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Sound Reactive Artwork

Whilst working on the MA Design course, I started to learn how programming was being used within the visual programming language Processing. The video below shows a selection of audio visual tests using an electric guitar. With the program running in realtime, the hardware setup was to connect the guitar to an audio input of the laptop where the visuals on screen respond to frequencies from the guitar. (The louder the note is played, the bigger the circle will appear to the player.)

When creating visuals using this method a lot of the realtime elements were developed using a sound library by Amit Pitaru in Processing using a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to trigger off images in realtime.

When the notes were played on the guitar it started to simulate an interpretation of ‘creative code’ and really showed the potential of a programmed environment and what it could do visually.

Testing this idea on my computer and also with a professional guitarist (at a local shop!) was good to see how this work could develop and take shape allowing me to observe how the visuals reacted to the audio signals.

Applying an art and design intent towards the visual output made the work feel natural and disassociated with programming, feeling more ‘human’ with vibrant colours/shapes to express the notes played.
R.Murray Schafer to me defining visual art and design, especially when working with digital sound and visualising graphics through audio and with programming.
“The sense of hearing cannot be turned off at will. There are no earlids.” (Schafer, 2007)

Alongside the programming methods, the animation below is an audio visual test created in Cinema 4D.