MonoScape – monome meets 3D-AudioScape

Nick Rothwell has developed an application for a monome64 to trigger and position sounds within the Illustrious’ 3D-AudioScape surround sound system.


My camera can’t quite capture all the button flashes – but you get the idea…

There’s an initial schematic of the button layout and functionality as PDF… though this was just a starting point and has since been superseded.

Nick used shado Рhis own open-source compositing and sprite library Рto enable the monome to trigger up to eight individual sounds (via MIDI note-on on separate MIDI channels), set their volume  (controller #7) and allow each to be positioned both within the x-y plane (controllers #2 & #3) and z plane (controller #4) of the sound field (3D-AudioScape is unique in that it also has a z-axis positional component due to its two rings of speakers Рone on the ground and one in the air). The app also has a mode for calibrating the output of the monome64 accelerometer to allow the position of a sound in the x-y plane to be controlled via tilt.

We also co-developed a Processing sketch to provide an on-screen display of¬† monome activity – an 8×8 grid of graphic buttons which mirror the actual LED state of the monome64 – as well as showing tilt and orientation by rotating the grid in 3D space.

We ended up exploring and implementing a range of Processing functionality – which has moved on our combined understanding of Processing considerably… key areas being:

  • SVG – using ID tags in the XML and the getchild() function to access and setVisible() different elements of a graphic as required;
  • lights – implementing Processing’s quite impressive range of lighting options – and using the ControlP5 library to create a secondary sketch window with sliders that control the colour, positon and direction of lights in the main sketch – and save this set-up to XML;
  • second monitor full screen mode – Nick’s implementation of the Java AWT is truly awesome – and essential for performance and installation;
  • accessing monome button press, led state and tilt data as OSC from shado using the Processing monomic iibrary.

We developed this for a presentation at the Future Of Sound show at The Sage, Gateshead on the evening of Saturday, 23rd May. It was all a bit last minute and there’s still a fair amount of code refining to do… as well as some additional functionality to implement for next iterations… but it did the job on the night.

Monomatic – Future Of Sound, The Sage, 23rd May 2009 from Monomatic on Vimeo.

Posted May 26th, 2009

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