In April 2011 I completed this Audio Visualiser in Adobe Flash using ActionScript 3. It uses 3D animation generated in real time to visualise sound. The right lane of traffic is triggered by treble in the right stereo channel while the left hand lane visualises bass occurring in the left channel. It includes the feature to raise or lower the threshold of the amplitude at which the lights are fired.
The height of the lights on the road is determined by the amplitude so that louder notes appear higher than softer sounds.
The first track ‘Attemps At Air’ is used with the kind permission of Brendan William Jenkinson. More here: http://soundcloud.com/hotlavahair
This project was a challenge in terms of both time and complexity. The techniques used were for the most part, learned in the context of the project itself. Conceptually, I am particularly happy with my offering. The brief outlined that the visualisation should convey the spectrum of sound in an informative but artistic manner. While my first instinct was to use Flash’s draw function to experiment with vector shapes and colour on a 2D plane, I began to explore the idea of expressing music or sound within a 3D environment. I liked the idea of animating an existing scene according to the activity detected within an audio spectrum. Flash’s drawing interface includes support for 3D environments allowing the programmer to control an objects position in 3D space. Using this technique, I set up an environment that allowed objects to disappear to and move from a vanishing point. I could then arrange a scene such as the tunnel at night and animate headlights moving up and down the street. Using a background photograph, I aligned ‘headlights’ (bitmaps created in photoshop) with the markings on the road. The lights would slide up or down the road as they were triggered by the music giving the impression of traffic a nighttime scene.
The project received an A1 and remains one of my favourite pieces to date.
To launch the visualiser, please click here.