openFrameworks, Sound
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Tangible Color Music Instrument [openFrameworks, Sound]


Looking at the interaction between rhythm and technology, thesis project by Ryan Raffa uses tangible, audio-visual interactions to illustrate how physical and representative objects translate, transmit, and are encoded with rhythm.

This prototype moves my “radar player” out into physical space and allows users to manipulate and move translucent, colored plastic pieces over a lit background. A camera above the lit platform provides information to my openFrameworks application that is looking for specific data points of hue, saturation, and value. As a virtual “radar” passes over combinations of colors, users are able to compose through exploring sound and the visual.

Within each of the scenario’s, the sets of user groups attempted different approaches to the plastic pieces. Some stacked them, others bound them with tape, and one even tossed the plastic pieces in the air and let them fall randomly on the lit plastic platform of the instrument.

Read more about the process and steps taken here.  Tangible Color Music Instrument is one of many prototype experiments including some such as Proximity Player, Tangible Player, Radar Player and more. There also a number papers you can read here.

Ryan Raffa is a MFA Design and Technology candidate and a Teaching Fellow at the Parsons the New School for Design. More at

If you like this, see also:
Manual Input Station by Zach Lieberman and Golan Levin
Color a Sound [MaxMSP, Sound] by Blair Neal
synthPond [iPhone, MaxMSP] by Zach Gage