My noise machine idea, looking for suggestions on features

I have a general idea of what I want to do and how I want to achieve it. I plan to use the Vizzie analyzr object in Max to give me RGB values of whatever a computer’s webcam takes in (using the Grabbr object, or however it’s spelled). Then, using these three values numeric values, I’d like to manipulate tone generators, filters, and whatever else I can come up with to have an interactive and somewhat unique experience for whomever stands in front of the computer.

I guess I am looking for suggestions as to how to implement the RGB values. I want to extend the function of these to more than just using them as frequencies for tone generators. I thought it would be nice to extend things like conditional statements (‘if the Red is more than X, this other ring mod turns on instead’ kind of idea…), and variable processing effects.


3 thoughts on “My noise machine idea, looking for suggestions on features

  1. Hi Jorge,

    This is a very interesting idea and I think this has a lot of potential. I’m wondering if the overall distribution of a certain color could be translated to a certain register (e.g. more red = more bass). I’m also wondering if you could experiment with what the data would look like if someone covered up the webcam with their hand. If they put their hand up to the camera, then almost all the RGB values would be the same/similar. Perhaps a conditional statement would be effective in that instance?

    Just some thoughts. Good luck!

  2. Hey man!

    First off there are a lot of examples for this type of software.
    And, David’s trying to accomplish pretty much the same thing. So check his post out.

    He’s named 3 – 4 awesome apps that does pretty much this. If not with live images.

    Last year, around this time, I wrote a piece of software myself that does pretty much what you want to do, except I do it with photos pulled from flickr using a predefined tag. You’re also welcome to check it out and see what it does. (I used RGB too)

    It pulls photos from flickr using tags, and makes midi/osc from them. You’ll notice the code isn’t the best – that’s cuz I’m not a big programmer 😀 But my suggestion to you same with David, would be to spend at least a week thinking the mapping. That was my biggest problem.

    Question timeee.
    – If you’re thinking of converting the images to “sound” are you planning to make the software that makes the sound ? Or are you planning to make a midi/osc controller that spits out data based on the color/average brightness/darkness etc. and use that data in a DAW with your plugins to make the sounds?
    – Is it going to be a Max patch ? Why not make it in PureData, and release it as an “App” so that everyone can download and use it. You’ll notice max and pd are really similar, except pd would make interoperability a breeze.
    – I believe there are a lot of examples of this in the app store too. I don’t remember the names, but a good start would be to start searching “generative music” and “brian eno” (yep check his works). I’m sure you’ll like what you’ll find 😉


  3. This sounds like a noise machine that I would love to play with! I am curious as to the extend of the interaction that the user can have with the noise machine. Will they be able to manipulate it with body movements/movement of objects/etc? So you can control it with no physical contact to the machine whatsoever? I like the conditional statement extension too – that adds an interesting element to the program. I think it could be fun to “hide” some effects in this way that the user can discover!!


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