A long time ago, Nathan told me about Boodler, self described as “a programmable soundscape tool”.

Basically it takes a collection of very small independant noises, and weaves them together into a random infinite loop. An excellent example is the frog pond or the crickets.

Many of the default sounds are things I’m just not interested in. There’s a repeating drum beat, but it’s just one drum, 4 beats every few seconds. There’s a Gregorian chant, which seems like it should be cool, but it’s actually just chords on a casio. On the other hand, it’s open source, and easy to create your own sounds, so no whining.

I like the natural stuff. There’s crickets, frogs, rain, thunder, etc. And some enterprising young genius (not me) put those together to make a rain forest, which I’m listening to right now. So there’s a rippling brook, some frogs, some crickets, thunder occasionally in the background, and rain every now and again. Very nice.

It’s written in python, which is fine, though I don’t know it. It has a zillion options for speed, frequency, volume, etc. The sound clips are packaged separately. The install was a bit more than usual, requiring not only a configure and make, but also that I manually place the binary and sound scapes where I want them and set two environment variables to point to where I put them. Isn’t that whatmake install typically does?

The documentation is excellent, not only covering installation, but also how to make new soundscapes, and explanations of how and why it works.

All in all, I’m glad I went to the trouble of installing it.

2 thoughts on “Boodler

  1. Yeah, Boodler rocks! Hey Nathan, I was playing with Boodler when I was at Gospelcom; is that where you found out about it or did you discover it independently?

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