AURA: Audio Reactive Artistry
Alex Rex's sound reactive AURA system provides physical audio feedback in two ways.
As Alex Rex explains, music and sound inspire many people, including himself. For his AURA — Audio Reactive Artistry — project, he wanted to extend the experience of a piano concert into the visual space, moving objects such as wooden rods according to volume and frequency.
To accomplish this feat, he’s using a microcontroller to read the sound levels at different frequencies, then output corresponding signals to a number of motors. As a bit of a twist, he outlines how to do so in two formats on the project page. Setup A uses an Arduino Uno and SparkFun Spectrum shield to analyze audio signals, then pass corresponding movements along to 360° micro servo motors. As a bit of a budget configuration, it can be built for around €100 , or just under $110 USD.
Setup B, however, employs a Teensy 3.5 to enables users to specify frequency ranges and NEMA 17 stepper motors for movement. These steppers are more powerful and precise than the little servos, and with a TMC2208 driver they are also very quiet — perfect for use in sound installations. With this better performance comes a higher price of roughly €250 or about $270 USD.
Regardless of how you construct it, the Setup B-style installation looks intriguing in the video below — a forest of wooden rods swaying to the music of a clarinet performance.