Download the file below

Zeros there are plenty
But threes come empty
Of twos there are none
Since the password is One
24 of its kind in binary
Will unlock the library…

November 8, 2021: Closing the Sound Art Paradox. Revealing the prize and how the winner solved the audio puzzle.

After three months we are now closing further attempts to crack the Sound Art Paradox puzzle including the chance to run off with the 2nd and 3rd prize – which remains unclaimed.

Although we already have revealed the winner, Peter from Canada who solved the puzzle in 36 hours, we are now also revealing the 1st prize and the method of how the winner solved the audio puzzle.

The 1st prize was a unique ★ Lifetime Luftrum Access ★ which includes the entire Luftrum portfolio of all current and future soundsets and Kontakt libraries plus all instruments and releases under Luftrum brand now and in the future.

The treasure hunt is now closed but the file of the puzzle can still be downloaded above and using Peter’s method below you can solve the riddle too… although there is no prize to be won if you do.

I was absolutely positive that a group of people with access to sound manipulation and compositional tools would figure out the stretch/reverse quickly, and it was mostly going to be a race to find all of the associated soundsets. – Peter, the winner

The first puzzle was the password to access the files in the heavily encrypted zip file. Many have failed to try to access the files, without unpacking them first. The password is “one” in binary format, which is also stated in the riddle “the password is One” converted to binary hence the “24 of its kind in binary, will unlock the library” and using a text to binary converter (Google reveals many) reveals that one (with a small o) translated to binary is 011011110110111001100101 – plain and simple, right?

Peters approach:

“The first thing I did with the sound file was look at a spectrogram – I had just recently been looking at tutorials about adding hidden messages as high frequency noise, and I thought there might be something similar here.”

“I did play around briefly with other transformations to the sound file, like inverting one of the channels to see if the stereo would cancel to reveal something else. But it became clear very quickly that there were distinct frequency hits in 5 chunks, so eventually figured out that it was a much longer set of sounds. Once I stretched it out even a little bit, I recognized that it was reversed. (The spectrogram would make that obvious too, in hindsight)”

“The first sound I got was the Luftrum 14 pad, since it was at the start of that soundset’s demo on SoundCloud and the start of the YouTube walkthrough. I used it to help calibrate my original stretching, which ended up being 100x to 1:40. The 960 Hz frequency limit made some of the matches really tough!”

Conclusion: Reverse the 1-second audio and stretch x 100 = 1 minute and 40 second audio demo containing 5 different snippets from Luftrum releases.

“Early on I decided to focus on numbered sets, and patch demos only (not song demos). Having small kids and a full time job meant I didn’t have time to have a focused listen to the entire set of demos…”

“The Luftrum 15 Ambient Pad was the next one I felt confident about. Converting these to letters gave N _ _ O _ which is when I started to try backward variations on “Soren” and “Token” (Including Søren, by the way)”

“The Luftrum 19 key/syn and Luftrum 20 arp came next, but I wasn’t sure about them at first. Eventually I convinced myself that aliasing + 960 Hz limit was what made the 20 arp tricky. The 19 sound wasn’t there in the YouTube walkthrough from what I heard but there was a characteristic rest in the SoundCloud demo track that just wasn’t anywhere else. The rest is what really convinced me.”

“While struggling with the last one, I thought that maybe there was something about the preset names… The Quiet Blade II (L14) and ARP Book of Fairies II (L20) were the first I found via YouTube, and with the recent Expanse 2 release started thinking that maybe the reveal at the end was going to be something like Pandorum 2 (Pandora’s Box reference maybe?) but the L15 title didn’t match.”

“This was a stretch… The L19 demo didn’t show patch names, but from reading the list on the YouTube video I saw that one possibility was SYN Caribbean Blue II… Between Blade II and Blue II I thought maybe there was going to be something related to Rob Papen, but the L21 Back in Time patch didn’t match the sounds in the key file and the Book of Fairies didn’t match anything Rob Papen related. I don’t have any of his stuff but I see it come up from time to time on deal / buy and sell threads… I was getting stuck with the 5 letter idea so my brain started to wander outside the box!”

“I finally came across a decent match to the second sound about 1:30 into the L12 demo. I was having a hard time convincing myself it was right but I just couldn’t find a better match anywhere else and it seemed like the right kind of sound for the TAL U-NO-LX.”

Conclusion: Five snippets from Luftrum 14, 12, 20, 15 and 19

“With the full set, the letter conversion seemed to be a dead end (NLTOS is hard to make into anything coherent!), and I also hit a dead end with the synth names (OTHPR or OUHPR didn’t do much either!) which is when I finally started playing with the numbers themselves. I tried variations on the sum of the numbers (80), including 80 in binary, but nothing there either… Quite honestly I didn’t expect 1412201519 to work, but it did and I nearly jumped out of my chair!”

Conclusion: The password to unzip the second file is 1412201519

“Final steps: Notepad find/replace the “x” with nothing, to uncover the next password (1Dn0lIllIpzuQrt1) next was to put the riddle into a Caesar cipher. It immediately looked like one to me, and I eventually found that it was a rotation of 11 (a to l). The answer to the riddle was “rain”.”

Conclusion: The third password is 1Dn0lIllIpzuQrt1 and the fourth password is rain

The final step leads you to the entry page where the 1st prize is announced. Try it out yourself, grab the .zip file at the top of the page and just follow the steps here to unpack and solve it.

Thanks to all who participated…