Midterm: Sonic Solar System

Title: Sonic Solar System (demo)
Artist: Ben Breidenthal
Completion Date: Feb 16, 2015
Place of Creation: Computer
Style: Audio Programming, Genre: Space Simulation
Material (programing environment): Pd (Pure Data)
Link to documentation (short video demo with me explaining what the program is doing):

Whats up class. I made a program in Pure Data, a real-time graphical programming environment for live interactive computer music. The program has 8 “planets”, which are patches that are fed data about the actual planets in our solar system and use that data to make a sound unique to each one. The planet’s year controls the base frequency of a sine wave oscillator, as well as the frequency that you hear it pass in front of you. The planet’s day controls the frequency of modulation on that oscillator, and its mass controls the index of modulation. When listening to this piece, you should be wearing headphones to create a surrounding experience, and have the lights off or eyes closed to become immersed. You will be removed from your earthly perspective and take the place of the sun. You will hear each planet pass in front of you at a proportional rate to what is actually happening. This experience is intended to give the listener a less human view on time, existence, and the movement of the planets, and give them a new perspective from the point of view of sun, around which we orbit and depend upon for energy and life.

Here’s a link to 11 minutes (I allow neptune to pass by just once, thats ~165 earth years, squished into 11 minutes!) of the audio alone if you want to try it out without me talking over it like in the linked video above. May immersing yourself and listening to it bring you new perspectives on time and space that you haven’t experienced yet:

There’s a lot of room for expansion on this project. I’d love to give each planet its own waveform instead of sinusoids, add sounds for planets’ moons and ring systems, as well as other cosmic happenings.

-Ben

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