Close Encounters of the Third Kind Color Organ

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leonelabs

New Member
Hi RPF,
I just finished my latest project and wanted to share it with you. It's a reenactment of the color organ sequence from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Both parts were performed on one 10x10 RGB LED panel using a recorded MIDI file of the musical notes to trigger the lights.


So it's not quite 100% there, and the PixelBrite panel I made isn't a genuine replica, but I don't think the scene has every been recreated, and from a little internet digging I'm not sure the synthesizer was ever connected to the light panels. I found this article which mentions it:

"In the film, the original aspirations of Castel’s ocular harpsichord appear to be finally realized. However, when I recently spoke to Philip Dodds, the former ARP engineer who appears in Close Encounters as the synthesizer operator, he told me that the synthesizer and light console used in the film were never actually linked."

-James Peel,
The Scale and the Spectrum, 2006

With this in mind I thought it would be a fun challenge to try and recreate the scene. I was only able to go so far though, in terms of replication, but I thought the results turned out pretty well. I documented the build of the PixelBrite LED panel as a part of the bigger PixelBrite project on Instructables.com which includes all the resources needed to recreate the project (including MIDI files and software) and also lots of other fun things to do with the LED panel.


While I'm aware I'm missing the first couple notes in the scene, I'd gladly take any other criticism, recommendations, improvements, ideas, etc.

This is just a first pass but I just wanted to share it with you guys. I've only watched from the wings but I hope it can be as inspiring as some of the other work I've come across here.

Cheers,
LeoneLabs
 
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