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The Love Song Machine

Tellart Internal Projects

For Valentine’s Day, Tellart launched the Love Song Machine–a brightly colored octave of mechanically played physical bells connected to a web-based music composition interface. Players either selected a popular love song from a menu, or used a drag and drop composition interface to submit a song, and then watched as their songs were played out on the real bells in our Providence office. A live web cam showed the bells (and our team working and waving in the background) as the song played out.

Yes, it was incredibly annoying for our staff…but it reminded us of how incredible it (still) is that people from around the world can connect to a real physical space and watch in real-time as they control it.

The bells are played by a series of solenoids, which are controlled by an Arduino micro-controller. The notes that you submit are processed on our web servers and then sent to the Arduino, while we load up live video and audio so that you can watch your song play. If there are users ahead of you in line, the queuing system will let you know how long you’ve got before you can watch your song.

As with every project at Tellart, each of us wore many hats during the process. As Lead Producer, it was my responsibility to help guide our designers and developers through every step of the project.

Using the online drag-and-drop interface, users could compose their own songs or simply choose a pre-defined tune. Each user was placed in a short queue to view & save a video of their song being played live. Over 10,000 songs were played during the one-week experiment.

Videos frequently featured cameos by Tellart staff.