Midterm: Music Painter

The Music Painter is a music installation that not only let musician visualize their music by drawing unusual notes on paper, but also let normal people without music background create music when they try to draw on this installation.

Hayeon Hwang and I built the installation together as our PhysComp class midterm project. 


1. Concept building

2. Prototyping

1) Painting part - plan A: solenoid pen - not strong enough

2) Painting part - plan B: servo motor pen - not stable enough

3) Painting part - plan C: mechanism pen

4) Piano part

5) Paper part

6) Screen part


This Music Painter makes very beautiful paper drawing which amazed us a lot. Then we realized this is a good way of data collection on user actions.

But there are still a lot of problems on this project about:

1. User experience:

1) Based on the design now, there is a huge delay when users see the corresponding painting appears after they press the piano key, which makes the experience a little confusing and less pleasure.

2) Users can not adjust the speed of paper rolling.

3) Because we use the buttons to trigger the sounds, if users press the piano key not strong enough, there will be no sound came out. Also it can not sense the pressure of key press.

2. Circuit:

1) We used two arduino boards to control different parts of this project, which is not efficient.

2) We used three power suppliers in this project.

3) The stepper motor goes hot when it's running.

3. Mechanism:

1) The pen's drawing generates more friction which will make the paper rolling stop. Maybe we need more powerful stepper motor and better pens.

2) The pens are drawing bad. Maybe a real brush tip one will work better.

The last and most important, thanks for my great partner - Hayley, who is a great maker, thinker and practitioner, who has responsibility and a warm heart, who knows a lot of knowledges which I don't know and always patiently explains all the questions to me, working hard and finishing this great project with me.