Tag Archives: music

Dynamic Interfaces Midterm – Proposals

In collaboration with Apon Palanuwech.

a) Worm Tunes
A visual music synthesizer, inspired by the amazing Patatap. Users can draw their musical “worms” on their phones. Shapes and curves would be translated into sound and then plugged to the last segment of the collective worm. The final result would be a collective piece of music and drawing.

b) Help the Tribe
A Lemmings-like game. Users control virtual bars from their phones and should help the “tribe” — a bunch of rolling balls or polygons — overcome the obstacles and reach the final goal.


NWS – Ciel Étoile – Motion Sensors + Sound + Video

We’ve finally linked the sketch to the motion sensors — Thanks a collective effort from the hardware team!
The central particles are now responding to an average motion measured from the wrist bands. The plan is to have the percussionist wearing one of these.
This is the Irish group Crash Ensemble performing the song we’re working on:

So, to test the wrist band, Julie mimicked the percussionist’s movement on the performance above:

We also added a video footage of fog, because we’ve found the song’s textures evocative of that image. The idea is to gradually increase the video opacity as the song goes.
Thanks to Angelica Jang, who helped us edit the video!
The project so far looks like this (with Julie playing the percussionist):

NWS – Ciel Étoile – First Sketches

First sketches for the piece “Ciel Étoile,” to be performed by the New World Symphony on March 9.
The project is being developed as an Independent Study with the NWS, coordinated by Joe Saavedra and Ed Keller.
In collaboration with Brendan Byrne and Namreta Kumar (hardware), Madhava Tankha, Bernardo Schorr, and Julie Huynh (software).

From the Irish group Crash Ensemble page: “The piece consists of 36 bars. Each bar is a ‘star’: a unique sound object, played in perfect unison with great concentration. The gestures of the two musicians should always be calm and rehearsed, as in a ritual.”
Because of that, we thought that a minimalistic approach to the visuals could fit better the song. The song textures reminded us of fog too, so we may add that to the next version.

Simão Says

Final video!
A Simon Says-like game, but with a knob instead of buttons. The user has to repeat the sequence of angles, pretty much like a locker.
Thanks Laura Salaberry, Renata Miwa and Alessandra Kalko!
Soundtrack: instrumental version of “Amor de Chocolate“, by Naldo.
Design process here.
Source code here.

P.S.: “Simão” is the portuguese name for Simon. The name of the toy in Brazil is actually “Genius”.

Simão Says – Process

1. Idea
A Simon Says-like game, but with a knob instead of buttons. The user has to repeat the sequence of angles, pretty much like a locker.
See this post for previous proposals: https://gabrielmfadt.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/simon-says-style-game-proposals/

2. Precedent
The idea for the game actually came from a locker. I have one at Parsons and every Friday I have to pick up my pComp stuff and open it. That’s why it was my main inspiration for the project.

3. Development
3.a. Board Prototype
First, I assembled the circuit on the breadboard, to check all components, code, timing and game dynamics.

3.b. Enclosure Prototype
After searching for a box that would fit in my project, I decided to build one myself. I began by making a cardboard prototype to check the ideal dimensions.
One problem I had so far was where to put the knob and the LEDs. My first idea was to put them both facing the user. But that could not work well if the user is above it.
By playing with the cardboard prototype I realized that I could solve the problem and stick with my previous idea. I just had to change the box angle, so it could face the user:

3.c. Box Plan
Based on the cardboard prototype, I drew the final box plan using Adobe Illustrator:

3.d. Painting
I painted the wooden sheets using a surface preparation plaster and acrylic paint:
Note: no, neither the inclination nor the color were inspired by the solder stations we have at the pComp lab!

3.e. Box Cutting
I used a laser cutter to make the box pieces and drawings. I had a non-painted backup sheet and I used it to check if everything was ok first:

3.f. Wiring
I assembled all parts in the main face first — wiring, soldering and then checking with the Arduino board. Only after that I finished assembling the box, with superglue.


4. Conclusion
The hardest part was definitely thinking about the enclosure. I had no idea from where to start. I didn’t know any material possibilities, and a I struggle with that for a long time. I didn’t know for sure if I would use a found box or build my own enclosure.
Soldering and assembling was hard as well. I’ve never done this before, so I asked a lot of friends for help. I didn’t have all the tools I needed — tape, hot glue — and, in the end, I wasn’t satisfied with the result. I may have damaged my potentiometer along the process, too. Even so, I’m glad that the final toy works.

The code was the easiest part. Though I’ve had some challenges along the way, like setting a timer instead of using delay, it wasn’t that difficult.
Understanding the circuit was also pretty easy. I think that we have a good basis of code and basic circuits in this class.

Turns out that building the enclosure wasn’t as hard as I thought. I’m glad I pushed myself into that. It led me to learn more about building physical things, as well as some practical stuff, like using the laser cutter.
Besides, that was first time I went to a physical store to search for electronic supplies. So, another surprise was that I liked it and it was very helpful. I ended up finding a red/green LED that fitted perfect in my project. Before that, I didn’t even know that it existed.

5. A Final Note
Except for the group assignments, this was the first collaborative project I’ve made at Parsons. Since there was a lot of things that I had no idea about how to do, I had to stay in the school and ask a lot of people for help:
– thanks Brendan Byrne for the enclosure tips and for giving Simão a nose!
– thanks Daniel Mastretta for the laser cutter lessons.
– thanks Ayodamola Okunseinde and Gabor for the helping with the solder.

Simon Says Style Game – Proposals

1. Ideas Based on Found Enclosures

1.a. Artist Panel Box
Based on panels found in an Art Supply Store.
LEDs are hidden under the translucent paper. User can only see their colors.IMG_4335 IMG_4334 prototype_a

1.b. Pencil Organizer
Buttons attached around the cylinder. LEDs inside, upside-down. User can only see the inner light while holding it.
IMG_4345 IMG_4346 prototype_b

1.c. Tupperware
Arduino and LEDs attached to tupperware’s lid.
IMG_4343 prototype_c

2. “Blue Sky” Ideas

2.a. Pyramidal Simon
Made out of folded cardboard. Each face has an LED and a push button.prototype_d

2.b. Locker-like Simon
Inspired by the Simon Says dynamics, but not exactly the same. LEDs turn on in an angular sequence, just like in a locker. User has to repeat the same angular sequence.

2.c. Keyboard-like Simon
Self-explanatory. Slightly different from Simon’s original dynamics, though. Multiple buttons can be triggered at the same time.

Original post: http://makingtoys.net/2013/10/18/1-ideas-based-on-found-enclosures-1-a/