I will be premiering a new audio-visual installation titled PiAV at this years International Computer Music Conference in Athens, Greece from September 14th through September, 20th 2014.
PiAV is an immersive multi-sensory environment created using twelve Raspberry Pi computers. I have created a portable 8-channel sound environment using custom made speaker boxes, networked Raspberry Pi computers, OSC and Pure Data. In addition I have created a 2-channel video-feedback and motion tracking system using four Raspberry Pi computers, Raspberry Pi camera modules, OSC and a custom Python script. Since the Rasperry Pi computers are so small the whole system is completely portable and only requires a gallery space, a wifi connection (I can bring an ethernet hub if necessary), two video projectors and power.
PiAV is an installation that can be observed and is also participatory but in a subtle way. In its more static form PiAV makes use of quiet sin waves that are tuned in a unique just-intonation scale and activate the space through subtle beatings. Meanwhile two channels of abstracted video images are generated using very simple digital processing inspired by traditional analog video feedback techniques. The system is cross-polinated whereby the ever-changing combinations of pitches (clusters) influence the video feedback system and the colors and the amount of motion within the video influence the audio parameters creating a meta feedback system. Two additional Raspberry Pis are used for simple motion tracking of the gallery space. When viewers/listeners enter the environment their movements are tracked providing another subtle input to the audio-visual system which cues interaction and participation.
I will be teaching a three day Raspberry Pi workshop at Machine Project on Tuesday, July 29th, Thursday, July 31st, and Tuesday, August 5th, 2014. The workshop will focus on using the Raspberry Pi camera module with an emphasis on basic video and audio applications.
In this workshop we will cover getting started with Raspberry Pi computers with an emphasis on working with HD video playback, using the camera module and getting started with sound output using Pure Data. Technically inclined audio-visual artists are encouraged to attend but anyone with a general curiosity about the Raspberry Pi and Linux is welcome. The first class session will focus on getting the Raspberry Pi up and running which will include: installing the system, configuring a WIFI module, and running basic commands
The second class meeting will cover playing back HD video files with a Raspberry Pi and using the camera module to capture HD videos to disk, creating a Python script to make a time-lapse camera capture device, and if time permits we will explore a RaspberryPi “Video Synth” that is remotely controlled from your laptop.
The third class will meeting will delve into using the Raspberry Pi’s built-in audio functions which will include: basic audio playback, installing Pure Data, and running Pure Data patches on a Raspberry pi.
I will be co-curating a concert and premiering a new piece for the 10th annual Dog Star Orchestra concert series. The concert will take place on Tuesday, June 10th 2014 at The Wulf in Los Angeles. The Dog Star Orchestra concert series was founded by composer Michael Pisaro over ten years ago and highlights experimental sound practices and performances by LA based composers and performers.
The first half of the concert on June 10th will feature a performance of Robert Lax’s Black and White Oratorio organized and directed by Sara Roberts. The second half of the concert will feature three new computer music works for the Raspberry Pi based speakers that I recently developed and built. Billed as Three Pieces for Networked Speakers the second half of the concert will feature Type A Nightmare No.2 by Clay Chaplin, Synopsis by Sepand Shahab, and A Glimpse by David Paha. Performers will include Jenica Anderson, Clay Chaplin, Heather Lockie, David Paha, Sepand Shahab, and Stephanie Smith.
I recently finished a recording session with composer Mark Trayle. We recorded his piece Nearfield Edges in the Wild Beast concert hall at CalArts. Mark’s piece uses a piezo-based feedback mechanism to activate the space with very high frequencies (in the 13K range) that bounce around the room and create mind altering sonic experiences. I used the mid-side stereo technique with a Schoeps CM5 as the mid and an AKG 414 as the side for the main pair. I used an array of Neumann km-184s in the back of the hall to capture room resonances. Look for a release of the piece in the late summer of 2014.
Installing the system on your SD Card
1. Download the system software here:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads – choose the latest Raspian “Wheezy” installer
Once the file downloads, extract the image by double clicking on the download file and put the image file on your desktop.
