- Control parameters & mapping
- Modes: Continuous and MIDI
- Cool effects
- Future development
- Tools / Peripherals
I started with the goal of trying to make a scalable, continuous, play-anywhere keyboard. I built an interface in which the user activates lights, which in turn are mapped to sound.
The user wears a glove fitted with LEDs at the fingertips, which turn on when the user presses each finger onto the playing surface, within view of the camera. A Max/Jitter patch reads the incoming video stream, and outputs a note corresponding to the position and brightness of the lit LED.
Since I wanted my instrument to be "play-anywhere", I tried to keep the equipment necessary to a minimum. The connection between the controller and the computer is wireless (it's a camera!), and the surface is whatever is convenient.
- Video camera
- Volume and frequency control box (optional)
Control parameters & mapping
I intentionally kept the instrument mapping simple, so that the instrument is intuitive and accessible. Position (x-axis) maps to pitch; brightness maps to amplitude.
The volume/frequency control knobs allow the user to change those same parameters independently of finger movement, if desired.
Modes: Continuous and MIDI
Usually I play this instrument in "continuous mode", which means that I allow the user to play any frequency within the defined pitch range. However, I did also create a "MIDI mode" that maps the continuous pitches to MIDI notes, that are output to the FM7.
One of the most interesting effects of the project design is how the attack of each tone is dependent on the surface being played. On a harder surface (like a table), the LED turns on much faster, and the sound is suddenly loud. On a softer surface (like a pillow), the LED turns on much more gradually, and doesn't get as bright, which results in a softer attack and lower final amplitude.
- Stretching of playing area
- "Zooming": movement towards the camera
- Add a visual guide to outline the playing area
- Update tracking to find multiple LEDs of the same color, so that less setup calibration is necessary and to make the system easier to scale to more fingers
- MIDI mode enhancement
- Make gloves of different sizes (mine cut off circulation in the fingers of some of the testers)
- Steve noodling
- Tracking as seen from the patch
- Two tones
- Three tones and glissando
- Amplitude change with LED brightness
- Volume knob control
- Frequency knob control
- Attack changes as a result of surface
- MIDI mode
- Two tone "zooming"
- More two tone "zooming"
- Presentation to class (December 11, 2006)