Kristina You is a multidisciplinary designer based in New York, NY and a recent graduate from the ITP Program at NYU. Her practice focuses on UI/UX, interaction design, print design, and brand development.

︎︎︎Physical Computation

Project 2 - Part 2/2

Process ︎︎︎

For this project, I struggled a lot with handling so many components that were initially envisioned for the final product. I had 12 different input sources including 4 x potentiometers, pushbuttons, and toggle switches. The part I found most difficult was that many times the trigger for one of the inputs would set off or control another function. 

I also had some difficulty with the toggle switches which were effectively working in my Arduino sketch but was not connecting to Ableton in toggling different effects on and off. In future iterations, this is something that I definitely would like to work on.

Code ︎︎︎

For my Arduino sketch, I included the MIDI usb library in order to connect my inputs to Ableton. I also had different sections for each of the different sensors that I was using including the pushbuttons, potentiometers (originally rotary encoders), and toggle switches. 

P5.Js ︎︎︎

Since I wanted a visual output for this project in addition to a audio control output, I created a simple sketch in P5.js that would visualize the changes in frequency levels and volume using the fft function and map volume function. Once the volume passes a certain threshold, the outlined circles would turn into filled circles that change colors by the volume levels.

Fabrication ︎︎︎

For the fabrication aspect of this project, I created a simple box with inserts for all of the sensors that I was planning to use which I used lasercut wood for. I wanted the design of this project to be very simple and intuitive for the user to interact with.

Ableton- Arduino ︎︎︎

One of the most difficult parts about this project was that I did not have any prior knowledge of using Ableton Live which made it a difficult but learning experience. The mechanism itself was simple in that the different input sensors would control the audio effects applied to the clips I chose. I think that the process of connecting an Arduino to a software like Ableton was difficult for me because it was my first time not only using a audio software but also working with MIDI control with an Arduino. 

Conclusion ︎︎︎

Overall, I think that this project was definitely a difficult experience in dealing with a lot of new components but was definitely a big learning experience as well. There was a lot of trials and tribulations involved in the process- and although not all of the components work as I originally intended them to, I was happy that some of them achieved exactly what I planned and would love to work on this project further with some more experience in MIDI control.


Last Updated:  April 9, 2023