Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Last week's cloud update

Hey all! I forgot to post the progress I made last week on the cloud.

I bought 100 hangers and have been making sphere-like wire frames that I will be attaching all my electronics onto. I got some fabric and have been experimenting with different cuts and 'paper mache' style folds. Here is a video from the experiments:


Friday, April 14, 2017

Structure has taken a form!

Hello all -

I got all of my pieces cut and they fit together as planned! Take a look at the attached pics!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Plan of Attack/Replacement for Missing Class Tuesday

Hello all, my apologies for not being in class on Tuesday to present and give feedback. I had a complicated night (i.e. I was locked out the crib/stranded till mad early A.M.). 

But yo, find below a detailed plan I have for tackling what I feel will be a SICK instillation on the 26th. Please comment with any thoughts or concerns. Just thought I'd share to give an idea as to where I'm at. 

Main Tasks:
  1. Composition (Developed by Tues. 18th; Finalized by Sat.22)
—> Individual Touches 
a. Light Touches (Finger tips)  — 4 Variations 
b. Large Touches (whole hand) — 4 Variations 
c. Short Contact  —6 variations 
d. Sustained Contact —6 variations 

ideas for touching:

Short Contact
Sustained Contact
Light Touch (Finger tip)
Slowly fading in beginnings of—>
Circulating arpeggio glock clings w/ soft attack and washed reverb
Large Touch (Whole Hand)
Thick synth chord w/ flanger and chorus with medium release time
Unfolding chords of larger composition. Generative triggering with amalgamation of different cells w/ 3 chords in each

         ii. MAX Patching (Done by Tues. 18th) 
  1. Designating Specific Touch Data Ranges (Soft vs. large) —assign to       corresponding composition cell
  2. Counters for duration of contact—>corresponding composition cell
  3. **CROSSFADING between types of contact so that it’s as seamless as the touch

        iii.  Physical Building —(“A.” Done by Fri. 14th; “B”=ongoing)
 A.  new arm bands w/ copper tape SENSORS: Robust wiring/extensions to the breadboard 
B. Pillows, lamps w/ mood lighting/general set up of instillation 

      iv. Conceptual Cultivation 
A. Roll of and engaging bystanders/spectators? 
B. Words denoting rolls on the arm bands or no?

C. What’s their relationship to the blanket/sound coming from participants? 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

blinds and mechanisms

I finally has a solid direction on my installation.
On top of the blurring and scaling visuals, I am currently figure out the mechanisms.
 this is my finalized idea and the setup
it requires a projector, table to mount that projector. a frame and a piece of frabic to project on
and blinds!

this are some sketches about how i am going to make my gears.

I was stuck on how to attach sensors to my blinds
But i am going to laser cut a few things to try it out.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Cloud Progress

I've been through quite a few phases with my cloud installation, so I thought I would upload the various stages so far: This is my original cloud prototype made with polyester and one LED. I really noticed how the LED diffused nicely with the polyester These are the speakers I will be embedding into the cloud I've also been experimenting with different fabrics, including chiffon, linen and crinolin - which I will use for different textures of the clouds

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I've made a lot of progress on my bubble machine! I just need to make something to mount the blower and servo, and something other than tupperware to hold the bubble solution.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Installation Ideas

I want this installation to be functionally simple and interactively playful. If possible, I'd like to utilize some form of the radio concept from my instrument. I finally figured out how to solder wires onto the tiny FM tuner chips without ruining them (many thanks to Professor Gurevich), so I'll hopefully have 3 of 4 working by Tuesday. Maybe their functionality will reveal something about the trajectory of this project.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


hello, hope everyone as a great spring break! I get to bring out my revised and larger version of my instrument! It is kind of huge, but I like the space it offers me to move around and have an "out of the box" control of m

 There are four piezo  located at the bottom, on the base.
This is the real size comparing to my miniature version of the instrument.
My instrument is more like a controller now when I think of it. The rest of my job is to code and compose more sounds.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

INSTRUMENT miniature version

Last week, I got to print out a miniature version of my instrument! It is very tiny and cute, the real model will be twice as large. Currently I am modifying my model according to this tiny version.

