DronesoundTV: Autonomous Drone Sound Livestream

Raspberry Pi Generates 24/7 Surreality TV Stream from Public Samples and Audience Requests. It's an "Art" Thing?

Similar projects worth following
My entry for the 2016 Hackaday contest! This regards "Drone Sound" (not UAVs).

The tools in this project operate a 24/7 live stream. Go there, it's worth 1000 words:

Viewers also direct the sound from within the YouTube chat stream.

Terrible Intro 1

See project details for methods and BIG future plans.


Demo Reel 4

Janitor Story: An Autonomous Avant-Garde Composition

DroneTV Longplay 8

Dronesound Television? Whut?

It's a constantly evolving live stream of audio/visual textures generated by an autonomous system designed by lo-fi avant-garde performance artist "Master Monkey" (that's me, hi).

Listeners are also participants, influencing the mix by submitting keywords in live chat.

The ultimate goal is an autonomous "Pirate TV Station" mixing sound, image, and "Misinformation Services" into an ongoing avant-garde "collage" of the Internet.

It's probably live now, at

Sounds are selected from the the open-source sound community, according to the scheme covered in the following diagram. Other sources such as SoundCloud are in the works.


Viewers can add sounds directly from chat! Type "Drone" followed by any single word, right in the chat. An on-cam "DroneBot" flashes his lazer light to indicate he received their requests. Related sounds are added to the mix, over the next 1-3 minutes.

They can also browse and find sounds they like, then add them by Sound ID or Author Name. For example:

Drone 148851

Drone TexasMusicForge

How It Works

Intro Video One breaks it all down. Or tries to. You decide:Here in California, a Raspberry Pi single-board Linux computer runs a set of programs that generate DroneTV .

Starting from a list of keywords - and your requests - it chooses sounds from the latest uploads at It picks more sounds by following a "trail" of the best ones it finds.

It mutilates, mixes and re-mixes all of this into a gradually-morphing audio landscape of noise and sound. The results are streamed directly, live and in real-time.

"DroneBot" also monitors the YouTube chat for new requests via Google's Data API. It will soon provide more, like play history and user preferences.

Coming Soon

  1. Better sound quality (on a Mac Mini?)
  2. Better visuals


U geeky bro? K, you can check out the Early Adopter's Kit (for Linux) available now at

I absolutely intend to release all of the components - some just need more clean-up first. Stay tuned, k.

  • Psst! Not-Ready-Yet Code at GITHub

    Die, Master Monkey!01/05/2017 at 06:32 0 comments

    It's still not ready, nor properly documented - but finally the entire StageGhost kit's code is at GITHub:

    I remind you that StageGhost is the bot behind this project, for which DronesoundTV is really a proving grounds.

    The Wiki there also has minimal instructions for the bravest-at-heart, but the entire setup still needs complete testing.

    You'll also find much cruft, including programs you might not need for your installation. These will be much easier to remove, soon.

    PS: I'm considering branching-off a separate project here for StageGhost the bot, so as to focus this project on the art side of DronesoundTV.

    Oh also, the channel now has its own URL! See you at

  • A Crash Course with Talking!

    Die, Master Monkey!09/18/2016 at 13:00 0 comments

    Yes, I'm notoriously reclusive and frankly pretty shy, but managed to make this thorough demo of DronesoundTV core features and some of the weird techniques specific to the "StageGhost" bot.

    Other topics include:

    • Unexposed advanced layout features
    • SoundCloud interaction in detail
    • Sound design philosophy

    PS: When DTV gets to 100 subs, I can simply point you to ""; - consider subscribing to the channel!

  • Demo Reel 28 with Lots of New Stuff

    Die, Master Monkey!09/15/2016 at 16:35 0 comments

    This clip shows-off some of the latest enhancements - all of these are controlled from the chat. Crazy new themes are also shown.

    I've also arrived at a catchphrase I think best conveys my goals: A "Remote Control Dronesound Glitch Media Sandbox". For some, "Dronesound" needs to be explained as being "Drone Music", but I think this is the most accurate soundbite.

    I am about to add Twitch support. Stay tuned to

  • About that last post...

    Die, Master Monkey!09/08/2016 at 13:11 0 comments

    There was a whole section before the first words that talked about the new Chat Lobby and how I went to all these channels and got all the ideas for these new features - and talked more about the User Guide.

    But sadly most of it was eaten on Publish. I'll come-back and re-write it again some time, but for now I'm going back to the code.

    Do check out the User Guide, though.

  • DronesoundTV User Guide 1.0

    Die, Master Monkey!09/08/2016 at 13:01 0 comments

    Finally a proper user guide,

    Sub-back Bot
    An annoyance of YouTube streaming is the frequent request from new broadcasters for a "sub-back" - a request for the channel's owner to subscribe to their fledgling channel. They even ask "Dronebot" for sub-backs - so it now complies. This isn't likely to be used by DronesoundTV's audience, but in the underlying "StageGhost" bot the feature will be of great value to streamers.

    YouTube's Coolest Shoutouts
    The 'Shoutout' is a traditional courtesy that can take many forms, but most bots for streaming platforms simply respond a personalized text (i.e. "Shout out to Die Master Monkey!"). DTV's version takes it a few steps further, with personalized random comedy responses and on-screen displays including the user's profile picture.

