The ‘brain’ of Mobile Noise Rig (MNR) is a Pure data patch running on iPad via Mobile Music Platform. This is connected via Lighting to USB adaptor to a handmade instrument built around a Teensy micro-controller programmed with Arduino. All the software is free/open-source and patches
are [will be] available below [soon!].
The current sound-world revolves around granular sample-mangling and pitch/duration manipulation of a single hi-hat sample and a synthesized bass drum. The hi-hat and bass drum are triggered via a repeat function that has dynamically controllable timing (influenced by the ‘repeat’ function found on Ableton’s ‘Push’). Reverb and filtered delay are also deployed extensively.
Photographs and text below, for AV documentation see Nhoj Elocin.
Arcade buttons provide tactile responsiveness and each button contains RGB LEDs that can be controlled via PWM for visual feedback. I currently have the LEDs mapped to individual grains and am only scratching the surface of what is possible. The LEDs are surprisingly bright, and are very visible, even in a large concert hall (I normally lean the instruments toward the audience).
MNR has a socket to connect analogue inputs; I’m currently using a bend-sensor equipped hole-punch to underline the potential of everyday and often-overlooked mechanisms. This is useful for volume and spectral filtering, but also to control rotation speed and placement of various elements when working in surround (added LEDs to the hole-punch to increase visual impact in dark rooms too).
Mobile(ish) Noise Rig: Surround Sound
The addition of a USB hub allows a range of devices to be connected, including audio interfaces. Not all audio interfaces are USB class compliant and some that are class compliant are restricted to stereo in class-compliant mode (even if they have multiple hardware outputs). However, the NI Komplete Audio 6 has four analogue outputs and has (so far) proved solid in facilitating surround-sound performances.
Sound-checking September 2017 for a surround sound concert at the Australasian Computer Music Conference, I’m outputting in quad while also outputting a stereo mix to Nicole via SPDIF (see Nhoj Elocin). Griffith colleague Andrew Brown was at the same soundcheck and was also using Pure data with Mobile Music Platform on an iPad (he’s using native rendering, which is why his screen looks more like Pd than mine.)