Happy New Year, Bonne année, and Frohes neues Jahr!
2014 will see me fooling around with an Arduino microcontroller. I made a rudimentary ‘light organ’ using photosensors and Max/MSP. You play music by covering the sensors with your fingers, and allowing various amounts of light to shine between them. Darkness for low notes, brightness for high notes.
First problem: the Arduino code could be more optimized by using the right type of variable to hold the sensor values. The code that I downloaded uses ‘floats’ for each sensor but I think that that is overkill. Float is the nickname for floating-point number, i.e., a number with a decimal point that can move to the left or right to show more or fewer digits. They are complicated types of numbers in computing and, hence take up more memory and power. On the Arduino, like old-school 8-bit computers of yore, memory and power are precious!
The result was that my organ could only respond to movements of my fingers three times per second. Much too sluggish for a tocatta & fugue. There could be other problems dragging down the code execution too, so if I find them I’ll post ’em here.