• 2013
  • Nov
  • 2

Announcing: SoundScapeTK

SoundScape Toolkit is software for making soundscape compositions for iOS. The code is available from GitHub.


  • Allows for playback of sounds based on a users location.
  • Uses libpd as its audio engine. While it can be configured to play wav files, it is currently set up to play mp3s, due to the limiting factor of storage space and app bundle size limits.
  • Uses a unique document format (basically, a score) to map locations to sounds and stipulate playback logic.
  • Allows for the playback of sounds while the phone is locked. You can put it in your pocket and still experience the soundscape.


  • iOS device with GPS hardware, ideally with a cellular data plan, but any device with GPS will do.
  • Apple developer account.
  • (optional) Amazon AWS account. The easier way to deploy sounds is through S3 while composing and testing.

Looking Forward

  • More sophisticated playback logic.
  • More sound design options.
  • Porting to OpenFrameworks, and/or Android.
  • Robust graphical editor. (Right now, editing is text-only.)
  • Communication between playback devices, client/server interactions.

Open Source Licensing

Soundscape Toolkit is released under the terms of the BSD license. Kindly give notice of this and acknowledge the original SoundScape Toolkit in any derivative software you write.

If you are interested in this software or would like to help develop it, please get in touch and fork the code on GitHub. If you would like help getting started with composing for this system, let me know.

  • 2013
  • Oct
  • 1

Announcing: CorpusDB

Corpus-based Processing for Python/SuperCollider

Available from GitHub. This is the Python implementation, intended to mirror CBPSC as much as possible. This software is under heavy development. Full documentation and lots of examples coming in December!


  • Python - I use version 2.7.2 bundled with Mac OS 10.8.*
  • Numpy, Ipython, Matplotlib - use the Superpack
  • sc-0.3.1 - SuperCollider lib, not strictly necessary, but handy to have
  • jsonpickle-0.4.0 - JSON lib
  • Bregman Toolkit - using Bregman’s imagesc function for the time being
  • SuperCollider - synthesis engine

Installation and use

  • cd into the appropriate directories and sudo python setup.py install
  • from corpusdb import *
  • look at the examples folder for some example corpora and tasks

The gist…

[Read More…]

  • 2013
  • Aug
  • 17

Helpful: audio files batch conversion

Here’s what I do when I have a bunch of aif files that need to become wav files. You will need SoX to do this.


[Read More…]

  • 2013
  • Jun
  • 3

Music: Untitled - for Tilt

I composed this piece for members of Tilt Brass this past spring. Instrumentation: 2 trumpets, horn, 2 trombones, tuba.

  • 2013
  • Feb
  • 15

Announcing: ImageDB

ImageDB is corpus-based image retrieval for OpenFrameworks/OpenCV. It was developed on OS X, but there is no reason why it cannot be used for Linux or Windows.

At this point, I do not have time to do much with this software. I will attempt to make some documentation and tutorials/examples later this year. Get in touch with me if you have any questions, or need help getting up and running.

ImageDB on GitHub

  • 2013
  • Jan
  • 15

Music: parallel rhythm shift study

This is a piece I composed this past fall for Tigue, a percussion trio comprised of Amy Tigue, Matt Evans, and Carson Moody.

parallel rhythm shift study

  • 2012
  • Nov
  • 15

The Beginnings of ACTION

I am pleased to announce that the first bits of ACTION have been published here. Thus far, the code consists of two classes that analyze color histograms and optical flow for frames of video. Much more to come in the weeks and months ahead.

  • 2012
  • Nov
  • 10

soundScape Toolkit: Creating a soundScape Toolkit composition

Please note: this is a guide mainly intended for students in Teri Rueb’s graduate seminar at UB. I [Tom] will endeavor to keep this document as current as possible with respect to the latest version of the iOS library/app.

We are making steady progress making the soundScape Toolkit ready for public release. If you are interested in trying the software, let us know, and we will give you access to the GitHub code. The following is an overview of how one would develop a soundScape composition. (For now we will assume that you are using the ad hoc distribution, the one that you have to join our development team as a tester to get.)


[Read More…]

  • 2012
  • Oct
  • 28

Collaboration: No Places with Names

If you were at ISEA 2012, you may have already seen or experienced this. If you are in the Santa Fe area, you can still experience this (see the link)…

I programmed the app that underlies No Places with Names, a large soundscape composition composed by Teri Rueb et al. The underlying software allows a composer to map sound files to playback when a user with a smartphone is in a particular location. I will be porting the software to Android this winter and adding functionality to both the Android and iOS versions as I go.

An open source release of the underlying software will happen within the next few months. Stay tuned, and email me if you’re interested in finding out more!