Thursday, November 05, 2009

Found Sound

I'm always a bit quiet on the blog when I'm in school, but I'm finally getting towards the end of my program, which means I'm indulging myself and taking classes that I can't totally justify professionally, but that satisfy some of the creative-librarianship tendencies that got me to apply in the first place.

I've had the idea for a found sound archive for quite some time, but I wanted to build a really good interface for field recordings. Something you can touch and move. I'm building a prototype as a final project for my Programming for Interactivity class. Here's the gist:

I bought this cabinet with a built-in radio online:

The ultimate goal is to build in an RFID reader and fill the drawers with RFID-tagged objects, and an SD card with field recordings linked to those RFIDs. When an object is placed on the reader, the related sound recording will play back. It sounds simple, but there are a bunch of intermediary steps that I haven't totally worked out yet. Like how to play back the sound. Ideally, I could just wire the Arduino to the speaker on the built-in radio in the cabinet, but I think I need an intermediary. And all the intermediaries I find seem to output in mono, which is fine, except that it's field recordings, and in a perfect world, you'd be playing with this thing, wearing headphones, and you'd pick out an object, like a little bird, and you'd put the bird on the reader and then you'd be surrounded by birdsong and you'd forget where you are for a split second. Mono is just not going to cut it. But that's okay. This is the prototype, right?

Updates as I have them. My first task is to get the RFID reader to read an RFID tag. Wish me luck!



Blogger T said...

coolest thing. yes. indeed.

3:50 AM  
Anonymous jordan said...

very cool idea
i see a room full of these, and many many sounds flittering in the ether.
how to you plan to categorize them?

9:52 AM  

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