There are a few areas that I need to improve. As I used to work in workshop, I usually spare more a tiny inches as the bench saw or saws have certain thickness and it could take off more wood than you expected. Naturally, I saved more spaces as I designed my model. It turns out that some holes are bigger and the parts could not fit properly. I learnt that I really could do the exact dimensions as the laser cutter really cuts accurately, without taking off any material from the wood. 

So, my next step is to modify this model and continue to make sounds and further develop my code!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

More plastic!

I went back to the scrap box and was able to find more of the material that I decided to explore further.

I've decided to connect some of them in order to make one that extends from hand to hand across my chest.

I tried to capture the gesture I was making but this is all I got:

Now I'll be working with an accelerometer and an infrared proximity sensor and see what kind of gestures I can detect!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dissecting the Game Trak

Dissecting the Game Trak

         I have been working on sound design, coding in Max to get my "virtual world" done, but finally I got two more sets of these kind of Game Trak, and it is time for me to dissect them and extract what I need from them.

 So these are so photos that I took during my dissect as I want to document them.

I have found a 1/4 inch wooden rod (wasn't sure if that's Johanna's ladder, but if it is, thanks!) which fits perfectly into the hole of these objects, still figuring out a way to secure them in a fixed position, probably some rubber material that prevents them from sliding.

Next, I am going to map out the diagram of how I am actually wiring up the physical things as I have more than 15 inputs. So probably I will need two multiplexers. Also, I am drawing a design of my arch, hopefully can laser print it soon after I get some feedbacks.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Finally getting the making ball rolling!

Hello all -

Sorry for the lack of updates on this project so far - I finally got into some making this afternoon.

So basically I went to the hardware store and bought a couple different sections of piping that seemed fruitful. Although the copper piping looked very intriguing and felt great to hold and interact with, I ended up pursing the PVC this afternoon because copper is conductive and I felt it was too risky to move forward with.

In my modeling last week, I basically came to the conclusion that my photocells should all be adhered to one common base that I would slide/insert into the center of the pipe to hold them in place underneath the holes. I've attached pictures of some perf board that I cut and wired my photocells and mux onto today!



side-by-side with pipe:

photocells through pipe holes:

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Experimenting with plastic materials

This week I have been experimenting with three plastic materials that I picked up at the Scrap Box.

The materials all have different amounts of bend to them. 


I've basically been attaching my accelerometer to each of these and playing with how my max patch reacts.

I'm planning on asking the class for feedback on these various materials!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Game Trak

This past week, I have played around with the Game Trak and a bit of coding me Max/MSP with sounds from Ableton. 

However, before I can hook the game trak up into the Arduino, I had to do some wire extension and re-soldering of the old- gluey wires.

 pic. 1 wires for joystick
pic 2. wires for the accelerometer
 pic. 3 re-soldering of the old wires for joystick as they are pretty fragile
pic. 4 extended wires for the accelerometer

As for the progress in MaxMSP and Ableton, I am sort of able to to control Ableton with Max MSP, so later I could map different sensors input to different sounds parameter in Ableton.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Retractable objects

 I am still into the interaction/ this idea of pulling something that is retractable to make sounds.
While I will merge this with a few more ideas, and these are a few objects that I can make reference to while I am building my instrument.

I am looking into something along this mechanism, so when I pull it the sounds will be triggered according to different tensions, or distance and power, etc.
Thus, I have searched and found something like this. Its size is somewhat tiny and pretty easily manageable.

Ideally, I will merge this idea with some other gestures/ sensors. For now, I have sketched up a rough draft of my first idea of how different things will be formed into one entity.

There will be six retractable objects in the top, each attached to a ring-like-object. On the other side, at the bottom, there will be potentiometer, piezo and some sort of distance sensors, all catered to triggered different parameters of sounds.
While I think all the elements are now being placed at the bottom, the next step I will try to do is to equally spread the "power" all over this instrument so that different gestures/parameters will be indicated more clearly.

Furthermore, I really like the sound design of doing something like bell-chimes atmosphere. I was thinking about how I was hoping to make not one to one relationship so the texture and sounds layers will be richer with just one instrument.

