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Homework #2: Sound Peeking

Due date: Sunday 2017.10.15 11:59:59pm.


In this assignment, you are to visualize sound in real-time, using OpenGL for the graphics programming, and integrated ChucK as a sound source. Your program will visualize: 1) live microphone input and 2) a designed sound narrative written in ChucK!

Specification (part 0 of 3): Reading

Specification (part 1 of 3): Naming + Compilation

  • choose a name for your program
  • get a framework compiling on your system; might wish to start from the VisualSine example (time domain waveform rendering)
  • use the chuck_fft.* files found here NOTE: this library ONLY works with single-precision floating point numbers (e.g., float)

Specification (part 2 of 3): Visualizing the spectrum

  • implement short time fourier transform, and visualize the spectrum over time
  • considerations:
    • windowing (rectangular, hann, hamming)
    • window size
    • FFT size
    • hop size (for now, hop size can equal window size)
  • implement either a waterfall plot (like sndpeek) or a real-time scrolling spectrogram
  • test using the microphone input!
    • use a simple chuck program that hooks up the microphone to the output so you can test your chuck setup as well as your visualizer.
    • (hint: in chuck, the input / microphone is adc)

Specification (part 3 of 3): An Audio-Visual Narrative

  • create a ChucK program to run inside your visualizer
    • use a combination of microphone (adc in ChucK) and sound synthesis
    • think about different "sections" or "movements", and how to transition between them
    • try to align the aesthetic of your visualizer and your ChucK program (give it personality)
    • (optional): can use keyboard input
  • aesthetic goal:
    • polish not important!
    • technical fanciness not important!
    • making the viewer/listener feel something: important!!


  • have fun with it!!!
  • comment your code!
  • choose your own coding conventions - but be consistent
  • you are welcome to work together, but you must do/turn in your own work


turn in all files via coursework, with concise online documentation + readme

  • 0) source code to the project (*.h, *.cpp, *.c makefile, etc.)
  • 1) screenshots of your visualizer!
  • 2) online page for your project (if you have a CCRMA account, should be viewable at http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~YOURID/256a/hw2/). It should include:
    • links to your files of various kinds
    • instructions on building the project (for example, anyone in the class should be able to download
    • a short text section that:
      • conveys your ideas/comments in constructing each program
      • describes any difficulties you encountered in the process
      • lists any collaborators
  • 3) a high-resolution (screen capture or with camera) video of your visualizer / audio-visual narrative
  • 4) upload to Canvas. don't forget to include the HTML for your website!
  • 5) (if you are using the VisualStudio project, please delete the intermediate directories and .vs hidden folder. these can get really large sometimes and we will have to download all your homeworks...)