Mix Master, Cut Faster – Risset Accelerando

Image of a ticking metronome

Image courtesy of Derek Gavey via flickr.com

I’ve posted before about Shepard tones and other audio illusions, but here is another one to wrap your head around.

Jean-Claude Risset, who created the Shepard-Risset Glissando (a continuous version of the Shepard tones) also produced the rhythmical equivalent – a beat that appears to get faster and faster (and faster and faster). By layering beats with different related tempos (e.g. multiples like 30, 60, 120 bpm) the effect is of a never-ending increasing tempo – unless you shift your focus or pause and restart the audio.

Check out the original paper and the examples in the links above – does it get your heart pounding faster and faster!

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