Maker Faire-steamPunked

VASS with War Machine
Jacques Laroche

Description: The VASS (Video Audio Synthesis System) is a real-time Arduino powered visualization system which converts analog audio into data a computer monitor can display.
This music to video system was just super cool… hooking up an old school beat machine to an Arduino and a monitor. The ability to create visuals through different combinations of sounds is very satisfying… offering a new dimension to an immersive sound experience. I can’t help thinking about its application at live shows where people and musician alike can have an influence on the sound and visuals around them

Spinning Drum Machine 1
University of Amherst ECE

Description: The SDM1 is programmed via marks on small discs.  When light is blocked by an opaque mark, the chosen percussion instrument sound is played.  Developed for a Middle School outreach program called Circuits and Beats.
This was another great project developed to be built and used by Middle Schoolers… it’s super cheap to assemble and the disks which act as the rhythm makers can be easily created by students.  I thought this was generally a great way to expose younger students to basic circuitry and computation… while at the same time pushing them to break out a sharpie to come up with the most imaginative beat combinations.  No two designs are alike, and thus kids are encouraged to explore their creation in a very hands-on way.

Matt Parker, Albert Hwang, Elliot Woods

Description:The Lumarca is a display that renders true 3d volumetric content.  Due to the custom designed string lattice, the project can illuminate any point on any string.  This cost-effective, scalable, and customizable solution is drive by a frequently updated open source library.
This was hands down my favorite installation… being able to project a 3d visualization onto an array of strings creates a tangible experience that seems to offer great potential for informational displays… bringing a vast 3d scape of data points into the physical environemnt.  The depth really brings life a screen cannot capture… especially when you’re able to walk around it. The only drawback is it must be used in a dark environment… and it’s incredibly sensitive to any alterations to the alignment of the strings.  Other than that, I’m tempted to actual get a starter kit they’ve developed and give it a shot.  I included an additional video that showcases some other functionality.