MusicWithBalls is a program that allows you to mix music by controlling color coded spheres into the screen space. The program lets you control the volume and the rate and speed of each song individually, allowing you to create new music tracks by combining your favorite music.
Interface and interaction modality
MusicWithBalls is an application that can be run directly on the device, or straight from the web. It consists of three spheres, each one represented by a different color, and each one has a song previously assigned to the sphere. When the program is first opened, none of the songs are active by default, meaning the spheres are just sitting in the screen, and there is no change in shape. To activate a song, the user has to right click inside the sphere (song). Once the song is active there is a visual feedback from the active sphere, the user can see the sphere change in shape and vibrate to the sound of the song. While the song is active the user can control the volume by simply dragging the sphere from left to right on the screen; left is no volume, and right is the highest volume. The same method is applied to control the rate and speed of the song, but this time is from top to bottom; bottom is the lowest rate, meaning the song slows down to the lowest level, and the top is the highest rate, meaning the song will play back at high speed. There is a secondary effect attached to the rate, by controlling the rate, the pitch can also be controlled in a certain way, because of the speed of the song, the higher the rate the higher the pitch, and vice versa.
By using these methods, the user can control the volume, rate and pitch by simply dragging the spheres in the space, and by moving the spheres in the two-dimensional space, the different songs can be mixed to create new original tracks.
There is another function that the spheres have, while the song is active its sphere changes shape according to the spectrum of the song, and the higher the volume, the bigger the change in volume the sphere has, this way the user can easily recognize which song is at a higher level by just looking at the sphere’s shape.
Finally, any of the songs can be turned off at any time by right clicking inside and already active sphere.
The program is based on Processing, and executed using the Sonia sound library and OpenGL graphics. The application can be run in almost any kind of computer, or Android device that uses the touch screen technologies. It can also be run in the web, using any browser.
MusicWithBalls is a program for personal use for entertainment and musical purposes. The computer screen becomes the space to control songs easily control songs individually, and gives the user the capability no modify and combine already existing musical tracks by simply dragging colored spheres in a two-dimensional space. When any of the songs are being manipulated, the user will receive instant feedback with sound and graphics, making the program almost self-explanatory.
Research and development contexts
It is an application that could be massively distributed to run in almost any kind of device that has video and sound playback. It is intended for personal use, but it could be developed for a higher platform, to be used in a professional environment. This program intends to simplify the process of song mixing, by replacing complex numbers and sliders, by simply using the position of a graphically element that represents a song.