A Flower-Shaped Music Performance Device
The flower device has petals that could be bent to make sound and coloured light. Two or more devices can be connected remotely to achieve real-time interaction such as sound and light synchronization. This makes it possible for users to use this device to listen to others' performances and to play music with others when they are at a different place.
Users could feel the joy of playing music by making the sound with coloured lights. Meanwhile, they can change the volume, pitch, and tone or even sound effect by interacting with the flower device. This makes it possible for users to enjoy the fun of modulating the music. Users can use the note mode of the flower device alone to complete the performance of the melody. At the same time, the user can also use the chord mode of the flower device to complete the accompaniment of the song, which provides the possibility for the user to play and sing the song as entertainment. On this basis, by connecting two or more devices, multiple people can interact with each other in real-time to complete the ensemble because the sound and light effects can be synchronized. The flower-shaped device not only provides users with musical entertainment when they are alone but also its playability and brand-new appearance bring fresh experiences to users. Users could share the beauty of playing music together and by which they can share feelings and enhance connections by modulating the music. Achieving a strong resonance even if users are at a different place. The team hopes the users could use this device to enhance the emotional connections between each other.
(1) Ableton: potentiometer, button, flex sensor We first try Ableton connect with Arduino. We found out how to use the potentiometer and button to control the audio playback and switching. We try to use the flex sensor to control the sound of the music because the flex sensor and the potentiometer work in a similar way. However, we found that the control of the flex sensor was unstable and often failed to read the data. Causing the sound of the music did not play with the flex sensor bending. We also found that Ableton could not be connected to more than one flex sensor at a time, and as our flower had 6-7 petals we abandoned Ableton as a music creation and playback software. Advantages: many instruments available for users to create their own music Disadvantages: cannot connect multiple sensors at the same time
(2) DF player: button, flex sensors, light belts, wired speakers We switched to DF Player as the music player later on. The initial idea was to use a flexible sensor to read the data directly and then play the music immediately, but since we didn't have the code written out, we used the button as the music play button. We first stored the chord tones in the DF Player and then used the buttons to play them. Each petal has a button to play the corresponding music and a button on the stem to control the adjustment of the instrument. Pressing the button on the stem and the button on the petal at the same time will play our pre-stored melody. Our flex sensor is used to lighten up the light strip when the flex sensor is bent, which is when the user breaks the petals. We use a connected speaker to play the sound, two speakers on each flower so that both sides can hear their own and each other's music at the same time. At now we could let two user play the music at the same time. Advantages: simple code Disadvantages: only one track can be played at a time, not multiple tracks at the same time; flex sensor cannot control the audio
(3) Unity: flex sensors, light belts, bluetooth speakers, reed switch, copper sheet——Ultrasonic Sensor Finally we chose to use the unity and Arduino connection to play the audio, change the instrument sound and change the pitch. We used the Uduino to read data directly from the flex sensor and then adjust the volume. The volume gets progressively louder as you bend it more. The flex sensor also controls the brightness and darkness of our light strip. The reed switch is used to switch the sound of the instrument by controlling which Audio Source is played. Initially we wanted to use a copper sheet as a slide to adjust the pitch, but later we found that the ultrasonic sensor would work better. The user can adjust the pitch upwards by two octaves and we have chosen to use Bluetooth audio, which has the advantage that there is no cable and the user can hear both their own and each other's compositions. Advantages: when the user breaks several petals, several sounds can be played at the same time Disadvantages: The pitch adjustment does not adjust the pitch of the received sound at the same time
The light effect of our product is very attractive at night and it is clear to the user whether the music has started to play or not. The users were interested in learning more about our product and when they realised that the concept was to hear each other's music remotely, they were very interested in trying it out. Because we are putting two stereos together, some users may question whether the sound is coming from across the room, something we didn't expect when we designed it. Some users were very interested in changing instruments, and although we could only change one piece of music this time, the users experienced it and thought it was a good direction.
With regard to the exhibit, most visitors find it interesting to interact with flowers. They are willing to bend the petals like playing the piano. Specifically, they want to hear the sound every time they bend the petals, which is similar to press the keys. However, because of the characteristic of the flex sensor and limitation of unity, it is hard to distinguish each chord clearly when they play together. Some people are surprised how we could come up with this idea. They think the flower is a very different form to compose music. Some of them think it can be used as a fancy decoration in their house. A visitor suggests that it could also be an alternative to use a pillow as a musical device for couples who do not live together to interact with. Additionally, it could detect the heartbeat.
When presenting our project, our group members give some simple explanations to the users, including the concept of the product, the user object, and the way of interaction. In the process of elaborating, it is found that most of the users are not just playing with this device, but some are more focused on the implementation of our entire project, for example, what sensors are we using and what are petals Kind of material. Participating in this exhibition and explaining to the user makes us feel very honored and proud. Most users are happy and surprised when interacting. However, some people gave us some suggestions such as placing the sensors in a more obvious location so that they can easily attach the tiles.
In the final exhibition, our team did a lot of explanations and demonstrations when showing the project to users. In the process, I found that many users liked the appearance of our project very much, and some users even asked about the production materials and process. In addition, some users asked about data transmission and the use of sensors. They also gave some suggestions, such as the color of the petals can be changed according to different music, and the contact sensor can also be installed on the petals. We felt very happy and successful in this exhibition, although at the end we had a flowered Arduino version that couldn't work anymore.