Giving a stick meaning

Oops I'm really silly and posted this on the ECM blog...

I decided to look into the different stick/tube controllers discussed in class on Tuesday and see what I thought of them. Unfortunately I couldn't find a video of the Sonic Banana, but I was able to find a few videos of the t-stick. This piece is called "Still Life: Eviction for soprano t-stick" (jeez).

My main problem with this was that the gestures didn't feel like they had any meaning, and the movements were very static. I'm hoping to explore bigger gestures that better reflect the sonic changes that result. I'm also looking to have a better visual component to my performance -- a longer tube with reactive LEDs.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Crystals and Meaning

For my latest explorations, I've been researching different stones and crystals, along with their metaphysical uses and meaning. This got me thinking of creating an instrument that had gestures and structures that were based on "crystal gazing" - when an individual looks into a crystal ball for images which have specific meanings for the future.

I've also been interested in holographics when I stumbled upon an installation that utilized a holographic projector to allow participants to control the image with their smart phones. I then came up with the idea of using a holographic projector to create the image that would be contained within a crystal ball.

I've posted my presentation of my influences and design schematics of this instrument below!

Sunday, January 15, 2017


I've been thinking a lot about the human tendency to fiddle with things, and how it often manifests in musical expression. So, I've started a list of tactile "things" that are the most fun for me. The first thing that came to mind was using the fingers of one hand to push the fingers of the other hand back, and vise versa. I'd like to try to replicate that movement.

I don't really want to make anything like the instrument in this video. However I find inspiration in its playfulness.

Friday, January 13, 2017

452 Project 1-Brainstorming/Research

Jan 11: Brainstorming/Research

  For project 1, I brainstormed and came up with some brief ideas on interactions, materials usage, sound design and such.

    First, I thought of some other nonconventional forms of interactions that human can involve with playing an instruments, such as pulling, squeezing, swinging objects,etc. However, of course, at this early stage, I have also thought about how "virtuosic' people could be if they are playing in those interactions with the instruments. I hope to make an instruments where people could get better and better with it, so it requires an actual "skill" to be "successful" on the instrument.

  Secondly, I thought about what tangible/ intangible materials (objects as materials too) that I have and materials that I want to work with/explore. For example, some tangible materials would be wood, foams, light bulbs, stretchable bends, etc. As for the design sound, taking the advantage of technology, I came up with some aspects/ parameters that I want to include in the instruments by mapping it to a certain gesture (interaction with a sensor) so that users can edit it on the fly, such as tremolos/timbres/reversed envelope,etc.

 Furthermore, I thought it would be an engaging action to see people pulling, and sounds will change according to the tension and force or speed that the player has given. Besides, I have recalled the Pendulum Music that we have studied in the past, and thought that would be a way to control certain parameters as well.

All of my points are a bit scattered now and very diverse, because I try not to confined myself to only one direction. However, hopefully, I can consolidate some of my ideas into one fine one and so I could proceed to some of the "thinking through making" process soon.

Here are some of my sketches to show my ideas.


ROLI Seaboard

For project 1 inspiration, I've been looking at this instrument called the "Seaboard" made by the company ROLI. What impresses me most about this instrument is how much potential I think it has of becoming it's own separate entity. In other words, I feel like there could exist professional "Seaboard players". In essence, yes it is just an innovative keyboard that introduces new methods of expression. However I think the skill ceiling for these innovations is high enough that there is potentially for achieving virtuosity.

While I wasn't planning on recreating this instrument for my project (nor could I), it gave me a lot of ideas about how you can be expressive with just playing one note or chord. The specific idea I had was to use a more traditional method for triggering notes (buttons/sensors acting like keys), but then using something like a flex sensor to alter the timbre of the note after it has been played. I thought there existed a metaphor for say, clenching your fist and introduce gritty FM synthesis on an otherwise pure and delicate tone. To me, it expressive an anger or  frustration  sonically. I'm not sure just how large an array of keys I'll have yet, but I think just starting with one playable note that I can manipulate is a good start.