Designing a lantern responsive to music  |  October 2013

A few classmates and I decided to play around with sound and light applying the fundamentals of physical computing we learned at the School of Visual Arts. We created a lighting instrument which displayed different colours based on sound input from an external source.

We coded the interaction such that different colors would be displayed based on the pace of the music along with blinking at every beat in the song/musical piece.

During the three weeks we spent working on this project, we tested various LED strips and sound sensors. Ultimately we used Processing and a computer’s microphone for sound input. We also learned of FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) which is an algorithm used to convert time to frequency- something we required to make the instrument light up in sync with the music’s beat.


My role: Research, testing various sensors to determine which one would work best for our instrument, coding and creating the physical model