Thursday, 29 April 2010

Research - an update on events

Hello Blog lovers.
Today I spent some time with tutor Dan Livesey. We spoke about various ways to go about this project, and Dan graced me with his limited (but very useful) knowledge of electronics.

My original plan (and what I am still aiming to do) will mean using a light dependant resistor (or LDR) connected to an Arduino board that will detect changes in voltage when the torch swings over the LDR. The arduino board converts this change in voltage to information that can then be received by Max/MSP via USB.

Dan educated me on other methods that would achieve the same results.
One way of working, he said, would be to simply do the original 'Pendulum Music' piece using microphones and speakers and have the signal from the microphones trigger Max/MSP. This would mean the 'woop' feedback AND a sample could be triggered.
Interesting, however after discussion about my original way of working it seemed that I prefer the use of an arduino board and the concept of swinging torches excites me way too much.

If this is too much to read, check this video out and have a kit-kat:

Skip to about six and a half minutes to hear how the feedbacks all interact when the piece is coming to a close.

With this talk with Dan and newly found knowledge of what I need to do I headed to every IT technician's favourite shop...

I visited Maplins and asked a friendly worker called Matt to advise me on what I needed to purchase to make the project work. After some talk of Ohms and a measurement of light I've never heard before called 'Lux', Matt told me to bring in a print off specification sheet for the arduino board I am thinking of purchasing. He can then advise me on the appropriate resistors etc to buy.
I shall be making that little venture tomorrow, so await more updates.

Oh. and I found software that lets Arduinos talk to Max/MSP (It's called Arduino2Max):

Alan Joesbury

Edit: Just thought I should say - the information I believe Matt needs is the input voltage for the model of Arduino board I wish to use. Which is as follows:
Arduino Duemilanove
Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limits) 6-20V

I believe the point is to buy a specific LDR for the recommended voltage, but we'll see.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

'Pendulum Music' - An Explanation

I'm Alan Joesbury.
I'll be keeping this blog up to date with information on my project as and when it happens - the research, the building, and the testing of my work.

First to explain the idea behind my escapade.
I plan to create a performance piece based on Steve Reich's 'Pendulum Music'.
Which is based on the concept of swinging three or more microphones above a speaker (each Mic has one speaker to itself). The gain for these microphones is set so that when it passes above it's own speaker a small 'woop' of feedback leaps out when the mic is directly above the speaker.
It is a piece based on the idea of phase and time change between each woop.
Here is an interesting link to an interview with Reich about the piece:

And a video to show a performance of the piece:

This is not the piece I hope to produce however - although it is an option.

I hope to replace the microphones with torches/lights, and the speakers with light sensors. Setting these up using something such as an Arduino board (hardware that converts different signals like light, motion, or sound into other signals) means that I should be able to convert these light signals into MIDI for example, which can then trigger samples using a software such as Max/MSP.

This is a tall order, and I hope to be successful in doing this, however if the challenge becomes too much I plan to use the original 'Pendulum Music' piece using three or more microphones and speakers.

Await more updates - they will come.
Alan Joesbury