Photoresistor Theremin

Built with Arduino + Processing + Csoundo

Processing is amazing. Though it is considered by many to be a visual language, it’s really much more than that. Perhaps a communication development environment would be a more apt description.

Take this video for example. I’m using an arduinio board to send sensor data from two photoresistors to Processing. Then Processing transforms this data and sends it to Csound (via Csoundo). The data is then transformed again to represent amplitude and pitch. No visuals involved, but they could have been incorporated quite easily.

Taking a look at the available user-made Processing libraries, you’ll see that there are many supported protocols and formats: MIDI, OSC, UDP, XML, HTML, feeds, FTP, bluetooth, etc. If that isn’t enough, Processing can also import Java files and jars.

Processing has all the elements to become the new multi-media super glue, doing what Pd and Max have been doing for years. Except maybe even better. If Processing continues to grow, it is fathomable that Pd and Max will have a Processing external, or Processing have Pd and Max libraries. We’ll just have to wait and see.

In the mean time, I’m just happy that I have Csound literally communicating with the outside world.

One more thing, the second half of this video features one of the original Csound instruments, adapted from Trapped in Convert and developed by Dr. Richard Boulanger in 1979 at the M.I.T. Experimental Music Studio.

2 thoughts on “Photoresistor Theremin

  1. Nice work, Jacob!
    I’m really interested in build one of those, have you followed a guide?

    • Thanks! I studied a few examples and put this together, so there isn’t any single guide I can point to. However, I will spec it out soon, so others can build it. I plan on including it with the next release of Csoundo.