Screen shot 2009-10-28 at 11.49.48 AMI got my new computer, and I’m up and running again! I’m so happy. It’s still going to be a little while until I can catch up with everything. So in the meantime, I will share an old project from last March.

In the beginning of the year, I really got into Andy Farnell’s book on procedural audio, Designing Sound. It’s one of my favorite sound design books, and I strongly recommend it.

This book really got me excited about being able to separate and control each element of a sound. This inspired the Mini Mood, an iPhone application that allows you to create your own personalized mix of cozy sounds. I chose three ambiances I thought made for a cozy athmosphere: fireplace, weather, and old record player.

You can download the Mini Mood for free!
available_on_the_appstore
Concept and Sound Design: me (Andrew Spitz)
Programming: The awesome Mel Gray
Icon Design: The great Thomas Hancock

Screen shot 2009-10-28 at 11.50.42 AM

how it works

For now, the interface is a bit plain and confusing, but we may go back to it, design a new interface, and add more sounds.

Screen shot 2009-10-29 at 11.37.18 AMThere are four windows. The first is the Master Mix of the other three windows.

Screen shot 2009-10-29 at 11.37.26 AMThe second is the Fireplace Mix, which is where you can mix together each element of a fireplace: the roar, crackle, and hiss.

Screen shot 2009-10-29 at 11.37.33 AMThe third is the Weather Mix, which is where you can mix the rain (hitting the window), the wind, and the thunder.

Screen shot 2009-10-29 at 11.37.43 AMThe fourth is the Record Player, which is where you can mix the noise and the crackle of a record player. You’ll notice there is a missing slider.  I wanted to add an E.Q. slider to make your music sound like an old record, but at this moment, you can’t access the iPhone’s music library from an app, so we left it empty.

the process

In March, I put together a patch in Max/MSP to serve as a prototype. Mel Gray over at Clever Collie took over the coding for the iPhone/iTouch.

As an iPhone/iTouch app, the Mini Mood triggers looped samples and the user mixes the volume of each element. Nothing very exciting, but it was valuable for understanding the process of submitting an application to iTunes. The procedural aspect involved creating each separate stem to bounce into a loopable track. One advantage of modeling procedural synthetic sounds is that the recording is clear of all unwanted sounds. However, some of the synthesis didn’t sound convincing enough to me, so I mixed in some real-world recorded sounds.

This has been a good experience, especially seeing Apple’s side of things. Future plans include adding more sounds and improving the interface.


4 Responses to “Mini Mood for iPhone { sound + Software }”  

  1. 1 Yann Seznec

    I only just saw this, congratulations! I’m downloading now, can’t wait to try it out.

  2. 2 DaiDai

    Though I havn’t an iphone by now,I still feel happy on your “creature”.
    I know Andy Farnell wrote the book but didn’t bought it because it’s sold out on Amazon!
    Hope to get the book quicklly.
    -from BFA,China

  3. 3 Andrew Spitz

    Hi DaiDai, thanks for the comment. I hope you can get your hands on the book. It’s really good! In case you’re unaware, he’s got a ton of tutorials online that you can access for free: http://obiwannabe.co.uk/tutorials/html/tutorials_main.html

  4. 4 Robert Henderson

    I saw your blog, really like this. Thanks for sharing with us.

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