Sound Reactive Christmas Tree Makes Folks Happy

This non-traditional Christmas tree in Victoria, British Columbia is bringing people together this holiday season. It boasts over 800 lights that react to sound. You can see the pulsing and color changing that go along with some Tuba carols in the clip after the break.

The art installation was commissioned by the Downtown Victoria Business Association. A great big cherry tree was adorned with strings of individually addressable RGB LED Christmas lights. They are controlled by a system which calculates changes based on onset, energy and frequency analysis of sound picked up by multiple microphones. The effect is delightful and it’s not just musicians getting in on the fun. Passersby can’t seem to help themselves from yelling, clapping, and singing to make the tree sparkle.

Also included in the project is an interactive stop-motion animation film. It’s projected on the side of a building and invites viewers to send a text message to interact with it. A video of this is also found after the jump.

4 thoughts on “Sound Reactive Christmas Tree Makes Folks Happy

  1. We have a similar thing in Auckland but it is more the cheesy, fake kind of tree.

    Sponsored by a phone company I believe people can talk on phones and the sounds causes the patterns on the tree to change.

    They seem to have moved it this year (from a wharf to a nearby park), possibly after last years excitement where they were trying to put the tree up using a helicopter(!) which got tangled around a cable and crashed! The pilot was very lucky not to be hurt. (crash at around 40 seconds in).


  2. Very cool. I wonder if they put prominent signs on it or if they let people just discover what it does? It would be neat if they did several of the trees in the vicinity. I’d like to see the tree react to a full choir. Where are the microphones?

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