The Drancel: a 3D-accelerometer sound and light "atom" for the Drancing system

Mini videos from a Drancel RGB LED light show

Amazing GIF "animations"1 of a Drancel RGB accelerometer light show. A single Drancel RGB using 1 triaxial accelerometer and 3 (R,G,B) LEDs is combined with mirrors, crystal balls, and video feedback.

  • 1. Extracted from handycam video.

The RGB LEDs of a Drancel

The RGB  LEDs of a Drancel

Shows the (R,G,B) Light Emitting Diodes (LED)s of a prototype Drancel, which are driven by the (X,Y,Z) signals of a triaxial accelerometer. The LEDs are backed by tiny reflectors.

Drancel RGB accelerometer LED lights prototype (2005, OBSOLETE)

Drancel RGB accelerometer LED lights prototype (2005, OBSOLETE)

A Drancel light show unit with the (x,y,z) signals of a triaxial accelerometer driving calibrated red, green, blue LEDs.

Video: The Drancel RGB virtual triaxial accelerometer: colour=sound synthesis principle in 3D (with 3 VFOs and simulated sinusoidal signals)

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Demonstrates one Drancel RGB accelerometer synthesis atom design, with orthogonal "light cones" (which can correspond to LEDs with reflectors). The sound here is synthesised from simulated sinusoidal accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM.

Video: 2 Drancers (acceleration avatars) each with 5 Drancels: in PureData/GEM Prototype of DranceWare: rotating camera: driven by Wiimote

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Demonstrates 2 "Drancer" acceleration avatars, each with 5 Drancel RGB triaxial accelerometer synthesis atoms, with orthogonal "light cones" (which correspond to LEDs with reflectors). The sound here is synthesised from 2 sets of WiiTM Remote accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM. (For this demonstration every Drancel RGB of each Drancer receives the same signals.)

Video: 2 Drancers (acceleration avatars) each with 5 Drancel RGB virtual triaxial accelerometers: Drancing colour=sound synthesis principle in 3D (with 3 VFOs and simulated sinusoidal signals)

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Scenes

Demonstrates two "Drancers" (acceleration avatars of the Drancing accelerometer music system) with 5 Drancel RGB accelerometer synthesis atoms (corresponding to hands/wrists, feet/ankles, and waist). The sound here is synthesised from simulated sinusoidal accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM.

Drancel RGB PureData/GEM accelerometer monitors

Drancel RGB PureData/GEM accelerometer monitors

The Drancel accelerometer "light atom" principle can be applied to any light source or video generator; here PureData/GEM computer visuals are used to create Drancel accelerometer monitors, based almost exactly on the Java visuals from previous versions of DranceWare.

The corresponding (very pragmatically developed) prototype PureData/GEM patches look a bit rough, however the resulting monitor lights are beautiful when projected behind a performer, and they provide excellent visual feedback to accompany the audio synthesis.

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.

Video: Drancel RGB accelerometer "light horns" sound=colour synthesis principle (with 3 Variable Frequency Oscillators): driven by Wiimote

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Scenes

Demonstrates one Drancel RGB accelerometer synthesis atom design, with orthogonal "light cones" (which can correspond to LEDs with reflectors). The sound here is synthesised from WiiTM Remote accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM.

Video: 1 Drancer (acceleration avatar) with 5 Drancel RGB virtual triaxial accelerometers: colour=sound synthesis principle in 3D (PureData/GEM) 3 VFOs per Drancel and simulated sinusoidal signals

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Scenes

Demonstrates one "Drancer" (an acceleration avatar for the Drancing accelerometer music system) with 5 Drancel RGB accelerometer synthesis atoms (corresponding to hands/wrists, feet/ankles, and waist). The sound here is synthesised from simulated sinusoidal accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM.

Video: 2 Drancers (acceleration avatars) each with 5 Drancels: in PureData/GEM Prototype of DranceWare: Driven by Wiimote

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
Scenes

Demonstrates 2 "Drancer" acceleration avatars, each with 5 Drancel RGB triaxial accelerometer synthesis atoms, with orthogonal "light cones" (which correspond to LEDs with reflectors). The sound here is synthesised from 2 sets of WiiTM Remote accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM. (For this demonstration every Drancel RGB of each Drancer receives the same signals.)