All posts by Kaalen Kirrene

DJ Scratch Table ish


For my personal project I wanted to make a dj scratch table using max and Arduino. The idea was to have a series of buttons, a couple potentiometers, and a motor. The box containing all of these pieces was laser cut from acrylic and the disk was also cut form acrylic.  The motor was attached to the the red disk and the idea was that it would track which way it was turning and I would use max to apply a scratching effect based on that. The buttons would control different samples and the potentiometers would control things like EQ and reverb. However when I hooked up the ardunio to max, I could not get any stable readings from the motor. It would bounce around randomly and did not give any reliable data.  What I learned upon further research was that an encoder attached to the motor would do exactly what I wanted. It tracks the rotational motion of the the motor so it would tell me how far it spun.

So I ignored the motor and just used the potentiometer and buttons. In the end the final design had 3 buttons and 1 potentiometer.image4 Now came what I thought was the easy part. I spent hours google methods of applying scratch effects with max and finally gave up and found methods to do it with ableton. I settled on the this method From there my scratch table essentially became a midi controller which I accomplished by sending note values with noteout in max whenever I pressed a button. I got the max patch and ardunio code from and then modified it to suit my needs.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 5.40.57 PM

However getting the dial in max to control a value in ableton was very difficult. I ended using multimap after running around trying to find access to the software (which is why my project is so late). Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 5.40.20 PM

Then there came the issue of getting the buttons and potentiometer to work together also the tutorial I watched was in a different version of ableton so it made it hard to handle. But I finally managed to produce a semi scratchie sound shown in the video above. A problem I noticed while scratching was I couldn’t turn the potentiometer fast enough so it lacked the punch of a usual scratch sound.


Two interesting musical pieces

This is an experimental art instillation by musician and composer Craig Colorusso. What struck me about it apart from being a really interesting way to represent sound was its emphasis on walking around and exploring the soundscape. Considering this is what I wanted to  happen with my first project I was immediately drawn to this instillation. Each speaker has a different guitar sample hooked up to it so when the sun charges the speaker enough it plays its sample.

With this song, I have always been fascinated with making other forms of media into a song. So I am huge fan of mashups. This video takes things further by taking the movie pulp fiction and turning certain scenes into a song.

Bioshock Little Sister Sounds

When playing through the game Bioshock I was fascinated by the little sisters. They had this air of innocence even though their purpose in the game was to suck the life force out of people with huge syringes. I think they way that their voices were handled was brilliant as it sounded innocent with a sinister undertone.