Super Mario Soundmaker is a project by Breeanna Ebert, Steven MacDonald, Coby Rangel, and Elliot Yokum.
We wanted to create a project which managed to recognize the sounds of a pre-existing video game and transform them into something much more haunting and grotesque. We wanted to turn the familiar into the unfamiliar through soundscape and audience interaction. So, we created a patch in Max for Live which recognized specific audio sounds from the original Super Mario Bros. game, and utilized Ableton Live to edit and transform these sounds. We then had audience members play an online emulator of the game, which featured the new sounds, thus challenging the audience to accept the unknown sounds that they were generating by playing a once-familiar video game.
Our original ideas were a bit too beyond the scope of the time we had–we had hoped to connect a WiiU to M4L and to edit the video along with the audio. When we discovered very little information about WiiU-Max connections, we chose to use an online emulator instead. We used Soundflower in order to send the sound from the internet into a Max Patch. This patch had samples of sounds from the game inserted into it, and analyzed the sounds being sent by Soundflower to match them to the preloaded sounds–when it recognized a sound, it sent it to Ableton Live, which added effects to the sound and played the sound from the speakers. Super Mario Soundmaker ended up being a wonderful technical challenge for all of us.