2. Insert your SD card into the card reader and see that it mounts on the desktop
3. Open the OS X Disk Utility application from your Utilities folder.
4. Select the SD card partition in the left-hand menu and click on the erase tab.
5. Make sure the format is MS-DOS(FAT) and click on erase to reformat the card.
6. Once the card formats choose ‘verify disk’ and look for the BSD name: must be something like diskn where n is a number (for example, disk4). Note this number.
7. Click Unmount from the menu above.
8. Open the Terminal application from your Utilities folder and run the following:
sudo dd if=path_of_your_image.img of=/dev/diskn bs=1m
Make sure to replace the ‘n’ of ‘diskn’ in the command with the number you noted from the BSD name in the previous step.
here’s what the command looked like on my computer
sudo dd if=/users/dwingus/desktop/2014-01-07-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/disk3 bs=1m
This step copies the Linux system software onto the card. Once you hit return to start the 'dd' command your terminal will look like nothing is happening at all. This is a good thing. Go get some coffee and relax. An eight gigabyte SD card takes around fifteen minutes or so to format properly. Larger SD cards will take longer.
When the card is formatted you will see something like the following on your terminal:
2805+0 records in
2805+0 records out
2962227200 bytes transfered in 1002.34582 secs
Drag the icon for your SD card to the trash and remove it from your laptop.
Insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and plug it in. Have fun!
When you boot your Raspberry Pi for the first time make sure it is connected to a display. The software configuration window should open. You can run the raspi-config program from the terminal at any time by typing:
In the raspi-config menu navigate to the following options and make changes:
1) Expand the filesystem – will resize the amount of storage space available
2) Change User Password: the default is raspberry. change it to be r
5) Enable camera – yep. gotta turn it on
7) Overclocking — set to High or Turbo
8) Advanced options –
- A2 Hostname – you can change this if you’ll be working with multiple Pis via a command line
- A3 Memory split for gpu – set to 256
- A4 SSH – confirm that the SSH server is on. It should be by default
Click finish and reboot the Pi.
Change the Time Zone
On your Pi’s terminal type:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata
US, pacific ocean
Its a good idea at this point to make sure all of the Pi’s software is up to date. The system version we installed was created in January so some of the libraries and programs have been updated since then. Type the following commands to do a complete software update
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
Your Pi is now configured! type the following to reboot
To get a WIFI dongle going I find its easier if you use the Pi’s GUI. To do so make sure the Pi is connected to a video monitor and your WIFI dongle is plugged into a USB port. Start your Pi and login.
- To start the Pi’s GUI type:
- Double click on the WIFI Config icon that is on the desktop. A status window will open.
- Click the Scan button to scan for wireless networks.
- Select the network you’d like to join and double click on its name. Another window will open.
- In the first field labeled SSID make sure that the network name is displayed correctly
- In the PSK field type in the network password
- That is all you need to edit. Click on the Add button on the bottom of the window. Then close the Scan window
- In the main window titled wpa_gui you’ll see the network status. If you successfully joined the network the Status field will say Completed
- Look at the last field titled IP address and make note of the IP address. You’ll need the IP address in order to login to the Pi remotely from your laptop.
Disable WIFI Power Saving
If you find that your wireless connection is spotty and unpredictable try disabling WIFI power saving.Do the following:
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/8192cu.conf
to create a new config file
- Paste the following in to the file:
# Disable power saving options 8192cu rtw_power_mgnt=0 rtw_enusbss=1 rtw_ips_mode=1
- Save the file
to reboot your Pi
The following link provides more information on getting setup on a wired or WIFI network.
At some point you probably will want to connect to your Pi remotely using the Terminal program on your laptop. This allows for the Pi to be run “headlessly” – meaning a display is not connected to the Pi.
In order to connect to the Pi from your laptop the Pi will need to be connected to a network and you will need to know the Pi’s IP Address. Type the following command on your Pi:
and make note of the IP address. Its the other one, not 127.0.0.1
Make sure your laptop is connected to the same network as the Pi you’d like to remotely connect to. On your laptop open the Terminal program from the Utilities folder. At the prompt type:
replace ‘ip-address’ with the actual IP address of your Pi
The command looked like this on my laptop:
Press return, answer ‘yes’ to the authentication question, and enter the Pi’s password