Wii

Video: YouTube: Drancing accelerometer music with Wiimotes: 3D variable frequency oscillators + amplitude variation + triggered "air drum" samples

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Demonstrates combined oscillator frequency variation, amplitude variation, and triggered Drum sample ("Drumming by Dancing") modes along with Drancel RGB monitor visuals projected onto the "Drancer" performer.

For this demonstration two hand-held WiiTM Remotes on a MacBook Pro were used. (The original Drancing accelerometer suit (since 1997) used 5 triaxial accelerometers in a "body star" pattern").

Drancel.pd

Drancel.pd

A Drancel is the virtual synthesis 3D "atom" of the Drancing accelerometer music system (where "music" means here both real-time sound and light synthesis).

A Drancel is designed to work with ANY triaxial accelerometer (of which the WiiTM Remote is a convenient example, thanks to its leverage of Bluetooth™ wireless technology).

It is the calibrated, conditioned, "homed", virtual Drancel that is considered to synthesise, not the triaxial accelerometer, which is merely a source of (X,Y,Z) acceleration signals that are mapped to synthesis channel triads and (R,G,B) (or other) light components.

A Drancel RGB (drancing light element) is to Drancing synthesis what a "pixel" (picture element) is to a picture.

Imagine hundreds of "Drancers" (Drancing performers), each with 5 Drancel RGB units, each synthesising sound and light, and you get the picture ! Can you hear it ? Can you see it ? That's the Drancing vision !

Drancels can act as independent synthesis units or they can be combined (multiplexed) to create arbitrarily complex syntheses. In this PureData prototype there are, however, only 2 Drancels, for 2 hand-held $Wiimotes$ as wireless accelerometer sources. (The original Drancing accelerometer suit (since 1997) had 5 triaxial accelerometers in a "body star" pattern.)

Currently the PureData synthesis prototype offers the following elementary synthesis units:

  • AM: modulation of the amplitudes of a triad of "fixed-frequency" oscillators,
    which frequencies can be set by the user using the sliders.
  • VFO: variable frequency oscillators: the user can set the scale of frequency driving, a frequency offset, the overall gain of the oscillations, and whether or not the frequencies are discretised to lock-on to MIDI note frequencies (as opposed to arbitrarily fine continjous frequency variation).
  • Drums: simple sample drums (I currently use the free AudioPervert CR-78 drum samples) which will probably be replaced soon with completely synthetic PureData drums.

PlaySample.pd

PlaySample.pd

Not pretty, and not as flexible as a generative programming approach. It's just enough to separate the set of chosen samples (visit DrumSamples.pd) from the playing via triggers and/or radio buttons. It's a rapid prototype after all !

Drancing.pd

Drancing.pd

The "executable" 0th level Drancing.pd is just a wrapper for the PureData version of the DranceWare GUI for Drancing. It does not show any connections, so it acts more like a skin than the wrapped 1st level <a href="https://www.webel.com.au/image/drancewarepd">DranceWare.pd</a>. Note the use of deep nesting of UI canvases from nested abstractions.

Record.pd

Record.pd

Very basic recording to a named file. It's a very rapid prototype !

The audio in the You do not have access to view this node was in fact recorded from system audio by a screencast capture system so that the modes and settings were also recorded visually simultaneously.

DrumSamples.pd

DrumSamples.pd

Drum samples are preloaded into tables for triggered playback.

They can be heard triggered once on selection from the <a href="https://www.webel.com.au/image/drumspd">Drums.pd</a> radio buttons (with the slight side-effect that the selection process can be heard in recordings).

It's just enough for this prototype; it aint pretty, and it is bound to specific samples (adapted from the free AudioPervert CR-78 drum samples).

One could trigger samples other than drums and rely on samples for the entire music, however that is not the way of Drancing. Geez, why not just trigger your favourite CD to play from beginning to end, and say you're playing gestural music ?! It proves nothing. Only purist real-time synthesis provides realistic diagnostics and measures of the true performance power of evolving gestural synthesis instruments ! And it sounds much better, too.

Combining drum (or other) samples with real-time synthesis is an effective compromise.

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