Getting rhythm control…

22 October 2007 at 8:53 pm (Hybrid Workshop, School of Art)

Last week we had to start building our metronome, we divided the group in order to progress in every aspect on the project. Two students started to do the 3D animation, three students started to work the wood part (to build the piece) and I was doing a little of everything, but I mainly focus on finding a solution for the sound issue. I started working with pure data (very confusing to be honest), then we decided to record the metronome sound and to treat it on a computer. We had to find a way to play it and to set the rhythm. We first thought on electronic solutions, using a digital audio recorder. But the sound quality was really awful, and the rhythm setup was complicated.

EPROM Digital Audio Recorder

EPROM Digital Audio Recorder

Back home, I started to get bored and I decided to make a research about how to connect the wiimote with the computer. I discovered a programme called Glove PIE 0.29, and started to study its use. Basically, the program seems to be built with BASIC language, and it allows writing scripts using a wiimote object. I started learning the script language, which is pretty simple, and started to try to understand how it makes the wiimote and the computer interact. Studying the program possibilities, I saw it is possible to play sounds (only wav files) and it has some tools to measure time and pauses. I started to think on how I could use it for the Metronome project. I end up with a simple code, where thanks to the wiimote, the user could start and stop the metronome and change the rhythm (increasing it and decreasing it). After that, I decided to put some visual and sensorial measures of the beat speed. I use the four LEDs of the wiimote to show how distant is the current beat from the default rhythm value and some rumbling to show the current beat in real time.

You can download the source code of the script here.

PS : The script code is protected by creative commons licence, terms are presented here.

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