SoundAffects NYC

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Client: Parsons The New School for Design

Partners: Mono

A ten-day audio experiment that listened to more than just the audible noise of a New York City street corner, SoundAffects took the form of a wall on the corner of 5th Avenue and 13th Street that collected data input including temperature readings, color analysis of video feeds, precipitation measurements, noise levels, cellular phone activity/interference, and proximity sensors.

All of this raw data was fed into the SoundAffects generative music algorithm and visualizer system. We worked with mono for client Parsons The New School for Design, and the goal was to encourage engagement with the city environment. The music, and the corresponding visuals and video, were available in near real-time through the browser or your phone.

The project was completed using HTML5, JavaScript, Max/MSP/Jitter, Ableton Live, and various other software tools. On the hardware side, Tellart rigged industrial sensors to an Arduino micro-controller, and also captured live video throughout the ten days. The music composition algorithm was composed by Tellart’s in-house computer-music specialists.