Tutorial: Hide / View Images in an Audio File

This is how to add / view images embedded (hidden) in audio files.

We will look at some classic examples, then look at how to view them, and finally, we will learn how to put the images into the music files!

Many bands have been known to embed images in their music for their fans that are listening carefully enough to hear them! That’s right; hear them! When you embed the image into the audio file the audio itself gets effected. It sounds glitchy and pitchy.

I good place to embed the images are intos, outros, and breakdowns. For example this image is embedded at the end of Pendulum’s track “Axle Grinder“. Right when the explosion / impact happens. If you listen closely you can hear the odd frequencies among the chaos. It is the one steady centered glitchy tone.

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Porky Pig hidden in Pendulum’s “Axle Grinder”

Nine Inch Nails and Aphex Twin also have been outed for using this technique.More recently pranksters and mysterious videos have been deploying the technique as well.

Watch the Video Tutorial

Links & Written Tutorial Below the Video

How to view the Hidden Images in the Audio File.

You will need a program called a Spectrograph. Here are 3. One is iZoptope’s RX, what I will use, expensive but worth the money for much more than just looking for hidden pictures and text! The other is a free program and also a Max for Live device that should work as well!

In RX you just need to import the song and move the slider from the wave view (right) to the spectrograph view (left).

izotope-rx-view-spectrograph

How to Hide the Images in the Audio File

First, you will need the free program called CoagulaLight.exe.

DOWNLOAD –> Coagula.

What is it?

Coagula is an image synth. This means that it is both a simple image editor, and a program for generating sound from those images.

How does it work?

Coagula uses one sinewave (beep) per image line, one short blip per point (pixel) on the line. Red is left, Green is right, Yellow is green+red, so it’s in the middle. Blue makes each sine into a narrow noise-band, so you can create hard noise or organ-like sounds.

Help / Instructions

The program uses bitmap images ( .bmp ). Find or Make a small .bpm image file. Once inside of the program go to file and open image. I found that using 1200 by 300 px works well to keep the image from distorting too much.

Alternatively, inside the program you can draw or write something.

Then go to the “sound” menu. There choose “Render Without Blue” or hit F6 on your keyboard. Once that has completed. Go to “File” and “Save Sound As…”. That raspy white noise .wav file contains the image. You can make sure by using RX or Coagula.

It might be a good idea to go to the render settings first and set the pitch range a bit higher than the default. I think 300 low and 10,000 – 8000 high is a good spot.

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Coagula – Render without Blue (F6)

A PDF Help Manual can be found here.

The image I used for the tutorial

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Image Used – BMP – 900 x 300 px

The Sound Generated by Coagula

What the Spectrograph looks like by itself.

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The Sound Generated by Coagula mixed with other Sounds

What the Spectrograph looks like with other Sounds.

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Author: Joshua Casper

Joshua Casper is an Artist, Musician, and Blogger.

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