Pitch Parrot - Ear Training via Flappy Bird

Pitch Parrot is a more engaging and enjoyable way to study ear-training and sight-singing. Players traverse barriers by controlling the Pitch Parrot’s vertical position with the pitches they sing. Rather than spending hours practicing with uninteresting, non-musical pitch sequences, player are incentivized with the popular and mildly addicting Flappy Bird style play. Fun and compelling background songs harmonically support the player’s interval training.

Walker Davis, Sebastian Le Bras

June 15, 2017

Binaural Commute

This is my final project for 222 Sound in Space Spring 2017. I wanted to mix different styles of music, along with some sounds effects, in a convincing and entertaining surround experience. Field recordings were done on my old Zoom H2. 'Musical' audio was recorded/synthesized, sampled, and/or processed in Ableton Live 9.7. Mixing and further processing was done in Logic Pro X, along with the internal binaural and 5.1 panners.

Here is a list of everyone I recorded(in order of appearance on the radio):

Chris Chafe - Bach Chorale
Davide Tiso - Metal
Marvin Paez - Latin
Jay Kadis - Rock
Jesse Green - Electronic
Justice Njoku - RnB (‘Location’ cover by Khalid)

5.1 Surround Mix

June 8, 2017

Sonic Pong

Prelingually deafened children with cochlear implants find it difficult to enjoy music. The cochlear implants make it possible for these children to perceive rhythm in music but not timbre and pitch. The fundamental traits of pitch that are acoustically transmitted to the auditory pathway of these children via the cochlear implants are much less precise than those of individuals with normal hearing. Our game could be a motivating way to train these children on their pitch perception, which may in turn transfer effects to improve their speech and language abilities. Chen et al (2008) showed that the effect of music training was much more significant for children with implants who are aged 6 years. During this critical sensitive period, the auditory pathway experience higher levels of experience-dependent plastic changes.

In our version of pong, we chose to make the ball invisible in an attempt to shift the player’s focus to aural cues instead of pong’s traditional visual cues. The Y position of the ball correlates to the pitch of sine tone; the higher up the ball is, the higher the frequency the sine tone is. If the player misses the ball, he or she is presented with a harsh FM bell tone and some sad music. The music in the background serves as a distraction for the player; as time progresses, the music becomes more and more dense, requiring the player to listen for the sine tone at a much more intense level. Although the sine tone is always the loudest actor, and technically is not masked by any of the other things going on, the build up of additional sounds quickly increases the auditory distractions.

Walker Davis, Trang Nguyen, Hanze Tu

April 18, 2017


This is a LowPass Filter and Distorion VST plug-in I developed and used for the 256 Music, Computing, and Design I: Software Paradigms for Computer Music at CCRMA, Stanford. The plug-in was created in JUCE and the DSP was written in Faust. The remix was done in Ableton Live 9.7.

GitHub Repo

December 10, 2016

Sonic Paintbrush with Joe Ferriso

The Sonic Paintbrush seeks to convert color into sound through utilizing an RGB color sensor and bend sensor imbedded in the brush bristles. The handle of the brush also has an FSR that controls a kick drum tempo. The serial data transmitted through the sensors and Arduino are unpacked and organized to trigger composed notes within Max / MSP. The challenge is to make a compelling visual color composition translate into a comparable and satisfying sound composition.

Joe Ferriso

December 7, 2016

Analysis of Milton Babbitt's Semi-Simple Variations

A research paper about Milton Babbitt’s 1956 Semi-Simple Variations. When examined at the global, upper vs lower voice, and SATB levels, serial analysis suggests that this piece adheres a Sonata form, not a Theme and Variations form.

Download PDF here.

November 22, 2015