Atomic Milestone Level One: Is video processing a good idea? Is motion sensing electronics a good idea?

Machine Vision,Max,OpenCV — henry.armero @ 5:42 am


You are reading the first milestone of Henry Armero’s so far unnamed project. What an exciting premise! What is it?

Well, currently The Plan is to create some manner of mask, costume, suit, and/or outfit that will have some means of detecting motion of the wearer. It will form an instrument that works as follows!: It encourages stillness, building off the slight involuntary motions of the wearer and the static of the sensors. However, when there is a big movement, like a blink or a twitch or an itch or a whatever, the building sound will get jarred and it will be a thing.

COOL OK SO, how will this be accomplished? Well, I didn’t want to just jump in and start planning around certain aspects in case they turned out to be mega shitty. So I started out by doing a test of the various techs just to see how they rolled. First, how would having a webcam with live processing go?

To decide that, I built a little max patch and played with the jit openCV boxes. And I think they work pretty well! My patch looks kind of like this, if you are curious. You can click for big!


Testing the Everyday: ikea

Reference,Scientific — arothera @ 3:44 pm

I’ve always found Ikea a very strange place. Especially strange is their style of testing furniture. They create these incredible weird and awesome machines for testing their furniture. The entire goal of this machine is to try and simulate a human person or gesture (such as sitting or cabinet opening).

Two videos below (2nd one is disturbing):

-An actual machine testing how a person would sit.

Ikea commercial from the 80s possibly:

Personal Inspiration

Artists — arothera @ 7:43 am

These are my top inspirational artists I have recently come across. There are more classic examples than these people, but I’m excited about this group as I haven’t seen their work until very recently. Refreshing work!


My first new favorite body of work and huge inspiration for my senior thesis project is the work of Maywa Denki. A Japanesse artist who was maybe best known in the mid 90’s.

“Who am I? […] I wanted to create ‘products’ with a fish motif in order to discover myself”

“I decided to assume I was a fish. The fishes shape is very simple[…] If you look at non-sense from a different angle, it becomes common sense.”

*click the image for an INCREDIBLE 3 part “commercial” for his Naki series of machines.

Maywa also does an incredible series and concerts of musical instruments.



A few other artists I’m very inspired by in one way or another:

Pe Lang

Roman Signer:

Moondog – From One to Nine

Theory,Uncategorized — dwilcox @ 5:35 pm

Time signature demo from 1/4 to 9/4 by Moondog, the Viking of 6th Ave.

Moondog – From One to Nine

The Limits of Time Perception

Reference,Scientific — Ali Momeni @ 11:27 pm

Some of the key findings of experimental psychology in the perception of time
Reference: Hearing in Time by Justin London


  • Difference in stimuli mean difference in perception
    Experimental results in discrimination and perception are different for sonic and visual stimili.
  • Subjective Rhythmicization
    We group a series of identical, isochronous stiumuli into groups of twos and threes, i.e. we hear duplets and triplets or a two-beat or three-beat “measures” even when there are no structural cues.
  • Upper limit of subjective rhythmicization: about 1800ms
    Above 1800ms successive sounds are not heard as continuous; therefore we no longer hear them in terms of a coordinated motion or movement.
  • Connection between hearing/seeing rhythm and perceiving movement
    Successive visual stimuli presented within a certain temporal range give the illusion of motion


  • Shortest perceived interval: ~2ms
    Usually measured as separation time required to discern that two tone onsents are present as opposed to one.
  • Shortest ordered onset distinction: ~20ms (10 times the previous number!)
    This is the shortest time necessary to discern which onset was first and which second.
  • Longest interval that we can perceived/performed rhythmically: 5-6 seconds
  • shortest perceptual duration regardless of sensory mode: around 130ms with %5-10 accuracy
    Also shortest discernible interval between to brief sounds: (around 100ms)
    Also the minimum time to allow for the cortical processing of musical elements (around 100ms).
    Also the fastest possible vocal articulation of rapidly repeated syllables (around 120ms).
  • Shortest musical beat/pulse: 200-250ms
    At intervals less than this range, subjects begin to tap every other beat (i.e. they sub-divide)
    But we can distinguish two onsets as two when they are 100ms apart! what’s up? Hearing a “beat” requires at least the potential for subdivision.
  • Shortest anti-phrase repeatable musical beat: around ~450ms
    Stimulus is a repeated tone, subject is asked to tap/clap in between the notes
  • The “Indifference Interval”: 600-700s
    This is the tempo at which a beat is subjectively neither “too fast” or “too slow”
    Also the time interval below which subjects overestimate, and above which subjects underestimate the elapsed duration
    Also the “spontaneous temp” or “natural pace”: the tempo at which subjects tap a finger with no other instructions (there’s great variation, but the mean is ~600ms)
    Spontaneous tempo varies with age: younger subjects (4-6 years) prefer ~400ms; suggests that “spontaneous tempo” is kinematically rooted (i.e. smaller body, faster tempo)
  • The “Just Noticeable Difference”: 200-250ms
    A basic psychological measure of perceptual acuity: the shortest perceivable difference in duration between two complex stimuli; e.g. Smallest perceivable difference of duration between two six-tone sequences over a wide range of inter-onset-intervals (from 100 to 1000ms)
    The JND is proportional to the total duration of the stimuli.
  • Subject Rhythmic Organization
    Differing contexts or modes of attention affect perception of duration/interval. For example, when performers are directed to shift their attention to different levels within the metrical hierarchy in a series of performances of the same passage, focusing on the eighth notes versus quarters versus half notes causes systematic shifts in tempo: Counting at higher levels leads to faster performances.


London, J. (2004). Hearing in time: Psychological aspects of musical meter. New York: Oxford University Press.

Desain, P., & Windsor, L. (2000). Rhythm perception and production. Lisse ; Exton (PA): Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers.


Speakers, Transducers and Drivers

Audio,Hardware,Shopping — Tags: — Ali Momeni @ 7:32 pm

Speaker Drivers



Connecting analog sensors, servos and motors to max

Max,Sensors — Ali Momeni @ 3:05 pm

see this post:

Avoiding clicks when working with audio in max

Uncategorized — Ali Momeni @ 2:16 pm

use line~




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Sensors and Biosensing

Hardware,Sensors,Shopping — Ali Momeni @ 4:28 pm

Heart-rate Sensors and Stethoscopes:

Toys/Game Controllers:

EEG sensors:

Finger Print Scanner:

Eye/Retina Scanners:

Touch Sensing:

Sensor vendors

External References

Intro to Max

Max,Software — Ali Momeni @ 12:30 pm

Class resources:

  • SIS Courses drop box folder: includes Max abstractions and externals
  • Cycling ’74 Max Licenses: CMU has a site license now; email Ali for authorization

Max Resources:

  • Max Forum: active discussion forums maintained by Cycling74
  • database of 3rd party “externals” for Max; search here by function (e.g. “spectral analysis”)
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