Beatbox Shoes (midterm)

Percussive Shoes

Week 1 of Midterm: After intense brainstorming we decided on musical shoes. The prototype will consist of 4 basic pressure sensors, building a simple circuit, and then simulating a visual represenation (in Processing) of our code before we deal with sound files.


We built the circuit from the schematic attached above and began writing the Arduino Code. We referenced the “CallResponse” lab but started out with digital switches for prototyping purposes. We also started to write the Processing correspondence to simulate a visualization with four ellipses as our switches. While we experienced some jittering and flashing, it only took some troubleshooting back and forth from Arduino and Processing


Things to contemplate:
-how to get processing to read input more smoothly
-not getting read fast enough, remove “phantom ball effect”

We drew our block diagram and our state machine which was extremely helpful. (Michael really put his engineering expertise to use…) We also played around with Max for a bit and explored some patches but decided against using it for this project. Instead, we are using the preformatted library called Ess that is associated with Processing’s programming environment.




Things to contemplate:
– discussion of the interface: sitting or standing? stomp pad or shoe sensors? should this take on more of an instrumental role, or that of a toy (an amplication of dancing)?

We transfered the breadboards to make start building our physical prototype. We played around with FSR’s that Tom lent us but we were not getting consistant results. (Our FSR’s are lost somewhere in route from Interlink to 721 Broadway…) Most of the meeting was spend smoothing out the code and adjusting functions to achieve stable results. (“Println,” by the way, is my new best de-bugging friend 🙂 ) We also decided to make a stomping pad type thinger for our first prototype to present in class tomorrow.

(these are just reference files bc i didn’t want to make them all zips..sorry no data files)



Discussion: what should the interface be? should be in shoes or as a floor stamp. what is the purpose of using the machine? as another musical interface but with your feet? or as dance shoes that also amplifies the moves you make?? some people like the step pad bc you are guided and you know where to hit. (Same stuff we discussed last night)

THURSDAY 10/19 – Lots of Trouble Shooting
Plan out what is happening, what we want to happen. Still waiting on sensors.!! grrr
-Need to fix code
-Need Sensors
-Address Wearability
-Need User Testing

DeBugging Code: in our play statements, we put the “last equal to current” inside the “if we get a read” section of the larger if statement, we need to bring it back out of the play’s “if” statement so it will get set back bc when we release it, it is only setting it back within the play function.

FRIDAY 10/19
We readjusted out prototype bc too much user (i.e michael) testing broke our first temporary switches. For the most part, we have not changed any of the code, although we are running into a problem with Processing and Ess. Yesterday, we tried several debuggin techniques to speed up the reaction time of the sounds such as taking out “printlns” to save memory…but we could not get noticeable results. Michael even ran some different methods to test the Ess application, but could not get the samples to play at a frequency higher than three plays per second. Hopefully more developments will occur on Monday when our sensors arrive.

Meanwhile, I built some dyi sensors out of sheet metal we pulled off a printer in the lab junk drawer. There are some pictures below next to our actual sensors used for the project.

MONDAY 10/23
Our FSR’s finally arrived today. Luckily our code is already working with analog so we merely had to solder them up and and test them out. Most of tonight was spent doing the physical construction of the “shoe”/strap on.


We also decided on a suitable encasing for our arduino and breadboard…


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