What if a car could become a musical instrument? Driving synthesis is an experimental sound production project based on driving gesture and the vehicle environment, in which the car becomes an electronic instrument, the road a partition, driving a creative method.

Sound is produced by mapping the different parameters and data that the car can receive on different audio elements, such as synthesizers or effects. I explored different connection possibilities by detailing the data that can be extracted from cars and to connect them to electronic instruments.

In order to analyze in real time the possibilities of interaction between sound and driving parameters, I built a p5 program that simulates the relationship between the car’s data and various electronic instruments. In this example the oscillators are linked to the speed and direction of the vehicle, while a motion detector sends notes. Depending on the gearbox of the vehicle, the chords change.

In the two last videos / scenarios, I first used crossed cars to accumulate in an euclydian sequencer to create a rhythmic loop, while direction and speed modulate a frequency. In the last video, I imagined that different patterns that characterize the driver have already been recorded, and that the gear change the sound according to these patterns. The sound reacts to the steering wheel movements, the way the steering wheel is held, the pressure exerted and the external agents. Then the engine acts as an oscillator using some “data to instrument mapping” as in the previous wireframe.


Credits : Renault X Média design | With Alexia Matthieu, Mitch Paone and Sabrina Calvo