The CTM4 (Colour Tracking Music for Four Colours) was created as my final major project for a BSc Music Technology degree, completed in May 2011. I originally intended for the device to be used in live performance, but as it was developed, it seemed an installation environment would be far more suitable.
Up to four independent colours can be tracked at any one time; using a webcam or external video camera, the user can select the colour of the object they wish to track simply by clicking on the video feed screen. Each aspect of the device is situated in a separate window that can be accessed in the menu bar. The device makes use of both synthesis and DSP, whereby the colour’s position can control a wide range of parameters. Chords and pre-sequenced melodies are played by the first two colours (‘Colour 1’ and ‘Colour 2’), and interesting effects can be achieved by combining the other two colours (‘Colour 3’ and ‘Colour 4’) at the same time.
At the end of May 2011, the CTM4 was installed at the final year arts show at the University of Hertforshire, where it was exposed to users of all ages. Coloured juggling balls, coloured card and Rubik’s cubes were provided, and all worked effectively with the device. Also, during development, I tested the interactivity of the device using three dancers wearing different coloured t-shirts. Over time, as each dancer understood more the control they had over the sound, a more controlled soundscape was achieved.
The video demonstrates the device during development, circa April 2011.
User Manual – http://www.mediafire.com/?1r0pxj3afzb4g01
How did this project use Max?
The entire device is built using Max 5, with two external freeware plugins for reverb and limiting. A modular approach was taken when designing and constructing the CTM4, allowing for further developments to be achieved easily.