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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
DIY gestural midi-instrument
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sneakthief



Joined: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 531
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject: DIY gestural midi-instrument Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

After gigging for 15 years, I got tired of having what I'm doing on stage being so opaque - and I needed a better way to actually create and manipulate sounds.

So I decided to create a new instrument to control my synths. It will also be connected to a small laser projector that will project different image fragments on me that correspond to each note - this will help create a visual metaphor similar to when you watch a musician play a traditional instrument, but without retarded and exaggerated pantomime!




Here's what it does:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Frankly, it's freaky as hell to be at this point where I can take the software in any direction... I'm dying to implement an interactive counterpoint that plays a bassline that follows the lead (or vice-versa) - like playing two instruments with one hand!


Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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Sneak-Thief - raw electrofunk
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bubzy



Joined: Oct 27, 2010
Posts: 559
Location: United Kingdom
Audio files: 63

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Shocked
awesome

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JAMESveeder



Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 34
Location: tucson

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This, sir, is outstanding!

Lovin' the creativity and the usability!
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isak



Joined: Dec 13, 2009
Posts: 730
Location: Israel
Audio files: 18

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very cool.
Great job!

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sneakthief



Joined: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 531
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So here's a first test of my visuals setup.

I whipped up something quick in Java using Processing.org. A pico-laser projector is mounted a couple of feet in front of me.

This first set of image fragments is subtle... still experimenting with images and learning how to play this crazy instrument:


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transponderfish



Joined: Feb 09, 2012
Posts: 16
Location: 3rd from the sun

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Indeed a great piece of work, very inspiring!

Please give us some details: What kind of interface are you using here (I mean the little black box with the LCD-display)?

I am especially interested in the kind of contacts inside the glove, the kind of playing you do with thumb and two touch-areas per finger is a wonderful idea, I definitely would like to try building something like it myself.

I did a Processing programme myself using a Joypad for generating MIDI-notes a while ago, which worked nicely, and as Joypads are so dirt-cheap, I think I could easily adapt it to do the thumb/finger trick, but thinking about how I could build switches/contacts into a glove leaves lots of questions concerning the mechanical work.

A few photos and some info on this part would be highly appreciated Very Happy
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sneakthief



Joined: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 531
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey Transponderfish, everything is in the youtube video description:

------------------------------------------------------------------
Hardware:
- PIC18f4620
- 8 switches using "conductive silk"
- 2 "shift switches" for turning on sensor output (eg. flex sensor triggering midi, as demonstrated with the high notes in this video)
- adxl335 / IDG500 accelerometer/gyro combo
- spectra symbol flex sensor resistor

Software:
- MIDIbox (ucapps.de)
- heavily modified "AC Sensorizer" code
http://www.midibox.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=acsensorizer_04

Audio:
- Nord Micromodular
- MB-808 (TR-808 clone)

The melodic scale is set to Dorian (Root=D).

------------------------------------------------------------------


Which photos do you want me to post?

I'll post the code to for anyone who wants it.

The glove has 19 wires between it and the MIDIbox controller:

x,y,z
pitch,roll
flex sensor
10 buttons
+5v
ground
led out

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sneakthief



Joined: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 531
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Testing switchable note "spreads", accelerometer-controlled filters and gestures which "throw" octaves up and down:



I'm going to debut this whole setup in Berlin this Saturday (15.12.2012 - http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?429594 ) and will be touring in these cities starting in December...

15.12 berlin
19.12 ljubljana
22.12 belgrade
28.12 niš
29.12 sarajevo
4.1 zagreb
8.2 moscow

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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sneakthief



Joined: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 531
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK, finally got to test this out for real.



I was way outside of my comfort zone and completely overwhelmed by all the new things I had to keep track of and the musical decisions I needed to make.

As such, I need to concentrate more on MEANINGFUL melodic improvisation as well as proper musical passages that I can easily recall... you know, like a traditional instrument Wink

Technically everything went OK. Looking forward to implementing my body-tracking system so the images stay on me as I move and I'll be able to loosen up more.

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