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Interactive Media Installation: Sound Drawings

February 18th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

In the end of november I was a part of the Sound & Vision 4 concert for Music and Media Technology at the Anton Bruckner University.The Sound & Vision concert serie allows young musician and audio-visual artists to present their new experimental artworks and installations.


Programme #1

Programme #2








In my installation "Sound Drawings" the musicians can use their instruments for drawing an abstract painting. The pitch and the volume of their instruments paint the canvas with an harmonious-sensitive-line-based brush (a digital ribbon brush). The installation tries to put the aesthetic experience of music and visual on an equipollent level. Usually , the music defines the visual experience (see the battle between DJs and VJs) or vice versa. The realtime visual feedback gives the musicians an additional channel for improving and influencing their improvised perfomance. The musicians are oriented towards the visual aesthetics of their drawing and their bandmates. New sounds and musical aesthetics can emerge.

Emily Stewart (violin) and Mira Lu Kovacs (singer) performed three different parts. These parts were influnced by transforming the coordinate systems of the canvas.

  1. Part: Against each other : Volume axis are  reflected | Painting | MP3
  2. Satz: Rotation : Volume and Pitch axis are rotated through 90° | Painting | MP3
  3. Satz: Together : Both using the same coordinate system | Painting | MP3

Drawing Part No. 1

Drawing Part No. 2

Drawing Part No. 3








Technical implementation:

The whole software is written in Max/MSP/Jitter. The ribbon brush is strongly based on Mr. Doob's Harmony Drawing application. For this installation I ported the original Web JavaScript version to a Max MSP working version. After the porting process I extended the application with a multiple brush ability. In the end it was possible to use several brushes at the same time. The sound and pitch tracking is done by the external Max MSP object Fiddler. This object works nice for voices and string instruments. Also the color management uses the data of the Fiddler object in combination with a pre-defined color set.

- Dell Latitude E6400 2,66GHZ Notebook
- M-Audio Fast Track Ultra Soundkarte (2 channels)
- HD Beamer
- Max/MSP 5 (Software)
- Harmony Open Source Project (JavaScript)
- Fiddler Project


Big thanks to Andreas Weixler for the technical support, his great advice to use the Fiddler object for sound analyzing, and of course for getting the invitation for his Sound & Vision concert serie. Furthermore, big thanks to Mira and Emily for their great performance, feedback  and their patience during calibrate the software. The whole work was a real pleasure. Thx!

  1. April 16th, 2013 at 21:49 | #1

    A very nice project about the harmonics of visual and auditive signals.

    The Harmonic Series

  2. admin
    May 25th, 2013 at 16:25 | #2

    Again another nice project space palette of combining visuals and music together


  3. admin
    May 25th, 2013 at 17:54 | #3

    Additionally, Tunetrace – iOS app by Ed Burton converts drawings to music

  4. admin
    October 10th, 2016 at 15:19 | #4
  5. November 19th, 2016 at 14:31 | #5

    Another cool tool for audiovisual programming and interactions (also with OSC) is i-score. A FLOSS intermedia sequencer for the precise and flexible scripting of interactive scenarios


  6. November 25th, 2016 at 23:07 | #6

    Amazing project: Music Designed for an Oscilloscope http://sploid.gizmodo.com/music-designed-for-an-oscilloscope-looks-and-sounds-coo-1789345209 | https://asdfg.me/oscistudio/ | https://asdfg.me/osci/ #sound #art –> translating Blender 3D objects to sound

  7. March 12th, 2017 at 19:56 | #7
  8. March 15th, 2017 at 10:56 | #8

    Another great exampe of Visual, sound and music

    MIDI Drawings by Mari Lesteberg is a collection of musical scores, which present visual narratives with the music they dictate



  9. December 24th, 2017 at 17:28 | #9

    Another great example with good mood palettes

    Synesthesie – UPIC Synthesizer Online Version

    live demo (for touch devices)

  10. admin
    December 28th, 2017 at 12:57 | #10

    “Edgard Varèse” (1958) is a very interesting composer, who was an artist of the past. Rather than dealing with sounds as sounds, he deals with them as Varèse.

    It is very interesting how he draws and composes rhythms visually:


  11. admin
    December 28th, 2017 at 13:01 | #11

    Damn that #Musical Chord Progression Arpeggiator by Jake Albaugh makes me addicted to experimentation


    visual representations of rhythms directly with sound patterns output
    #web #sound #generator #algorithms #generative #art #math #harmony #melody

  1. February 23rd, 2011 at 13:49 | #1
  2. July 27th, 2011 at 15:58 | #2