Homework #3 - Audio Sequencer

Laura Sch├╝tz

Milestone 3 - Solar Sequencer

Solar Sequencer lets you discover the soundscape of space. Elements of disruption and unpredictability are incorporated to convey the feeling of mystery associated with space. Playheads in the shape of asteroids are circling the sun on three orbits. The circular sequencer allows you to place planets at the currnet location of the playhead. The placement of the plantes defines the musical piece that is created. Planets can be added and deleted to adjust the sequence. The same planets map to different sounds on the three different orbits. All orbits are played at the same time. The playback speed can be adjusted and is graphically represented in the size of the sun.

Design Decisions

Each planet represents a different sound. The sounds used in the solar sequencer range from asteroid impact sounds over spaceship fly-bys to UFO sounds. Like in our solar system, the planets and asteroids are circling the sun counter-clockwise. The orbits all rotate at different speeds and thus introduce an element of randomness into the design. This conscious decision was made to represent the unpredictability that comes with space. As the future of our planet and the solar system is uncertain, I decided to also include an element of disruption into the game. As the player increases the tempo of the beat, the asteroids travel faster and the sun scales in size. At some point the asteroid playheads pick up so much spead that the impact on the planets makes them deviate from their orbital circulation. Ultimately, the sun expands to the size of the entire solar system and all sound ceases.

How to Play It

The seqeuencer uses Unity and Chunity to generate the audio visual experience. ChucK IntSyncer and FloatSyncers are used to dictate the timing of the sound from ChucK. Unity is used to compute the graphics and broadcast events to ChucK when planets are hit by the playhead. The project was built for Mac OS.(Download Unity Project). The following keys can be used to play the sequencer:

Adding / deleting a sound instance:
M - add planet Mars to the orbit at the current playhead (asteroid) position
N - add planet Neptune
S - add planet Saturn
U - add planet Uranus
D - deletes a planet that is close to the current playhead (asteroid) position

Switching between orbits:
Right arrow: create / switch to an outer orbit
Left arrow: switch to an inner orbit

Switching camera view:
C: switch to playhead view on your current orbit, repeated key press will show different angles around the asteroid
X: switch back to top view of all orbits

Changing the tempo:
Up arrow: increases the tempo of the beat and scales the size of the sun


Milestone 1 - Initial Design Sketches