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Help with Piezo sensors

October 17, 2012 | 10:20 pm

Hi there,

I am curently in college and as a project i am proposing to create a sound installation. The plan is to use piezo sensors that detect movement
and these sensors will communicate with ableton to trigger a clip/piece of music. Am a total novice and have been reading some of the posts. Do i need to use a Arduino board to bridge between sensors and ableton? im using max for live within ableton.
Also can anyone direct me to a patch thats needed? i really need some help on this and any help is gratefully appreciated
Thanks
Shane


October 17, 2012 | 10:40 pm

What do you mean by detect movement? piezos can detect vibration (on a surface) but can’t really tell that someone/something is moving (as in, moving in a room).

For whatever type of sensor you want to use you’ll need some kind of ADC (analog to digital converter). The Arduino is a very cheap and easy to use version of this. You can also use Maxuino and do all your programming straight in Max (without having to touch/write Arduino code).


October 18, 2012 | 1:11 pm

don’t forget your soundcard is also a very good ADC!


October 18, 2012 | 9:24 pm

Hi guys. detecting vibration is what i meant to say. i will have multiple sensors in room and i want each sensor to be able to trigger a midi clip
within Ableton. i never heard of Maxuino but im going to look into it. My question is how exactly do i get these sensors connected to the
board and connected to Ableton? i have Ableton suite 8 with max for live.
Thanks


October 18, 2012 | 10:34 pm

Lots of guides for that kind of thing:

http://todbot.com/blog/2006/10/29/spooky-arduino-projects-4-and-musical-arduino/
http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/KnockSensor

http://webzone.k3.mah.se/projects/arduino-workshop/projects/arduino_meets_processing/instructions/piezo.html

Still not sure what you mean on the physical side of things. Like you want a couple piezos attached to the floor in a room, and people walking will trigger it?


October 19, 2012 | 10:07 am

Its going to be a sonic art installation Rodrigo, and for instance i want to have 8 piezo sensors on a floor in a room spaced 5 feet apart. When
someone walks or steps on the sensor this will trigger a clip in ableton lets say a loop. and lets say someone else walks into the room and
stands over another sensor, another clip will play. if 5 people are in the room and stand on sensors 5 clips will play and so forth. i just want the sensors to trigger the midi clips and when the person steps off the sensors the clip ends.


October 19, 2012 | 10:46 am

Yo can use – if you have a one – a MIDI drum trigger module and connect the piezo sensors as triggers – it’s very robust solution, especially for multiple sensors. I used some Yamaha and Alesis modules, and it was always rock-stable system. Moreover old MIDI drum modules are not expensive (if you have a luck…).


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