Phys Comp | Chromatics [MidTerm Project]

It’s complete!!

The Videos & Sketches, hopefully explain what’s going on.


Goal: Simulate “Sound-to-Color” Synesthesia aka Chromastesia by allowing the user to determine if the sound they are hearing corresponds to their idea of the color they are seeing.

What we were able to accomplish (some of the components):

  • The Housing of our “Chromatics Dome” in the form of a newspaper-Geodesic Dome covered in Butcher Paper for affordable translucence.
  • Mapping in values of the potentiometer in Arduino, that were then sent to Processing
  • The Processing Sketch that held a visualization & audio that was controlled by the User from our Color Wheel Controller*
  • Color Wheel, with values from a potentiometer that were sent to Arduino
  • Projector that was connected to the processing sketch

*In the end the audio didn’t work the way we wanted and we had to do what Tom called a “Wizard of Oz” effect. While the user changed the color wheel, I sat out of site of them and played notes that corresponded with their changing the color wheel.



Edwin and I went shopping on Canal Plastics….never go anywhere for supplies when you’re hungry, especially not on Canal street…that place is crazy enough. I got into an argument with a woman in one of the electronics shops about LEDS. She kept thinking I wanted to strap Car lights onto a bike because Edwin had bought a LED bike light (which was unrelated to our project.) She insisted in some “blunt wording” that I had no idea what I was talking about, and these could only be powered by a car…meanwhile the damn car lights are dangling in my face, clearly powered OUTSIDE of a car…I digress. Just eat, then shop.

We bought  & bargained for:

  • Some plastic pieces for our color wheel & controller
  • Edwin impulse bought a rounded mirror, which he insisted was for the projections…we’ll see, haha
  • I impulse bought a clearance piece of plastic, a Sample made for Jo Malone….because it was cheap and seemed useful…we’ll also see about that

And some gold lamé paper…that was a bad move from the both of us

  • sheet of scrap wood from a random place we found while on the way to food
  • Then some food
  • FREE Scrap Wood I found in the shop (and sent a Facebook message to Sarah Rothberg…thank you! to make sure I could use it, because her name was still on it) some amazing buttons/jumbo cell phone interface that we cut the buttons off of.

There were many sketches and drawings after our shopping/scavenging, you can see the prototype that we created. And our Midterm project.


Things that worked:

  • The overall feeling of being inside of a dome/cocoon-type feel
  • Unplanned feeling: Warmth from the projector made the dome very relaxing…in retrospect we need proper ventilation for that thing because it’s practically a “dome of fire”, if not properly ventilated….lots of paper and a high heat-producing projector, no bueno.
  • The Visualizations on Processing and the ability for the User to change these with the Color wheel that had mapped values from Arduino


Things to be improved: (from feedback & user testing)

  • Instructions, I suggested Audio, since you are already immersed in an Audio environment
  • Those mother-loving buttons…we had issues with price & their functionality into Arduino
  • The Audio….I was so excited to get that array working, so it didn’t break the sketch….and then it crashed the sketch after a while and played all the notes AT ONCE, so it sounded like someone rolling on the piano keys with their whole body. Ridiculous.
  • Data-logging through Arduino (this was something we planned from the beginning, but dropped it…not sure why)


Feedback we got in class:

  • The Feeling was great in there, very relaxing
  • Needed instructions (Alejandra wasn’t aware that she was able to control the colors on the screen at first)
  • Housing of the Dome (but all were impressed that it was even built…YES!)


Personal Assessment:

  • I would like to build more, for the final, as I am intending on improving this, so it is a fully formed dome (that doesn’t have to rest on a Shop cart.) This also applies to my Arduino. I really want to be more well-versed in it’s capabilities….basically USING IT!
  • Also, planning WAY more in advance, with more specificity.
  • The Processing sketch took more time than I planned, because I honestly have been learning ICM sooo slow. I go to office hours almost every Monday with Mimi, and so I was teaching myself a lot of what I was doing in the sketch as I was hacking, creating, and testing it.
  • Simpler is better! Edwin’s prototype sketch helped me to get to where it is now. Then using keyPressed made it so simple to map the Arduino to the potentiometer to the Processing Sketch!

I can’t draw very well….sheesh! Thank God Edwin can…I am still trying though, but seriously my ability to draw straight lines to describe things shocked the both of us, as in…I can’t at times, ha! My strengths lie in the “conceptual fabrication” & making sure that we are documenting everything with my point-and-shoot! Drawing it, is like seeing a bull in china shop…lots of broken pieces.






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