January 23, 2013 at 9:15 am

11 Hidden Images Embedded Into Songs

by twistedsifter


A spectrograph is an instrument or program that is used visualize the sound spectrum (a more detailed explanation can be found here). Additionally, there are also programs (such as Coagula and Metasynth) that allow users to easily convert any image into an audio file (you can even find a video tutorial on YouTube).

Musicians can then take these ‘image to audio’ files, mix them into a track and if you were to run that audio through a spectrograph you would suddenly see images like the ones in the gallery below. The most famous of these is undoubtedly from the song ‘[Equation]’ by Aphex Twin.

When first discovered a slightly terrifying ‘demon face’ was found. It wasn’t until a fellow by the name of Jarmo Niinisalo came along and tweaked the settings to unearth the true image, the Aphex Twin himself, Richard D. James.

Below you will find a collection of images embedded into songs. If you know of any other notable examples please let us know in the comments!



1. [Equation] by Aphex Twin

aphex-twin-face-equatoin-formula-windowlicker hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm

Image via Jarmo Niinisalo


aphex demon face equation formula hidden image in music spectrogram 11 Hidden Images Embedded Into Songs

Image via Chaosmachine


This was the original ‘demon face’ image first found in Aphex Twin’s ‘[Equation]’ song using a linear frequency scale instead of a logarithmic frequency scale.


aphex twin spectrogram settings to see face 11 Hidden Images Embedded Into Songs

These are the approximate settings Jarmo used to uncover ‘The Aphex Face’


formula for aphex twin equation song track 2 on windowlicker

This is the actual title of the track. You can see why it is also known as ‘[Equation]‘ or ‘[Formula]



2. Windowlicker by Aphex Twin

aphex_spiral_windowlicker-track-1-hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm

Image via Jarmo Niinisalo



3. Continuum by Disasterpeace
(FEZ Soundtrack)

fez-soundtrack-continuum-hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm



4. My Violent Heart by Nine Inch Nails

my-violent-heart-nine-inch-nails-hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm



5. Beyond by Disasterpeace (FEZ Soundtrack)

fez-soundtrack-beyond hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm



6. Transitions by DJ Sonix

dj_sonix_spectrogram_transitions hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm

Photograph via guru3d forums



7. Compass by Disasterpeace (FEZ Soundtrack)

fez-soundtrack-compass-hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm



8. Stripes by sippenaken

stripes-spectrogram-hidden-image-in-music-song-hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm


stripes-spectrogram-hidden-picture-in-music-song-hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm



9. Flow by Disasterpeace (FEZ Soundtrack)

fez-sountrack-flow-hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm



10. Compass by Disasterpeace (FEZ Soundtrack)

memory-fez-soundtrack-hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm



11. Look by Venetian Snares

venetian_snares_look_songs-about-my-cats-hidden-secret-image-embedded in music spectrograpm

Image via Jarmo Niinisalo




bastwood.com: The Aphex Face
the nine inch nails wiki
Venture Beat: The Fez soundtrack’s hidden images and how they got there
– Black Coffee Spirit: Part 1 | Part 2




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