Welcome to The402

A cyberpunk-industrial loop player V1.0

Backstory

In 2006, deDokter (S. Sippel) and ws (S.I. Hartmann) were working on the songs for Wertstahl's 2009-released electro-industrial album "kontrol". It was a time when the now dead Adobe Flash was a source of not only general disapproval but also lots of fun, in the form of a flood of games and looped content.
Since ws got an Amiga in 1988, he was, as a musician already very deeply invested in the concept of looping audio. Working in FL Studio from 2003, making loop-segments and later unfolding them into a full track, was standard practice for us.

Ws comes from a demoscene background and enjoys participating in competitions, so one day we decided to make a series of loops no longer than 10 seconds, via email in a ping-pong-communication fashion: one does a loop, the other reacts and replies to it with an even more interesting loop. Since it was just free experimentation, we enjoyed the process very much. We even decided to discard the project files so that all results were final.
As we reached the 100 loops mark, it was obvious for us ... to do 100 more. Just to have 200 loops.
And after we had 200 loops, we liked the result very much but had no exact solution how to deal with them. Bury them in just another old-fashioned linear album?
We chose to avoid problematic thinking and instead went to do what every sane person would do: make 200 more! So, we started in 2008 and suddenly, 11 years later, we had 402 loops, which is because of a slight miscalculaton due to us going through the numbers backwards, but still no solution in sight for an idea that came up while we were in the process of creating them.

The idea: try a new way

So now we have an endless, random album of building blocks (loops) that will each be played for a random amount of time with limited user interaction. As a result, there is no dynamic arc that anyone could get used to. There will be no imprint of the music onto the listener, since the story is always a bit different. Therefore, this player could be either very meditative or feel like you have been visiting a fairground, with all of its chaotic impressions.
Testing showed that an excellent use-case is to listen to it while doing (outdoor) sports.
Although there is quite some structure and order in this player, chaos is the main factor of the overall experience. In fact, it is a chaotic cyberpunk-industrial music setting.

With the kind help of Rego Sen's Gapless 5 library and additional programming, The402 is now a neat loop player that runs on virtually every device that has a JavaScript-capable browser installed. The code itself is open source, which you can view by clicking "code" on the player itself. We hope you enjoy our content and find it funny and inspiring, energizing yet relaxing.

The402 is completely free to use. Except for any caused mobile traffic on your side, of course. The size for all loops in normal quality audio setting is just about 64MB (only slightly larger than an email attachent from your boss), and it's not retained in memory all at once.

In case you like one or more loops enough to use in your social media video or even as part of your song, you can download them - our terms are: send us a mail to info@battlecommand.org to get written permission of usage. There will be no fees from our side for non-commercial use. We only need to make sure that third parties won't monetize our work. No mail: no permission of re-use.

Controls

The animated dots in the upper right represent how many iterations are remaining for the current loop.

Skip backward, Pause/Play, Skip forward -- just like every other player interface.

The RND-cycle buttons control how many times a loop will repeat:
RND2/4 (default) = randomized between 2 and 4 iterations.
1 HOLD = plays the same loop over and over again.
RND (no numbers) = randomized between 1 and 8 iterations. For the extended experience.
X = no repeats, plays each loop once, straight through.

Share Loop: Copies the URL of the player at the current loop and settings to your clipboard, so that you can paste it into your messenger, email, what have you.

Download Loop: Downloads an mp3 or flac of the loop (depending on which version of the player you launched), accompained by a readme (license).

The yellow 402 / 201D / 201A filters are there for research purposes. Although the list is always random, it can be restricted to:
- All 402 loops
- All 201 loops by deDokter
- All 201 loops by ws

Parameters

The402 has some args, inkey$ you care:

--> quality = [low|high, default = low]
--> id = [ID of the starting loop, e.g. 397A]
--> mode = [rnd24, hold, rnd, off]
--> filter = [select1|select2|select3]

example link:

https://the402.wertstahl.de/player/?quality=low&id=390D&mode=rnd24&filter=select1


Good vs. bad glitches

The402 is written in JavaScript, which heavily depends on the system it runs on. There are some issues we cannot work around: if you step in or out of your WLAN, or your mobile connection gets interrupted - or you change from headphones to speakers or the other way 'round, these are the moments when your device takes full control. If you experience interruptions, it is probably due to changing networks, audio devices, or there might be an issue with your provider. We cannot control this, so glitches (silence) can happen. If it happens, please make sure you're properly connected to a network and audio is set up correctly, then simply reload The402.

Best regards, enjoy!

P.S.

The blinking background pattern gif is actually a screen recording of a little program ws wrote for the Commodore C64. It is available here.