When you go to an outdoor concert, wind, rain, and light all affect the experience, but what if these elements could actually modify the sound directly? That’s the idea behind this musical weather contraption, literally named the Weather Thingy by artist-hacker Adrien Kaeser.
The device takes the form of what appears to be a normal weather station, with sensors to measure wind direction and speed, as well as a rain gauge and brightness sensor to measure ambient light levels. This climactic data is then transformed into MIDI inputs, which alter chorus, pan, decay and LFO settings via a custom control panel.
The panel contains a pair of knobs to constrain or amplify the received parameters for use in different environments, along with four buttons to switch between the four audio elements. A small screen in the middle presents an icon for each environmental element, and shows different sound settings. Internal build details are somewhat vague, but hardware involved in the build includes an Arduino Mega and Leonardo, plus an ESP32.
You can see it in action in the video below; be sure to watch it with headphones on if you have them handy, as the effect is naturally very auditory, especially when the artificial wind and thus the pan setting changes around 0:30.