Final Project Proposal – Soundbox of Light – Charlene Kulesa

2 Dec

Soundbox of Light    

My project is using both light and movement to create an interactive sound experience by combining elements from a turntable and a harp to create a soundbox of light.  The needle of the turntable is replaced with an LED “needle” and a vinyl record has a pattern of slits cut out from it which allow the light to pass through to the sensor below. The sensor reads the oscillation between dark and light as the record turns which then translates the staccato moments of light into sound.

The harp is a 14” frame that hinges off the backside of the turntable so that the user can interact simultaneously with both the harp and the turntable.  The harp is made of lasers with corresponding light sensors. Each sensor is coded to a specific note, which is played when there is a break between the laser and the sensor. I am also attempting to explore tracking hand movement while it interacts with the laser and use that data to modulate the sound. For example, the pitch of the note will increase or decrease as the hand moves vertically on the laser beam or tracking the velocity of the hand as it initially breaks the laser from the sensor, the higher the velocity the higher the volume.



3-5 lasers, 1 LED, 4-6 photo resistor sensors, tilt switch, range detector sensor (ultrasonic range detector and infrared range sensor), Arduino, breadboard, wires, Max MSP or Midi shield, pine plywood ¼” X 24” X 24” (pack of 4), wood glue, nails, 4 metal hinges, record, extra turntable arm and turntable


Sunday Dec 1st:

– Make adaptations to the turntable

– Create initial code to test basic function of sensors for both the turntable (LED and photo resistor) and laser harp (2 lasers, photo resistors, tilt switch, ultrasonic range detector)

Monday Dec 2nd – Thursday Dec 5th

– Continue working the code by adding sound through Max MSP or Midi Shield and increase the function of the laser harp

  • Laser 1- add logic to the code that determines velocity of the change of light intensity and correlates that velocity to a specific decibel level in which the note of Laser 1 will be played at.

(Example: if a hand slowly blocks the laser the note will be played at a lower volume. If the light is blocked quickly it will be played at a higher volume)

  • Laser 2- test multiple distance sensors and determine best sensor to capture hand location on Laser 2. Add logic to code that will change the pitch that is played by Laser 2 relative to the location of the hand blocking the laser

Friday, December 6th:

– Build container for laser harp and turntable

– Laser cut record for turntable

– Continue working on the code

Saturday, December 7th:

– Wire laser harp and turntable into final container

– Add code for the 2-3 lasers added to the laser harp (Total of 4-5 lasers)

– Test the code on the final product and make necessary tweaks

Sunday, December 8th:

– Continue tweaking the code and make adjustments as needed

Monday, December 9th– Wednesday Dec 11th:

– Buffer days


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