Ghost Cubes is an interactive piece that explores the concept of applying physical objects to visualize music through color/shape movements and using the body as the controller without touching any buttons or knobs. The project adapts leap motion, p5.js, and Arduino.
See the code: https://github.com/bowenbowen/ghost-cubes
Launchpads and MPCs are common music controllers, which have color LED buttons placed in a cubic grid. What if we use such a cubic form to visualize the music instead of controlling?
To work around this idea, we did some research and came across the idea of using Japanese origami ghost cube to be the core mechanical structure because of its flexibility and Leap Motion as the technology choice to support touchless interaction.
After making the smaller scale model of the cubes, we understood the mechanical structure better. Thus, we were able to sketch out the whole object to combine the cubes and electronics. To diffuse the LED light, we used tracing paper to create the cubes.
We used 9 LEDs from the Adafruit NeoPixel LED Strip, 1 Arduino servo motor, 9 tracing paper folded cubes, and a couple of couple vinyl pieces made from the laser cutting.
Using the filter() function from p5.js, we mapped the hand rotation and height values as sound volume and frequency to create filters that change the music while playing. The output turned out pretty well without much tuning.
hand movements over the Leap Motion Controller
Adafruit NeoPixel LED strips, Arduino servo motor, and music
Changes in LED color
Right hand changes height
Changes in music resonance
Changes in LED brightness
Changes in music frequency
Music turns on/off
Right hand rotates
Left hand flips