Geometric response to audio. Real time. Grasshopper : Version 1

This is an attempt to program geometric manipulations based on feedback from audio in real time. Been curious since some time now, about the ability to “attach” a physical connotation to audio [like music for instance]. As part of this experiment, the first stage was an attempt to script a simple visualization in VVVV that responds to audio played back on the computer.

Audio input is analysed using the Fast Fourier Transform algorithm within VVVV [fft node]. Audio frequency scales up the height of boxes. ‘Low mid out’ value scales the boxes along the base plane. ‘High mid out‘ value is responsible for the color change and finally the ‘high out‘ value controls the rotation of the boxes about the vertical axis.

Audio played back is by the artist Zero and the song’s called PSP 12′.

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The next stage in this process was to stream the frequency values from VVVV into a text file that is being updated continuously in real time. This text file was further read inside grasshopper using a ‘Read File‘ component. These values are then utilized to manipulate the height of boxes inside rhino in real time. Currently, the test was attempted under simple conditions involving just the height of boxes. There seems to be a major jump in the processing power absorbed by rhino while attempting to update changes in real time. The setup seems to be clunky and slightly less responsive in updating the heights continuously.

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The second artist performing here apart from Zero is Darude and piece is called “Sandstorm”.

All attempts so far have been directed towards studying responses in real time. However, it might be feasible to “record” audio input response on geometry as a static exercise, which would mean the possibility of attaching a physical connotation “form” to audio signals . It is quite early at this point of time to speculate whether this could have any architectural implications. However, what is definitely feasible (and this currently is already being implemented) is the development of an interactive response to audio signals in the real world.


~ by Karthik Dondeti on January 10, 2010.

37 Responses to “Geometric response to audio. Real time. Grasshopper : Version 1”

  1. Great stuff, love it!

  2. Hi!

    I’m architecture student from Spain and I’ve found ypur blog searching some code examples to achieve some audio-to-form solutions. I use grasshopper and rhinoscript. It would be great if you could share with me some basic definitions (vvvv and GH) to stream data between audio files, txt files, and grasshopper interface.

    Thanks for share your amazing work 🙂 And sorry for my english “butchering”.

    Best Regards.

  3. Sure. I could send the stuff across in the weekend. In the meantime, you should also check for further work but using processing. Drop me an email :


  4. amazing work! I just sent you an email as well. I’m also currently working on a thesis project and part of it is about using sound data to inform the aesthetics and structure of designed pieces.

  5. oh..i just saw that you’re linked to scripted by purpose….i was the DJ at that show here in Philadelphia..great exhibit and opening.

  6. hello.
    nice work. could you share it?

  7. Fantastic work. I’m working on a similar project to model a song, using an existing Wav file, with grasshopper. I was wondering If I could get some more details about how you created the original vvvv visualization and then how you later converted it to grasshopper. Any help you could give me would really be amazing.

  8. Shoot me an email at I would be glad to help any which way I can 🙂

  9. this is amazing. when i got introduced to the world of sound and architecture i had no idea what i’m going to face. your approach is great. I’m an interior design student in Toronto. And I would like to use your script for my thesis project. I will definitely mention your name in my work.
    it would be awesome if you could share it with me as well. i’ll shoot you an email regarding this 🙂
    thanks bunch

  10. hey,
    great work! I’m a architecture student in tasmania, currently involved in setting up a theatrical tool kit for the school of visual performance arts in my University. I would love to get more details on how you managed to get an real time audio to work with grasshopper. I would love to use the script to demonstrate the performativity of sound in terms of set and costume(form) using projection.

    It would be absolute fantastic if you could share this knowledge with us.

  11. Looks great,
    trying to do something similar with mapping movie scene conversations for architecture thesis. Could really use some help with the vvvv end if you have time.

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  13. could you send me script?

  14. I am student at University of Washington. I thought your example was great. May you send me of the VVV and ghx script?


  15. Hi I am a student at University of Cincinnati, I wanted to apply and manipulate this script for one of my projects coming up that focuses on circulation space! Could you possible send the VVVV and gh script to me? It would be greatly appreciated!

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  19. Hi I am a student at University of los andes, I would like to manipulate this script for my project coming up that focuses on the creation of geometry by sound Could you possible send the VVVV and gh script to me?i need it asap!! cos my submission is on Monday and I just cant get what I am looking for, and I know your project would halp me a lo. i would greatly appreciate it!!!

  20. Hello,
    my name is tommi. Im studying architecture at the university of innsbruck. I wanted to ask you, if its possible for you to send me your vvvv and grasshopper setup? i am working on a project, that is inspired by audio. and i whould love to do some audio visualization in grashopper. i think your work could help me al lot. because thats almost the same im trying to do. It would be amazing, if you could help me. Greetings,

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  33. man ….. i love your work…. working now more or less for 2 years with grasshopper and it is a great instrument for engineers….. i am planning my birthdayparty for next month i am now planing the lightdeco und videodeco…. would like to input pictures of me and my friend and let the pictures changes to the same beat like the music…. would be very happy if you could send me your codes…thanks

  34. That’s really awesome! I am a student at Cornell University, I would like to play with this script for my studio project that focuses on how sound could change our perceoption of the environment. So I was wondering if you could send the VVVV and gh script to me? Thanks very much! My email address is

  35. hola!
    I’m architecture student from PUC and I’ve found your blog searching some code examples to achieve some audio-to-form solutions. I use mainly grasshopper. It would be great if you could share the definitions (vvvv and GH) to stream data between audio files, txt files, and grasshopper interface.
    Thanks for share your amazing work and your time.

  36. I am an architect student in CA experimenting with the sound of architecture, and am very intrigued with your work regarding the topic. Specifically, I am looking to optimize sonic environments using generative design and physical computing (probably gh and Firefly). Would you mind sharing the definitions with me, and/or any helpful knowledge/resources you might have? Thank you!

  37. Hi dude,
    How can in have this algorithm or how can I make that?
    Thank you.

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