12 December 2005 · About 2 minutes read


Fiddled around soldering a couple of LDRs on my USB controller which gives a nice ‘wireless’ interface. I’ve also spent my remaining time figuring out different PD effects to experiment with, especially graphics processing through GEM.

The end result is a psychedellic abstract visual that reacts to various light conditions. With this interface, you can ‘play’ with the visuals (and audio) by moving various parts of your body to affect the environmental light falling on the LDRs.

I’ve also made two makeshift handles to cover the base of the controller, while still allowing the LDRs room. As this is a first prototype PD applet, I didn’t fancy drilling away at my controller. I used Polymorph - a plastic that when submersed in water at 62+C becomes semi-liquid, and hardens as it cools. The polymorph was wrapped around the original controller handles while it cooled, and then attached to the controller itself. whilst not as aesthetically pleasing as the original, the handles do provide some protection and comfort when using the device.

In PD, I started playing with sound output. Unfortunately, PD wouldn’t pick up my only MIDI ‘device’ (Garageband) as an output, so I had to make do with building synth sounds. Being an electro-acoustic novice, the talk of decay rates and envelopes baffled somewhat, and PD documentation does seem exceptionally rare, even in this age of Google. However, I did eventually find some handy tutorials through the community site PureData.org.

While the resultant sounds are not amazing, they do at least provide some acoustic feedback to the interaction, and demonstrate some constructions within PD. I also took this opportunity to revise the visuals slightly, and ensure that the 3D geometry reacted well to different lighting conditions.

Sound1 SoundAppletHID SoundHID2