Parsons SoundAffects Launches in NYC

Short ‘Making Of’ film. To listen and learn more, visit:

SoundAffects launched this summer – a ten-day audio experiment that listens to more than just the noise of a New York City street corner. A wall on the corner of 5th Avenue and 13th Street collected data input including temperature readings, color analysis of video feeds, precipitation measurements, noise levels, cellular activity/interference, and proximity sensors, all of which was fed into the SoundAffects generative music algorithm and visualizer system (composed, designed and engineered by Tellart).

The project is the second collaboration of Tellart and mono (concept creation) following up the award-winning Real Good Chair Experiment. This time the client was Parsons The New School for Design, and the goal was to encourage engagement with the city environment.

The music, and the corresponding visuals and video, are available in near real-time through the browser or on your phone. The composition is navigable using the timeline, which is marked with the “experiments” scheduled throughout the week.

The project was completed using HTML5, JavaScript, Max/MSP/Jitter, Ableton Live, and various other software tools. On the hardware side, Tellart rigged industrial sensors to an Arduino micro-controller and captured live video throughout the ten days.



Diagram explaining the inputs and their visualizer color mappings (courtesy of mono).


The view from behind the SoundAffects wall.


Jasper experiments with the sensors to hear their affect on the music.



The SoundAffects wall is on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 13th Street.


SoundAffects: Behind the Scenes from Tellart on Vimeo.