Formulator | Parsons MFA Thesis

MFA Thesis Project

• self-initiated / MFA Design & Technology Thesis project for Parsons the New School for Design

Project Description

• Music Driven Generative Visualization Software/Hardware Platform

Scope of work completed

• concept
• design & coding of hardware + software system (Max MSP / OSC / Openframeworks)
• user research, testing, & prototyping physical & digital interfaces
• visual design of music visualization
• design of supporting materials / documentation & thesis writing

Concept Statement

Formulator is an ergonomic live performance tool for visual artists enabling gestural control of generative, audio-reactive music visualizations.

The product is designed as a tool for visual artists working with live musicians. It enables its user to create and control generative visuals synced to music using the medium of a live audio signal as painter would use paint for their canvas.

The system includes an iPad mini dock that is ergonomically designed for performance, handheld and coupled with a sensor, enabling gestural control of its emergent visuals. By contrast to the most widely used hardware controllers, it facilitates intuitive gestural manipulation of generative rather than loop based elements. The goal of this thesis is to develop a stand alone system with a minimal interface that enables its user to get out from behind the laptop, slider, or knob and into a freely flowing music visualization performance.

Final Hardware Prototype

App UI prototype

Prototyping / Testing / Supporting Design Documents

FORMulator in action:
The video below showcases performing with the device (gesture controller + ipad + custom hardware) to control parameters of the music visualization.


Prototyping - Hardware / Software / Documentation

Music visual screenshots, programmed in OpenFrameworks