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Sand Noise Device- A Combination of Generative Synthesizer and Augmented Reality

Sand Noise Device- A Combination of Generative Synthesizer and Augmented Reality

Sand Noise Voice, a generative and augmented reality synthesizer was one of the installations that caught the eye in this year’s Moogfest. The creation has been designed by four students from the California State University, East Bay’s Multimedia Department. Matt Roads, James Saxon, Van Dyke and Devin Dominquez are the four students who have created the Sand Noise Device. It is defined as a “generative musical system”. Users can project virtual objects on the sand by moving tangible objects around the sandbox. Sound is created on the basis of the movements of the objects. The music thus created is a combination of Indian and Eno-esque droning, which has evolving electronic textures.

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How does the Device Work?

The Sand Noise Device is a generative musical system in which sound is created on the basis of the movements created by virtual objects and their location within a table which is filled with sand. As mentioned earlier, the virtual objects are projected by moving tangible objects. These real life objects are self-illuminating. There is an array of sensors which detect the location of the lit real-world objects and the topography of the sand. Based on an estimate of real world physics, these factors affect the movement of some virtual objects. Such virtual objects are displayed onto the sand and the factors cause the sound.

The hardware consists of an array of sensors, a projector and a computer. Open source tools like Pure-Data and openFrameworks are used to custom build the software.

Seamless Augmented Reality Process

The creators of the Sand Noise Device wanted to make the connection between the audio, projected visuals and the sandbox, a smooth one. They essentially wanted the projections of the virtual objects to appear as though they were present in the sand physically. Sonification is driven by the apparently physical properties of the simulated objects. Sonifiable properties like pitch and panning are directly related with the properties like location and speed of the object.

The team is planning to put up this installation in more public places, where people will be able to interact with the Sand Noise Device in a better way.

Would you like to experience this augmented reality and generative synthesizer? Where would you like it to be installed next? Share your views with us.

Image Source – noisey.vice.com

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