Decibel Festival Case Study

Stimulant has always had a culture of music appreciation and creation, and we take every opportunity to apply that to our work. From music-making tools like TouchTones and Loop Loop to the playful effects in WIND Mobile, we're always trying to integrate audio in a way that delights the user. Most recently we had an opportunity to share our love of music with our friends at the 10th annual Decibel Festival by creating a digital signage application which was displayed at clubs and concert venues around Seattle. In order to make the app as easy deploy as possible, we decided to build it as a JavaScript application running in a web browser. This meant that getting it running was as easy as loading a URL, and any last-minute code changes could be pushed instantly.The entire background of the application is an audio-reactive visuals system, transitioning between layered combinations of animations. Using the new audio tools included in modern web browsers, the application is able to listen to the sound in a club, search the audio data for frequency spikes (beats!), and animate vector graphics in sync with the music. All of this at 60FPS in full HD, ready to output to projectors, displays, and VJ software.Decibel Festival is not just a weekend campout -- this year it was made up of 130 performances at 36 events across 12 venues over 5 days. With such a hectic schedule, it's tough to keep track of who's playing where and when, so the application also displays the most current schedule and announcements right at the venues, where they can't be missed. It's a classic mash-up of data from a number of sources:

  • The complete schedule, from an XML feed provided by the festival's CMS
  • Constantly-updated urgent announcements, hosted in a Google spreadsheet, to notify of any last-minute changes
  • Attendees' Instagram shots of the festivities, moderated by the festival
  • Curated photos from the festival's photography team
  • And of course, sponsor logos!

We're extremely grateful to have been a small part of the 10th anniversary of Decibel, and look forward to collaborating again in the future!