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Hidden Dancer

By Tristan Louth-Robins on April 8, 2018 5:37 am

A continuation of the light sensor, arduino, Max experiments from last week.

This time around I've assigned two fixed frequencies, which are broadcast into my studio space at 220Hz and 221Hz respectively. A third variable frequency - which is set to benchmark of around 229Hz - is also broadcast into the room, albeit from the other side of the space.

The third frequency is controlled by subtle variances in light intensity, which are read by a light sensor positioned on the window sill. I made two recordings of this setup: one at noon and the other at around 3pm. The eastern side of the studio (which the window faces) receives nearly full light until a bit after 1pm. By 3pm, the sun has passed over the roof and has begun to tend to the west, hence resulting in decreased light intensity.

The light readings and their function in Max is a little more straightforward than last weeks patching, insofar that incremental readings of -1 / +1 by the sensor will result in a subtle adjustment of the third frequency's float value of 229.0Hz. So, in practice if the light sensor is currently reading a value of 992 and drops to 991, the Max value for the float will reduce from 229.0Hz to 228.88 Hz. i.e: as the light intensity drops the frequency value drops.

The effect is very subtle, but when this frequency is broadcast into the space with two other fixed frequencies the results become quite complex and a little unpredictable; since the slightest variance can render a striking contrast of wave interplay. As my studio is only partially conditioned acoustically, the liklihood of standing waves and variant diffusions is commonplace - especially when dealing with pure waves!

So I've presented a brief summation of both sessions: one at 12pm, the other at 3pm. You'll note that there are very subtle variances of wave interplay at both 12pm and 3pm since the light sensor was only reading increases/drops of 1 to 2 points. Whilst the 12pm session hovered around the benchmark frequency of 229Hz, the overall decrease in light intensity is fairly evident by 3pm and the frequency is hovering around 226Hz.

Thanks again for listening!


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April 9, 2018 3:11 pm

Conceptually organic. And extremely pleasant.

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