Color a Sound

This is an interesting take on a music box. [Blair Neal] is using an overhead projector with a roll of transparency to make a synthesized music box. A camera watches the projected image and feeds data to Max/MSP to produce the sounds. Customization merely requires creative image analysis. In this case, different colored pens or different tracks can be assigned to a sound with the speed of the track based on how fast you wind the transparency spool.


  1. Bittencourt says:

    Very cool! it wold be nice to advance to something more “gestural” (I mean, more fluid drawings)
    and eventually make the inverse to “print” a music on a new way

  2. sm10sm20 says:

    The music is absolutely horrible, but the idea itself and the project is really a neat idea. The man operating the machine looks like he is having some flash backs from childhood, and its kind of freaking me out…

  3. Mike says:

    Kick ass project, but would have been infinitely cooler had anybody with any sense of rhythm or melody been drawing on it.

  4. Abbott says:

    Interesting idea, but lose the god forsaken bells.

  5. fartface says:

    Old tech. the design is the same as how we used to detect pins in a bowling alley. simply sample a single line of video and detect from that.

    I could detect every pin in 2 alleys at a time with a singel video camera. there is a spot on the lane where all 10 pins are visible. put camera there, you now can easily spot them.

  6. amcalpine says:

    A story on a spool would be neat.

  7. Decepticon says:

    That would have been fun for about 5 minutes.

  8. Mr. Rogers would have ended his time in Make-Believe Land and rolled in his grave after a musical performance such as the one above.

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