Turning Colour into Music

This was a short experiment to try to control a piece of music by R G B values from a webcam.

In this case, as in a few of my other Junto projects, I wasn’t really concentrating on making a good piece of music, rather I was interested in a short exploration of an idea.

It uses Pd extended, with Gem to extract the mean RGB value of the camera image using the pix_mean_color object. I did some live adjustment of the image based on these values using pix_refraction and pix_motionblur. It also uses some abstractions from the RjLib by RjDj.

The values also control the volume and tremolo speed of 4 sets of 3 oscillators, all derived from multiples of the frequencies 600, 540 and 450. These numbers were from the original brief of the project. I actually tried not to think about them much and used the most obvious translation of meaning – freq. Although they are interesting frequencies.

A higher red value makes the 600hz based frequencies louder , higher green value makes the 540hz based frequencies louder, higher blue value makes the 450hz based frequencies louder. The higher each value, the faster the tremolo on each. This creates some pretty interesting phasing patterns.

I also ( but not in this video ) tried the tremolo in the ring modulation register, and also right up into FM synthesis registers, which was pretty interesting too.

At one point here I tried hooking it up to some rudimentary more conventional musical structures just to see what kind of stuff could be possible. Beat structures and basslines with filters etc. Its ok, but for that kind of work a Kinect or physical controllers is much more practical.

This is part of the Disquiet Junto series of projects curated by Marc Weidenbaum.
More details on the Disquiet Junto at: