Synchronizing soundflies

I finally got the composition together, and recorded a video of the thing in action.

The video starts with the fireflies calibrating themselves to a dark room. Then they start blinking randomly and find a common rythm quite quickly. When I flick the lights on, they become confused (red flashes) because they are “used” to a darker ambient light level. Finally darkness falls upon the room again and the flies synchronize, this time with a quite nice melody.

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Midi out from Quartz Composer

After the episode with color tracking patches, I started working on a composition that would take video input from a webcam and detect flashes of light at certain predefined points in the picture. I wanted a different midi note to be assigned to each of the points. So that when a flash is detected the associated midi note would be sent out to a synth or sampler.

The only problem is that the midi patches that ship with QC are pretty lame, and didn’t allow me to do what I wanted. After searching around for a bit, I found the kineme project. Their midi patches are apparently quite beta, and you have to register on the site to be able to access them. I actually had to try a few different builds before I found one version where the Global Output Midi Note -patch wasn’t broken. Be sure to put the files in the right folder; the midi patches go in /Library/Graphics/Quartz Composer Patches, not -Plug-Ins.

When registered, the midi patches can be found through the link below:
http://kineme.net/QuartzComposerPatches/MIDITools/category

Arduinobwoy

Breadboarding the Arduinoboy

I´ve been planning to build the Arduinoboy midi interface since sometime last November. I finally got around to breadboard a version yesterday using a 4n35 optocoupler. Works like a charm! 

The original “schematic” (that uses a 6n138 optocoupler) and the arduino code is located here
http://code.google.com/p/arduinoboy/

I used this instructable as a basis for the midi in part
http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino_MIDI_in_shield/

When I ordered my arduino a couple of years ago, I also bought 2 atmega8 chips that were prepared with the arduino bootloader. So, I figured that the next logical step would be to freeform (ie solder the components together without a circuitboard) a minimal arduinoboy with one of those extra uc:s. This would allow me to comfortably install the device into the battery compartment of my DMG. 

There´s some info on the minimal arduino setup here 
http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learni … Standalone
http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/StandaloneAssembly

The only thing I didn´t have at home was the crystal, so when it arrives I´ll write up an instructable or something.

The next steps from there would be to power the gameboy, midi keyboard and a small active speaker from the same rechargeable battery. Slap it all together with some tape and firewood, quit my job and play music in the street.