Honeycomb Controller

a collaboration with Joseph Wells (joseph.wells.portland@gmail.com)

The honeycomb controller is a MIDI device used to control sound waves and projected color

Users can play the honeycomb controller like a keyboard, playing up to 5 notes at a time. When a key is pressed, a sound wave of that frequency is emitted. At the same time, a light wave is triggered, projecting that color into the performance space.

When multiple buttons are pressed, the sound is emitted as usual, creating a musical chord. The light waves are then added together using additive synthesis, and creating a new color "chord" which is projected into the space. 


  • There are 91 keys on the honeycomb. Each key has an assigned frequency that is translated into both light and sound waves. 
  • The colors chosen for the controller correspond to a classic RGB hexagon. These colors were then converted into visible light spectrum frequencies using an algorithm. 
  • The sounds are related to the colors using a rudimentary scaling of light waves to sound waves within the audible spectrum.


The Honeycomb Controller can be used in both an educational and a performative environment. 

  • By installing the controller in the center of a space with projectors and speakers prepared, the user can explore the relationship between musical chords and color chords by playing individual keys and then experimenting with combinations. Because color chords aren't a traditionally understood concept, the user would be able to come up with their own context and meaning.
  • The controller also has performative qualities. Because it is programmed using an Arduino, the user can alter some of the basic functions and tailor it to their liking. Users could then play the controller as both a musical instrument and a visual synthesizer.