Atomic Milestone Level Three: Audiyou and Me

Assignment — henry.armero @ 5:04 am

Things have taken a turn!

I am not feeling the project as much, and am proceeding towards a different goal. It is titled Audiyou and Me and it is a musical-composition social mixer event. Its objective is to demonstrate that the creation of music is not an elite educational undertaking, but rather a simple activity that can be done with friends. It does this through the use of a simple smartphone instrument and a central hub that randomly groups people into ad-hoc ‘bands’.

Here is how it works, from small to large scale:

SMALL: (How the instrument works.)

  1. It is essentially a step-sequencer! On your phone!
  2. A grid of toggle-buttons with a super-imposed bar that moves from left to right.
  3. When the bar passes a button, it will play the corresponding note if the button is on.
  4. The higher a button is in the grid, the higher pitched the note will be. Alternatively (for drums) they will be labeled.

MEDIUM: (How a band works.)

  1. You are assigned a band! Find your bandmates now. Your phone screens all turn a matching solid color to facilitate this.
  2. Now pick a band name quickly! Now everyone choose an instrument (HIGH, MIDD, BASS, DRUM)!
  3. Now you are in music mode. You can see and hear the notes of your bandmates as well as your own! Construct an interesting melody together.
  4. Eventually your music will start coming out of the big speakers – performing live! It will alternate between your sounds and those of another band.
  5. It’s over! Now different bands are formed and the process continues.

LARGE: (How a round works.)

  1. The event will be split up into different rounds, each with different sounds, tempos, time signatures, and suchlike.
  2. Each round will begin with everyone paired into two-person bands (and the odd three-person band, of course).
  3. For the first half, it will follow the general scheme above, with two bands playing at any one time.
  4. As each pair of pairs finishes performing, they will swap partners to form new bands.
  5. For the second half, some bands will simply group together and form a bigger band instead of just swapping members. This causes the average band-size to increase.
  6. After bands have gotten to a certain size, it ends.

MONDO: (How the event works.)

  1. There are a number of rounds. Each round has a different set of audio samples.
  2. The first rounds will be very simple. Steady beats and friendly sounds and such.
  3. As the evening ages, the rounds will be more complicated. They might have weird time signatures or funny syncopations built in. The time between a band forming and a band performing will decrease. The length of the sequencer’s phrase might get longer too.
  4. Naturally, the final round will end with the Full Band consisting of all attendees.


So that’s a thing. One important sidethought is to consider what separates this from a simple tech demo. The aspect that accomplishes this is the systematic structure of the whole event. Audiyou and Me takes a basic element – the sequencer – and builds a social mixer structure around it. This is analogous to a square dance, which takes some simple dance moves and builds a whole partner-exchange system around it. Audiyou and Me is trying to remind me people that making music (just like dancing!) is a wonderful activity that does not require extensive education to be enjoyed.


  1. I have built a basic step sequencer on Android. It can load sound files or generate them on the fly.
  2. I have a basic webserver interface that is easily accessible from any device with internet. It collects data. (Python)
  3. I have a basic control panel in openFrameworks that connects to the webserver and plays the current Live music.


  1. Finish up the basic control panel.
  2. Make the interface more user friendly. Have band stuff happen.
  3. Have things ready to test by Monday.
  4. From there, more interesting sounds and other features like that.
  5. Also, fixing whatever bugs we discover!
  6. Next milestone will have videos.

That is all for now? Good day.

1 Comment »

  1. Hey, Henry!

    I like how you broke down the process from small to mondo. I have a better understanding of how the project/app/social mixer will work. Excited to play once you roll it out. Always great documentation from you, which both helps me learn, and inspires me to better document the process of my own work. Thank you!!

    Comment by ll — November 20, 2012 @ 12:17 am

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