Kinect and Musical Bubbles – Bombolles

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Posted on 03/16/2011



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Music and Kinect seem to be developing a great partnership together as more musicians and developers collaborate to give music a technological make-over. We’ve seen motion-controlled synthesizes, pianos and virtual air guitars thanks to the Kinect. This feature however seeks to simply add visual beauty to the already inspiring sound of music. Joan Laporta recently uploaded this video of the Kinect Musical Bubbles for their final project in Digital Technologies for the Stage. In the video, a trumpet being played is seen and as soon as the musician plays the instrument, digital bubbles appear at the end of the trumpet. The bubbles change in size and number depending on how loud or soft the music is. The Kinect’s job is to trace the musician’s position so the computer will know where the bubbles will be generated in order to give the illusion that bubbles are coming out of the trumpet. The resulting outcome is an elegant audio-visual presentation; smooth and soothing music accompanied by the beautiful and glowing ascension of digital bubbles. With this program made for the stage, it serves its purpose of fusing art and technology to a high level.

Here is the detailed description of the project explained by Joan Laporta:

“*Audio analysis:
with Max/ MSP/Jitter detect frequency, duration and volume of each note that comes from the trumpet, pass this information to OSC (Open Sound Control) to Processing that draws on the bubbles as these same parameters (frequency/color, time/size , volume/transparency)
. Max object: Pitch~ by Tristan Jehan
. Processing: Fisica library by Ricardo Marx

“*Motion Capture:
with Kinect’s infrared vision and a point reflecting at the end of the trumpet’s bell, visualize and follow to the whole scene the point where the bubbles come out.
. Max objects: CV.jit by Jean-Marc Pelletier)”

Now that Kinect has given artists all around the world a medium to further increase the beauty of their work, let us brace ourselves for a whole new era of performing-visual arts. Who knows, your next theater play or concert you attend may have Kinect as part of its artistic production.

For more information about the Kinect Musical Bubbles, visit the project’s Vimeo Page.

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