    Disappearing Ink
    I gotta' tell you, I love this feature. I wrote it because of my distaste for left-over commands in chat history. Prefixing any text in chat with a hyphen (dash - ) will cause Dronebot to delete it from chat history after a few seconds. Nothing is changed, and commands are still processed - but instead of the text, chat history will show "{message deleted by DronesoundTV}". It's pretty cool.


    - This message will self destruct

    Random SoundCloud

    I've written at length about how this is a Dronesound (and not music) project - but I am also building a bot designed for broadcasters, and the reality is that "song requests" and channel playlists comprised of shareable music are a standard feature that users expect. StageGhost now supports the addition by chat users of music from SoundCloud by URL, and an on-board playlist that can be managed by chat.

    Future enhancements for this feature include personal playlists, YouTube Music and SoundCloud query support.

    Geek Out: Reboot Time Under One Minute!

    This is a Raspberry Pi that runs a 24/7 live stream. It spawns many short-lived processes (you should see the PIDs advance), and yeah it does crash once in awhile. Properly configured, Raspbian will reboot on kernel panic and for a live 24/7 system, once you've nailed as many bugs as possible, the best impact you can have is in getting that cycle time minimized and as automatic as possible.

    I've built-in the capability to reboot it remotely - here is a clip of that happening. You also get to see some of the other features I've mentioned.

    Much More to Come

    If you've been tracking this project, thank you - I know I've neglected news releases, but that is only because I'm focused 100% on the project. I'm nearly ready to offer a limited test capabilities of "Stage Ghost" to early adopters, so keeping an eye on this project will not be in vain. Stay tuned, k.

  • DronesoundTV Evolution Continued

    Die, Master Monkey!08/04/2016 at 06:57 0 comments

    Oh boy it's been too long since I posted an update. I'll apologize for that but not for the reason: I've been "heads-down" working full-bore on DronesoundTV the whole time.

    And I've got to get back to that right away, but first you deserve some details about happenings.

    The Live Stream

    Remember the project moving to its own channel on YouTube. It's probably live right now:

    Big Diagram 2.0

    Since last I reported-in, DronesoundTV has come a long way. While my earlier diagram remains applicable, it covers only the most superficial details of the "Dronesound" part of this project. My efforts since then have focused on the "TV" part.

    The diagram shows how much the system has expanded - note that the generation of sound still conforms to the earlier "What Makes a Sound" diagram.

    As before, viewers user YouTube chat to add sounds to the audio mix.

    However, they now have many additional powers including:

    • Changing the color, background image
    • Choose from a variety of visual layouts ("themes")
    • Apply and adjust a "low pass filter"
    • Choose from several complete sound "moods"
    • Import animated GIFs for the stream's ANSI displays


    One of the most important additions is the "moods". As I stated early-on, the historical model for the project are the "ambient sound" machines that generate white noise, ocean sounds, et cetera. While this clearly aims to go much further, I still intend to meet or exceed the function provided by those primitive earlier solutions.

    With the "mood" command, viewers switch between pre-configured sets of keywords designed to evoke a particular audio theme. Most of them are places, for instance "arcade" or "seashore".

    Using the mood command loads a carefully-edited set of up to 200 keywords (and sound designers). For example, the arcade mood includes keywords such as pinball, retro, videogame, williams, bally, atari, cheering, and pachinko. The seashore mood contains instead such things as beach, shore, waves, boat, seagulls, whalesong, and thunder.

    Yes the number of moods will grow and their quality will improve, but the real destination here is infinite customization - so of course each viewer will have their own "my mood" to configure to their liking.

    Panel System

    Do me a favor and go check out the DronesoundTV Live Stream real quick. Unless it's down (which is rare) in which case you could check out a replay will have to do.

    Okay, so you see that layout? No, it's not exactly the height of modern UI design but that's not the point.

    It's all HTML and CSS.

    See, I'm an actual live video streamer on Twitch (where I do live beat sets). And like many budget streamers, I use OBS (the Open Broadcast Suite). While I'm grateful for OBS, it (and most other streaming solutions) are an absolute nightmare if you want a really nice layout.

    Editing layouts is done in the software with proprietary tools. Images have to be imported, camera views meticulously positioned - the entire process is beyond painful and nothing any performer is (or needs to be) good at.

    Well, screw that. I'm tired of limited layout choices. The "panel" system lets users (and me) change the on-screen layout and even the contents - directly from chat.

    And being simply a web page, literally anything is now possible: My layouts can include animations, AJAX integration, user interactions - anything I can do in a web page.

    I's whack. ;)

    This is becoming the most exciting part of the project, and will have tremendous relevance to the parent "Internet Toybox/Stage Ghost" project. Stay tuned for rapid development on this front.

    New Geek Sesh Video!

    If you want to see some this in action along with an old geek explaining it, haltingly, with occasional diversions - then this video is for you.

    Code Dump Pending

    Yes, the code on GITHub is woefully behind. One look at it will tell you it couldn't be responsible for everything in that new diagram.

    I will be releasing the latest (much cleaner) DronesoundTV code soon, but still need to work to make it possible to use without all of the new tentacles....

    Read more »

  • More Details Coming (Glitches?)

    Die, Master Monkey!05/31/2016 at 21:04 0 comments

    FYI adding some details, a few glitches editing articles/images/links. Weird. Trying another browser, hope to have more materials for this project in place shortly.

View all 7 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates