The Chop Comic Demo

Yuma Antoine Decaux
October 15, 2020
Back in the days, when I was watching sitcom series, I was always annoyed by the on-demand laughter that prompted you to cheer when a bad joke was being said by one of the actors. It's so 80s, corny and unashamed that somehow, the concept became a worldwide phenomenon. people like to laugh, take things lightly, just enjoy goofiness in an era where newscasts gave gloom and doom. An example of this is MASH or golden girls. All these moments when you wondered why there was a crowd reacting to the scene.

The chop comic demo is an application that does that. Born out of my experimenting with 3D audio and a few frameworks on the MAC OS,I ended up writing a tutorial with the basics, which you can find here, but expanded to include more people laughing and clapping at comics (shout out to Jake, Sangbida and Boue for being the Guinea pigs), walking in with a white cane or wheelchair, and joking about their condition.


The demo is strictly audio, so you won't see any fancy visuals, but hook it up to a surround sound system, and you get the fullbreadth of 3D audio all around you, as if you're there. I even let thesimulation play along as I sat for lunch with my friend who had a massive 7.1surround system. The immersiveness was captivating us, as if we were in thatcomic shop, eating our dinner next to other guests.


So here it is, the dropbox link has a zip file, with areadme.txt to give you instructions on installing and setting the app up.Forgive my hacky app flow, but I did it in a few days, and currently have notime to make it more gracious.


 You can move around the 3D space with arrow keys, quakestyle, make the crowd laugh and clap by using the a, f and g keys, turn yourhead using the trackpad, and move around and explore the comic shop as thejokes stream through.




If you open the folder with the audio files, you canrecord your own voice and listen to your own reactions in the demo app. I thinkthis could be expanded to many more reactions, like jeering, cheering, roaring,shock, yelling, whatever. I started by using statistical metrics to create therandomness of people laughing and stuff, and also have written some pythonscripts to automatically chop long recordings into individual reactions, andplacing them in mono format in their respective folders. The script isextensible to actual words, whereas you have a text file with the sequence ofwords/sentences the recording has, and it will chop them off for you.


Though I haven't included it on this package, I will soonpublish a script bundle that may help those of you doing podcasts, or any sortof audio manipulation or even machine learning to get the process working faster. For example, I had a 2000 word recording I needed to chop off intoindividual files, with the proper names and all with applied filters. With the script, it took me less than a second. Saves me from spending hours doing mouseclicking :)


Anyway, if you have some suggestions or ideas for this,send me a mail. I will open source this at some point so we can expand thenumber of reactions and laughters to reach maybe stadium level crowd generationat some point, and we'll formally enter the 21st century of sitcom time wasting.