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  • Writer's pictureDinaKhalil

Heart 'Beats'

Updated: Feb 22, 2020

This semester, I’m taking a class that introduced me to Ableton. Oh sweet, sweet Ableton! I’m a huge fan now!

Since we can connect an Arduino to Ableton, I thought it would be very interesting to mess around with a heart rate sensor and a certain drumbeat to generate a variety of effects out of the data collected from the sensor.

At first, I wanted to test it with the ‘tempo’, but it wouldn’t map well since the default bps is 120, and my average bpm is around 85+. I’ve tried adding some effects to the beat and mapping the sensor to many different things. But, the one thing that really did it, was when I mapped the bpm sensor to the ‘trim’ in the ‘drum buss’ effect. The sound of the heartbeat finally came to life! (no pun intended) and made sense of the whole experience. As you can see from the video, you can actually hear a ‘heartbeat’ after every 3 drumbeats, which is awesome!

A picture of the setup. A laptop, the arduino wired to the heart rate sensor and Ableton being open on the screen.

It’s not accurate and certainly not reliable. Still, it’s pretty cool to collect data in a non-traditional way.

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