Short Description

Funded by The Arts Council England in 2021, the project covers the next iteration of the collaboration between me and Silvia. For this iteration the focus was on getting a standalone device which fully autonomously generates the sound of people moving around it and allows still pairing of multiple devices. We also focused on the quality of the produced sound (musicality and quality) experimenting initially with electronic synthetic sound using oscillators and phasers in puredata (pd) and later with audio sampling of real instruments using midi.

During the process we also investigated pairing against several different sound receivers (sinks) which as a result allowed people to pair their personal Bluetooth headphones devices as sound receivers. This personalised pairing proved desirable for people with hearing aids.

Starting Point of iteration 2

As a starting point of this iteration we were using 3 SD devices which contained 4 raspberry PI 4, each with a SEEDSTUDIO Respeaker 6-MIC head inside the 2nd prototype of the 3D printed case. The case was designed to allow users to connect a USB-C power cable and a micro HDMI cable. To complement the devices we were using a VGA projector to offer a large screen and a Bluetooth Speaker as well as BT Headphones (over ear and in-ear) The device was running Raspbian Stretch and a modified version of ODASLive to collect the spatial sound information. The device was then sending the information to a desktop machine to visualise as well as produce a sound response sent to a connected BT receiver. Thus, dancers could move to basic synthetic sound generated for them through a connection of devices.

Downsides of this setup were the requirement of a desktop machine, a connected screen, keyboard, the need for a complex wifi setup and generally the setup time of around 30min for a single or pair of devices.

Iteration 2 Results

The result of this iteration is the creation of a standalone SD-device that pairs against either one of the provided Bluetooth speakers or headphones or against their personal device. The device now integrates a shell which was adjusted to counter for the heat produced by the CPU, modular slots for adding extra cables which can be closed up to create a more uniform appearance, a separate BT received to increase the quality and range of the Bluetooth signal, heat sinks to reduce the impact of the computation on the overall temperature. If a single device is used the setup takes around 2 minutes, reducing the time significantly. Setting up a network of devices takes a little more time as the network addressed need to manually be configured. The process still requires a technical expertise which we are aiming to eliminate in the next iteration of the project.