Audio Mosaicing with material signatures and Interactive Surface

Each one of us is constantly interacting with our environment, however we remain unconscious of the sound generated by our interactions within the environment. We began studying the material responses generated from interactions in our day to day lives. We started with a wooden table and studied its internal response and the way sound propagated within the material.
We decided to convert our study into an installation for MusicTechSundays session based on Acoustic Signatures to demonstrate the Material Signatures.

We have categorised this installation in four parts

  • the human performer
  • the physical object (the table)
  • the activator
  • the acoustic space

To Start with we are analysing the sound made by the response of wooden table to your five hand movement gesture1

Nail Tap




 Our aim was to study the feedback created by our various interactions with the materials. We found that using the material properties of wood, synthesising sound; results are sometimes non-intuitive as materials respond differently to different interactions, internal vibrations passing within the material differ from vibrations emitted in the air around it.Also the speed of sound within the material adds the unique aspect.
At the same time it opens up new horizons for the performer, who can explore the physical world further and start perceiving new sounds in a way as he or she interacts with their immediate environment.

  • the physical object

The chemical composition of wood varies from species to species, but is approximately 50% carbon, 42% oxygen, 6% hydrogen, 1% nitrogen, and 1% other elements (mainly calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and manganese) by weight.

Using the Chemical data of wood2 and sensors we can translate the internal vibrations of the material

  • The Activator

We used a Semi – Sensors based algorithm to recognise both, the kind of gesture and response generated by the material.

The data was then passed to Atom. Here Atom works with the composition of the material and response data.

  • the acoustic space

When an object is struck, the energy of impact causes deformations to propagate
through the body, causing its outer surfaces to vibrate and emit sound waves. The resulting sound field propagates through and also interacts with the environment before reaching the ear where it is sensed. Real sounds therefore provides an important ‘‘image’’ of various physical attributes of the object, its environment, and the impact event, including the force of the impact, the material composition of the object, its shape and size, the place of impact on the object, and finally the location and environment of the object.

Atom and Semi is build on open platform and is currently available for free download at Sound.Codes. Access SDK is available on request.