Forums > MaxMSP

Controlling lasers with Max/Jitter/Gen ?!?

Jan 29 2013 | 12:59 am


I recently upgraded to Max 6 with Gen with the goal of reproducing this kind of setup:

The idea is to allow Max to directly control a laser projector by analyzing a video, converting that video data into audio signals (i.e. analog voltages) being sent out my audio interface. From what I can tell, the laser is looking for the following values in the -10 to +10 voltage range.

Red X coordinate
Red Y coordinate
Red amplitude
Green X coordinate
Green Y coordinate
Green amplitude
Blue X coordinate
Blue Y coordinate
Blue amplitude

The artist stated that he would have liked to have used 192khz sampling rate for maximum resolution, but his interfaces only supported 96khz. I have a Motu 828mk3 for this project, which does support 192khz. Also, the visual data doesn’t have to be a video, but could be any visual data being generated on the fly in Max. In general, the visual data should be simple, vector based shapes, as more complex data can overload the laser projector’s scanners.

If any of you can suggest how I should start on this, i.e. modules to use, etc. that would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance!

(should this thread go in the Gen or Jitter forum?)

Jan 29 2013 | 10:34 am

You could always ask Robert directly, but as I recall there’s some custom hardware to convert multichannel audio into ILDA. I’m sure there are lots of decisions about what kind of trajectories the lasers can follow as well, determined by the speed the mirror actuators can achieve: in Territories a lot of the lines are (wonderfully) curved. Obviously, it depends on the quality/cost of the laser kit, which in turn depend on the amount of power you need.

Jan 29 2013 | 10:36 am

Oh, right: I just read the write-up and there were no op-amps needed. (I think there were some in use when I saw it in Berlin.)

Jan 29 2013 | 5:04 pm

Thanks, Nick. I have sent off an email to Robert – still waiting to hear back. Until them, I am looking over a ton of user patches trying to stumble upon a solution to converting visual data to audio data @ the highest possible resolution.

I’m not worried about my laser projectors – their scanners are plenty fast enough to handle what I need.

Jan 29 2013 | 6:53 pm

which scanner are you using? I’m trying to figure out whether or not one could simply start experimenting with it directly.

Jan 29 2013 | 7:01 pm

my laser projectors use generic 40K Chinese scanners – but are more than capable of what I send to them from Pangolin’s QuickShow.

My plan is to do exactly that – experiment. The thing I need the most help with is in the world of Max. Once I get past that hurdle, I’m sure everything else will fall into place.

Jan 30 2013 | 1:41 am

well in that case I’d load up [jit.peek~] and start poking about! :)

So the projectors aren’t a specific model, they’re made by you? I’m trying to get an overview of the market.

Jan 30 2013 | 6:27 am

Hi, and thanks, Wetterberg.

I’ve started patching away with jit.peek~, but am running into an issue there. How would one use jit.peek~ to read EVERY cell (pixel) of a matrix (one by one, row after row) and convert that into audio? The helper patch is configured to read every pixel of a single row, but not every row.

My laser projectors are made by a friend of mine in the UK. What specifically would you like to know about the market?

Thanks again.

Feb 11 2013 | 11:42 pm

I have made a lot of progress on this, things are starting to work very nicely! I’m still trying to figure out how to rotate my X an Y points (2 audio signals) along the Z axis – I posted about it here:

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

Forums > MaxMSP