Final Project: Tone Grid

For my project, I created a Tone Grid, which cannot be uploaded due to requiring the sound libraries. I also couldn’t properly record it due to issues with microphone feedback.

Each color represents a different pitch, with the blues being lower and pinks being higher. The pitches are notes on the pentatonic scale. Clicking on more squares of the same pitch will cause that pitch to be louder. The squares can be clicked on again to stop that pitch from playing. Pressing any keyboard key will turn all sounds off.

Attempted Video (no sound)

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Work in progress pics:

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Looking Outwards 11

Two projects that are very similar to my final project are, of course, the ToneMatrix itself, which is what I’m trying to recreate, as well as the Tone Wheels. Both of these are by the same programmer, André Michelle.

The ToneMatrix is a grid utilizing a pentatonic scale in order to create a short looped piece of music. The user selects squares, each of which representing a piece of the pentatonic scale, and then the program plays the notes. This is the project that I’m recreating.

The Tone Wheels are a series of lines connecting into the center, forming a sort of wheel. The wheel then rotates, and when it hits a dot, it plays the note that dot represents. Both the wheels and the dots can be moved around, which again creates an interactive melody. My main issue with this project is that it does not allow for the creation or removal of wheels or dots, thus limiting the user’s ability to utilize the program.

Elliot Final Project

For my final project, I’d like to recreate Tonematrix, a project in which music is generated based on a grid, with the X-axis representing time and Y-axis representing musical notes. As squares on the grid are clicked, those notes are played in a sequence, creating an interactive composition.

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I’d probably start this out on a smaller scale, with only an 8×8 grid or so, before trying to expand this. I think the way that I would go about making this would be by creating a grid of buttons that are called though the framecount, and if the user clicks in the space where the button is, the button is pressed, so when it gets to its spot on the framecount it makes a noise. I’d have to do some research on how sound works in p5js, however. Once I get that working, I’d also like to have some sort of visual indicator of where we are on the grid.

Looking Outwards 10

Wendy Carlos is a trans woman who is most well known for her work with synthesizers. Her breakthrough project was titled “Switched-On Bach,” and featured well known Bach pieces (such as his Brandenberg Concerto) played on a synthesizer. She used a Moog synthesizer, which didn’t have a multitracking option, so she had to create several different tracks of all the different parts of his works.

“Switched-On Bach” is widely regarded as one of the most influential pieces of electronic music from the 20th century, having been one of the first classical music albums to sell over 500,000 copies.

As both a musician and an openly trans-identifying individual, I’m honestly amazed by Wendy’s work. The amount of time and effort it must have taken for her to learn and perform every single part of several of Bach’s is incredible.

Wendy Carlos is also known for having created the original soundtracks to the films A Clockwork Orange and Tron, a collaboration with Weird-Al Yankovich, and more synthesized versions of many of Bach’s other works throughout her career.

Looking Outwards 8

I read Lily Fulop’s post on Chris Harrison’s “Wikiviz.” Wikiviz is a visualization of how all the articles on Wikipedia connect to each other. I’ve also played the same game as Lily has played, in which one tries to get to a specific Wikipedia article with only a certain number of clicks. Honestly, I find it amazing to be able to visualize exactly what topics are connected and how–as well as how many degrees of separation certain topics have. As a composer, I find looking at the one which centers on music interesting–you can see that somehow topics such as “Vehicles by Brand” and “National Coats of Arms” are connected to music. This whole project is fascinating, and I’d like to thank Lily for having written about it so I could also discover it!

Project 08

Move the mouse around to create large squares. Click and drag the mouse to create smaller circles.

These two options allow the user to decide how they’d like to view the portrait. Would they like to try and view it as close to the original as possible by taking the time to use the smaller circles? Or would they just like to color the page as quickly as possible by using big squares?

The person in the portrait is my best friend Eli.


Elliot Project 07

Epilepsy Warning: This blogpost is gif heavy. Some of these gifs have flashing/rapidly changing colors.

For this project, I was inspired by the various types of spiral or spiral-like gifs one can find on the internet.

There is, of course, the classic spiral:


But there are also many other gifs that have the same effect as the spiral–they draw your eye towards a point on screen (most often the center). They also loop infinitely.

by David Szakaly

Now of course, since these are gifs, they are the same every time–which is the opposite of what the project calls for. However, what I’m going for is something that creates objects randomly, which rise towards the user in order to give the sensation of falling–similar to this short sequence in Majora’s Mask from 5:40-5:49.

For my project, I used some lines to draw the eye into the center, and circles which get larger before disappear in order to give the vague sensation of falling into it. I’m very proud of my work!


Looking Outwards 05

For this week’s looking outwards, I’ve decided to talk about the applications of using the Oculus Rift for data visualization. The Oculus Rift is a pair of goggles that allow you to experience virtual reality–or, in the case of this video, combine the real world with elements of virtual reality.

In the video, a program has been created to be utilized by geologists in order for them to visualize the different types of materials to be found underneath the surface of the Earth. The data is previously collected, then stored in the program and projected through the Oculus over the parts of the Earth where the data was originally found.

I personally love the idea of being able to combine virtual reality and actual reality in order to help one perceive the world around them. As someone who struggles with understanding what data means (for example, I can’t process what the temperature feels like if you tell me the number), this would definitely be something super helpful to me in my day-to-day life. Other practical applications of this just off the top of my head could be interior decoration, construction planning, and helping people with their ability to process the meaning of numbers.