Sound diffusion using audience's mobile devices
JavaScript Other
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Fields is a live performance system allowing to play sound through the mobile devices of audience members. Participants can connect to a web page that can be made available either online or on a local network, and performers can then control sound from the connected devices by sending OSC messages.

Fields uses node.js to run a server. Sound can be programmed with Pure Data (through WebPd).


-> Fields - Connect The Dots, Sheffield 10/10/2015

-> Fields - Mix 2014

Quick start

NB : if you have never heard of Node.js, you should read the full instructions.

You first need to install node.js version 4 or higher. I highly recommend to install it through nvm.

Then, in a terminal run npm install -g fields-system.

Finally, simply create a configuration file, and start the Fields server by running fields config.js in a terminal.

Examples of working applications with full configuration files can be found here.

Full instructions

NB : these instructions are for mac or linux.

Node.js installation


  • If you are using a mac, you first need to install command-line tools or Xcode through the app store.
  • All users will also need git


Node.js is an open-source environment for programming applications in JavaScript, fields is built on top of it. I recommend to install node by using nvm . Node comes with two command-line tools node which is the programming environment and npm, which is the package manager, and allows to easily install third-party packages from the web.

nvm is a small command-line tool which allows you to easily install a specific version of node, and switch between different versions. To install it, first make sure that you have either .profile or .bashrc file in your home directory (they are hidden files, so they will not appear in Finder). If not, open a terminal and run touch ~/.profile . Then, follow the instruction on nvm github page.

When the installation of nvm is complete, close and re-open your terminal. Type nvm and if the installation succeeded, you should see nvm's help message. You can now install node 0.12 by running nvm install 0.12 . Once node installation is complete, you should be able to use the commands node or npm from your terminal.

Installing Fields and running an example


  • The example for fields requires Pure Data Extended. So please install it first.
  • Node and npm


In a terminal, run npm install -g fields-system. This might take a little while as it downloads many packages from Internet. If the installation succeeded, you shouldn't get any error messages.

Try to type fields in your terminal, you should get a very short help message.

Running the example

Download the example here. To do that, you can either download all the files one by one, or download the whole fields code (including a lot of files you don't need to care about). Create a folder, and copy all the files from the example inside. Then with you terminal, navigate to that folder, and run fields config.js. It should start the fields server, print a copyright notice, and a few other informations on your configuration.

Now that the server is running, open your browser and go to localhost:8000/s.html. You should see a page with a start button. Press that button, and an instrument should be loaded in your browser. By sending OSC messages you should be able to control that instrument. Open the patch controls.pd with Pd-extended, and try to start the instrument, change the volume and the frequency.

Re-opening Fields after you've shutdown your computer

If you've done all of the above, and have shut down your computer and you want to come back to it! Then simply open a terminal, activate the node version you installed with nvm by running nvm use 0.12, navigate to the folder containing your project (or the example), and start the fields server by running fields config.js.