Robert Gay, Digital Arts, Electrical Engineering

Contact rcgay@u.washington.edu

Using Sensing Systems for Real-Time Audio Performance

This project is a product of collaboration between the
Digital Arts and Electrical Engineering departments. The original goal
was to devise a system of interaction between bodily movement and 3D,
real-time audio performance for Nicolas Varchausky’s sound
installation “Speaker Performing Kiosk.” The final product will be
a small, battery-powered, light-weight device that is worn by a user
and can transfer sensor information (both analog and digital,
including serial communication with sensors that use I2C) to the
SuperCollider audio programming language being run on a remote
computer. In the case of Nicolas’ piece, the device allows Nicolas
to wirelessly use an accelerometer to measure bodily movement within
his installation.  The research will yield an easy-to-use device that
can interface with SuperCollider, a software implementation that is
easily expandable for future sensors and devices, and a hardware
implementation that can be easily interfaced with many other common
digital software packages used within the Digital Arts (i.e. MaxMSP,
Processing, PureData, etc.). The final product will allow digital
artists and musicians to use hardware and sensory devices creatively
while removing the worry of designing a wireless hardware/software
framework between the sensor and the computer. This allows artists to
instead focus their energy on how to use the output of the sensor
quickly and easily for the given project.