PComp - Midterm

01 Nov 2016
courses, documentation, pcomp

The midterm assignment was to create a compelling interactive piece. A simple idea with near limitless possibilities.

My idea was create an audio mixing board that utilized the prismizer audio effect. I knew it was going to be outside the scope of the midterm project, so I decide to focus getting the basics set. The result is an instrument that allows users to record on a microphone, play and stop the recorded audio file, and a knob to adjust the playback rate

Midterm [PComp] from Zach Coble on Vimeo.

I was interested using the prisimizer effect, is a new vocal mixing technique that has been featured on some of my favorite albums released this year. Around the time I was coming up with ideas for the midterm, there was a lot of conversation online about the technique - a New Yorker article, a couple Reddit threads, and a YouTube video explaining how to create/simulate the effect.

I also met with Justin Peake to discuss my idea, and he had a lot of practical advice. He suggested rather than duplicating the primerizer effect to use it as a jumping off point to create my own. And he suggested using Max to program the board and provided the Max serial patch. After stumbling around in Max for a while, I decided to shelf it for later and just use p5 for the first iteration.

The circuit was fairly straightforward - a couple buttons connected to digital out and a potentiometer connected to analog in.

For the enclosure, I riffed on an earlier Fabrication assignment and updated it with new pieces of acrylic to match the new project.

For the code, I used the p5 Sound library, which was fairly easy to work with. In Processing, I needed to use edge detection so that serial would only communicate when a change in state occured. For example, without edge detection, when you press the record button, p5 would constantly initiate a new recording for as long as the button was held down. I only need the recording to be initiated once when the button is first pressed.

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