Andrew Russell

10 Feb 2014

Thereface is a computer base theremin which is controlled by the position of your face. It works by using ofxFaceTracker to find a face on the screen, and return the position in pixels of the face. The top left corner being (0, 0) and the bottom right corner being (640, 480), which is the application’s screen size. The face position is then used to compute both a frequency and a volume to be used as a pitch. The pitch varies from 200 Hz from the far left to 1000 Hz at the far right. The volume ranges from 0% at the top to 100% at the bottom.

The audio is synthesized using ofxTonic, which is an openFrameworks port of Tonic Audio. Tonic Audio is a sound synthesizing library for C++, which allows easy synthesis of various types of waves. Thereface uses a simple sine wave. We update the sine wave’s frequency whenever we detect the face as being in a new position.

Please note that in this video, the audio sometimes stands still while my face is still moving. This is because the face tracking software stopped recognizing my face. I blame the beard. Also, I apologize for the application crash. Thereface worked great until I started using a screen capture software and that was best take I could get.