Sound is all around us, but we almost never see it. When you make a sound, compressed air travels through the environment, dispersing materialized vibrations that in turn compress more air. Bounce is my attempt to amplify the sound waves of everyday life and music into a visible medium that increases spatial awareness. Inspired by the project AURA by Alex Rex, Bounce uses a teensy microcontroller and audio shield to listen and organically react to sound by picking out peak frequencies and sending them to a stepper motor mechanism.
The technology creates a positive feedback loop where the materialized energy of our sounds informs visual responses that in turn inform the sounds we choose to create. In other words, Bounce’s movements invite us to think about the sounds that we make and how they might transform the environment around us. Bounce is essentially no different than any other material object – It vibrates in response to sound waves. The difference is that these movements have been amplified out of the infinitesimal up to the personal level to create a visual interactive experience.
In addition to personal use, I envision this technology being used in live performance, interactive exhibits, and schools. Although I programmed the stepper motor to react to peak frequencies, I can also have the teensy perform a fourier analysis to pick out frequency ranges and control the motor in response to particular musical notes. If I had the time and resources, I would expand the project to build dozens of these object and hang them in a room. The objects in particular areas or elevations would be moved by chosen frequency ranges to create an experience that fully surrounds the user.
Teensy 3.2 Microcontroller
Teensy Audio Shield
Stacking Headers (To connect Teensy to Audio Shield)
Electret Condenser Microphone
5V Power Supply
Rechargeable 9V Battery (Alt sources = computer or wall power)
ULN2003 Stepper Motor Driver
28BYJ Stepper Motor