity does one get fame and glory?

(keeping my eyes on the prize...)

Tuesday March 21, 2006

Anonymous, Calgary, canada

is there a deadline :?
Tuesday March 21, 2006


I reckon that David's attempt was mostly done on a delay unit.
Monday March 20, 2006

David Mellor, Thame, UK

Yes, please re-pitch and combine. Anything other than using a different original sound source.

You could repitch and combine as in additive synthesis. That would be a challenge.
Monday March 20, 2006

Lee-Aaron Lorenz, Abingdon/Oxfordshire, UK

Im also just wondering if we are aloud to pitch shift the sine wave?

(Need to know my limitations :-) )
Monday March 20, 2006

iacovos, Athens, Greece

Great idea, a couple of questions though, can we use the 2 sounds in a sampler like halion? Also what if i make a new synth sound by pitch shifting the sine wave in different ways and adding them together,is that allowed?

Monday March 20, 2006

louis reeves,, United States

I think it is a good way to get people involved with more than just reading the articles, want to hear the winner
Monday March 20, 2006