FFT Control


FFT Control is audio analysis software for generating control signals (in the form of MIDI or OSC messages) from a realtime FFT analysis of incoming audio. The first prototype was written in ChucK and Processing. A new version is currently in development as a VST / Audio Unit plugin (using the JUCE and LibXtract libraries), for easy integration with a wide range of music and VJ software.

In the first prototype, the interface allows the user to select a frequency range (aided by the spectrum graph) from which to measure average volume and generate a control signal. By selecting particular frequency ranges, it is possible to emphasize and focus on certain aspects of the sound, generating control signals that tracks activity in specific slices of the spectrum. ChucK performs the FFT analysis and sends OSC, while Processing provides a GUI (created with controlP5). ChucK and Processing communicate over OSC in the background.

The plugin version in development expands on these features, offering a more extensive set of perceptually and musically meaningful audio feature extraction methods, outputting MIDI to the host for control of realtime visual systems, or other audio processes. 

FFT Control was used in Emulsion Juice #1, an interactive audiovisual piece installed at the 2013 Digital Arts Expo at CalArts. I used the software in a performance with David Howe and Raphael Arar, in which the software analyzed sound from Raphael's modular synthesizer and controlled David's light balloons. I also used FFT Control to help create light compositions for Caruso's Dream.