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Homework #2: Sound Peeking

Due Dates

  • HW2 milestone 1: due Friday (10/7, 6pm): all three initial tutorials completed; HW2 webpage with progress report on learning/playing with Chunity + 2-3 brainstorm ideas
  • HW2 milestone 2: due Monday (10/17, 1pm): HW2 webpage updated with milestone video + in-class critique
  • HW2 final deliverable: due Monday (10/24, 1pm) HW2 final webpage/video + in-class presentation

reminder: please also organize your weekly reading responses online at http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~YOURID/256a/rrXXX/) -- replace XXX with the number of of the reading response.


In this assignment, you are to visualize sound in real-time, using Unity for the graphics programming, and ChucK (via Chunity) as a sound source. Your program will visualize: 1) live microphone input and 2) a designed sound narrative written in ChucK. This is a fun project but there are many moving parts; start early.

Specification (part 1a of 3): Tutorials + Readings

Specification (part 1b of 3): Real-time Sound Input in Unity

  • follow and do Ge and Kunwoo's Artful Design TV tutorial "HelloAudioVisualizer" in a new project (do Roll-a-Ball and Chunity tutorials first)
    • note: the above tutorial does not use Chunity! Use the starter code in the next step to set up your project
  • start working on your own visualizer in a new project using the ChunityAudioVisualizer starter code => Unity Package | scripts only
  • end up with a usable Unity project as a starting point for your project
    • basic visualization of time-domain waveform and magnitude spectrum
    • test using the microphone input!

Specification (part 2 of 3): Visualizing the Spectrum History

  • design and implement a waterfall plot (like sndpeek), a real-time scrolling spectrogram, or another way to display spectrums over time
    • "make it read"!
    • feel free to experiment on how to represent the spectrum history visually

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

  • using Chunity, create a ChucK program to run inside your visualizer
    • can 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!
  • you are welcome to work together, but you must do/turn in your own work

Final Deliverables

  • 0) reading responses, to Chapters 2 and 3 (upload URL to Canvas, as per usual)
  • 1) HW2 project webpage (should be viewable at http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~YOURID/256a/hw2/). It should include:
    • a name and description of your audio visualizer
    • a few screenshots that capture various parts of your visualizer in action
    • a polished high-resolution video (2-3 minutes, with audio, screen capture or with camera) of both your visualizer in action AND your narrative
      • hint: create a production build from Unity and capture video + audio using this build in FULL-SCREEN
      • upload to YouTube or Vimeo (or CCRMA) and embed the video from your webpage
    • instructions for using your visualizers, including any keyboard/mouse control
    • the production build of your visualizer (please specify the platform e.g., MacOS, Windows, or Linux)
    • your Unity project (stripped of unnecessary and intermediate files; just the essentials needed to build and run the project)
    • a final short text section that:
      • conveys your ideas/comments in constructing each program
      • describes any difficulties you encountered in the process
      • acknowledges help you received for this project
    • feel free to include (or not include) your previous HW2 milestones. If you do, these previous milestones should appear AT THE BOTTOM of your HW2 webpage.
  • 2) submit to Canvas: URL to webpage and your Chunity code.