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.