P-Comp Final Part 2 – SandBand

Recently I went to the Ted Talk Live about Science and Wonder where Tierney Thys discussed how increasing our interaction with nature can improve our lives.  This encouraged me to stick with the sandbox idea.  There is something to be said for getting people to actually feel and move the sands with their hands and I like the tactile experience I hope to create with it.


The measurement of the sandbox would be approximately 3′ x 3′ x 8″.   I am still unsure if I plan to use sensors or the Kinect.  I found this Kinect example from UC Davis.  It uses the depth data to project different colors like a topographical map.  They also provided instructions on how they created their project.



Although, I would like to learn about how to use kinect for depth analysis, I think that the effect might have a more magical feeling if pressure sensors are used underneath the sand.  They would be set up in a grid pattern to create However, I am worried that the movement won’t be able to be captured easily or accurately.

I think with both of these I am still confused on how to make a nice combined sound rather than it being just a bunch of noise.  My idea is either to run it in a loop where it would hit each sensor in a sequence and play sounds in that order or I can do whichever is the tallest/heaviest is what noise is playing.  For the latter, I think it could be the most effective for making a fluid sound but I am not completely sure on the logic of it all.

For now, I have started doing the MIDI lab on the p-comp website but stopped when I talked to one of the residents about using the MIDI device.  I have plans to meet up with a resident to discuss this in further detail.  I also plan to make the box for the sensor this weekend.  If I can’t make a nice box, I plan to buy a sandbox turtle like this:

P-Comp: Final Play-testing 1

Sand Band (working title) is a musical sandbox.  The box will be scaled to different section that has a corresponding musical instrument.  As each user makes a shape or “castle” in the sandbox, the weight of the sand in each section will trigger the note of that the instrument plays.  The sandbox will be big enough so that at least two users can play at a time.  It is undetermined if the users will initially be aware of that they can create sound with their sand castle or if it will come out as they work.

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An additional part of this is to connect it with Rebecca’s and Kevin’s P-Comp Finals.  Rebecca’s project creates a visualization based on the user painting/moving pine needles on a canvas.  Kevin’s is a water based project that would interact with both of ours.  At the time it isn’t determine what the effects would be.

As I am writing this, I am becoming less and less sure that I actually want to do Sand Band.  I will decide after play testing.