October 3, 2017

Today the group met to start putting our project together. We decided to meet in the Digital Futures lab at 9 A.M. so we could work most of the day.

When we first got into the lab we tested out some different plastic containers on two types of speakers to see what would make the water vibrate the most.

Here is a video of our first attempt to make the water vibrate from the base of the speaker / process:

What we learnt:

  1. We need a plastic container that isn’t heavy like the one we have
  2. We need a song with a heavy base
  3. The Bose speaker we used is too small
  4. We need less water in the cup to have it vibrate
  5. We are still missing our floaty element
  6. We can’t use a song from our music accounts

What we updated:

  1. We went and got a bigger speaker
  2. We decided to put the water in a plastic bag like you would a fish so the water won’t move off the speaker from the vibration – we need to get a bag and tape still
  3. We added our ‘floaty’ element: a plastic fish
  4. We sourced a note to use
  5. We then decided to use flowers instead of a fish to make it more aesthetically pleasing

After seeing what we need to do, get and update we started to work on the coding we need to find.

For this project we want to use a computer and another outsource speaker with our light sensor on our breadboard to create our Water Bounce interactive system.

So we started to look for ways to code this. We chatted with some of the second years and first year classmates about what we could actually code.

The three concepts we chatted about:

  1. Having the light turn off and on the speaker
  2. Having the light adjust the volume of the base from the speaker 
  3. Having the light adjust the pitch

We decided to go with being able to adjust the volume or pitch of the music being playing through the speaker.

For the code to be able to do this: 

  1. Arduino: The information
  2. Hairless Midi – Translates the information
  3. Ableton Live – This is what reads translated information in Hairless Midi

Throughout the rest of the day we sourced code that we could use with Ableton Live to create a pitch that would go lower or higher in volume based on the amount of light it got. When there was more light we wanted the pitch to the louder with more light and vice versa.

We found example code from these two website that would work for what we are looking to do:


In the end, we ended up using Garage Band with Hairless Midi.

Once we set up Garage Band with Hairless Midi to link to our Arduino we got lift off! Can we have a second to cheer please.. thank you thank you. With light we were able to make the pitch go louder and with no light we made the pitch go lower. From there we included the speaker into the system as the output – and again it worked!

Here is a image to show the code and the connection:


Here is a video of it working without our material and adjective:

Once we did this we wanted to test out the water in a bag to see if it would work better (which p.s. it did). So we went to the grocery store and purchased some Gad Ziploc Bags to use.

Then we added our material (water) to the speaker / here is a video:

We ended the day with this which was amazing! We did not think we could be up to this point by the end of the day.

What we still need to do:

  1. Make our speaker set-up look more visually appealing
  2. Add in a code to play with the volume
  3. Still add in our adjective – floaty

We decided to go home and search for another code that would allow us to play more with the volume and / or turn the ‘music’ on and off. And bring back what we sourced tomorrow for our meeting in the morning at 9 A.M. in the Digital Futures lab. This is also something we want to ask in our meeting with Nick and Kate to see if they can give us some direction.

End of day four.