web-based sound art

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Fades.net is a sound art piece conceived in the shape of multi-source audiovisual installation for non limited number of speakers and video screens.
It is a piece about additive synthesis, the more computers connect to fades.net, the bigger the number of partials/sinusoids is utilized to build an ideal A440 sonorous drone.
In other words the acoustical results are in direct relationship with the number of devices used for the setup. To get an idea about the sound of fades.net, you can listen to a demo 32 voices drone here.
fades.net has been designed for public to private to virtual spaces (see below). It is specifically designed to run via web, exploiting the spreading of internet access and of portable computers to offer an easy access to its exhibition.

How it works

Connect all available computers in a space to fades.net, press the start button and switch the lights off. Along with the sound, every computer will display a number on the screen representing the frequency in hertz of the playing sinusoid.
In live exhibitions, participants are invited to join the 'mise en scene' by connecting their portable internet devices to fades website so to share in the additive synthesis and in the evolution process of the piece.

Technical needs

- internet connection.
- various internet devices compatible with Java and Flash, equipped with sound and video out.

Programming notes

Sound in fades.net is realtime generated, every connection produces a unique and monophonic sequence of sinewaves organized as follows.

Fade-in / sound (color) / fade-out / silence (dark) and again with new ramp time and pitch values. In the center of the screen the frequency in hertz of every sinusoid is displayed.

Two microtonal pitch systems are used in fades.net, both are centered on the A440 fundamental frequency.
System A is in just intonation and privileges those ratios that are close to the fundamental. Small numbers are much more often chosen than big ones, so that octaves, perfect fifths and fourths are much more frequent and probable than pitches that are far in the harmonic series.
System B generates frequencies that exponentially tend to approach the perfect A4 from below and above (see picture 1).
The range of possible pitches covers the whole human ear or technical reproduction capabilities. All pitches are probable but one: the perfect 440 hertz sinusoid. All the frequencies are guided to approach the infinite resonances of a ideal A note, without touching its fundamental one.

Random numbers are generated to control frequency, phase and waveform of various panner LFOs.

fades.net tuning graph
Picture 1 - fades.net tuning system B

It's likely to happen that all kind of audiovisual devices will be more and more present in our living spaces, and so will internet. Here below the picture shows an ideal venue for fades.net

Please note: sound is driven by a Java applet, you need to enable the java features of your browser in order to run fades.net.
Fullscreen and video features are made with actionscript and require the Adobe Flashplayer 9 or newer.


cc - 2010 Antonio Della Marina