Making music with tech stolen from Predator

This is a second generation Manta, a touch-based controller with visual feedback made to use with Max/MSP. The hexagonal size and the patterns seen in the video after the break remind us of the arm-based computers the Predators sport in the movies. Like the previous generation, this controller can tell not only which of the 48 sensor you’re touching, but how much of your finger is touching it. The sky is the limit on extensibility with this type of data, but for now you can just try out the pre-built plugin and see how it goes. New with this rendition of the Manta is the use bi-color LEDs which adds another lay of interaction with the PC to which this is tethered.

If you don’t mind giving up the touch controllers for good old push buttons perhaps this Harmonic Keyboard is right up your alley. [Read more...]

Electronic wind chime

The Winduino II uses fins to pick up the movement of the wind and translate it into music. Each fin is attached to the main body using a piezo vibration sensor. The signals are processed by an Arduino housed inside and the resulting data makes its way to a computer via a Bluetooth connection to facilitate the use of Max/MSP for the audio processing. Included in the design is an array of solar panels used to keep the battery for the device charged up. Hear and see this creative piece after the break.

[Read more...]

Guitar Hero as an instrument or midi controller

[Robert] wrote a program using Max/MSP that lets him make music with his guitar hero controller. There’s another video after the break where he walks through the various features but here’s the gist of it. This works on Mac and Windows and allows a sort of ‘live play’ or midi mapping mode. In the midi mode each key can be configured to do your bidding. His example uses the pick bar to scroll through different samples and the green button the play them or the red button to stop.

The live mode us much more involved. In the software you choose the type of scale and the key you’d like to play in. This makes up for the controller’s lack of enough frets to make it a chromatic instrument and these settings can be adjust from the controller. There is an up-pick offset that makes the upward movement of the pick bar a different note than the downward movement. The motion control can also be used as an input. He demonstrates pitch bending and cutoff using that method.

This looks like a lot of fun. He needs to team up with [Joran] to add drums to the mix, forming a much more creative rock band than you can buy in the store.

[Read more...]

Max/MSP accelerometer beat control

[Ryan] let us know about his Max/MSP Controller. Inside the device is an ADXL 335 accelerometer and 6 push buttons wired to an Arduino. The input data is sent to Max MSP, a sequencer controlling 5 audio tracks, correlating to 5 of the buttons. The 6th button controls delay. What we really liked was how the accelerometer modified the speed of the beat in the X-axis, and the delay intensity with the Y-axis. Whats next? We think gesture recognition might be something fun to try, but [Ryan] is unsure. We’ll keep you up to date.

Automatic pneumatic drum kit

Move over Steve and PEART… there’s yet another robotic drummer in town. [Fauzii] tipped us off to his own MIDI-controlled creation – WizardFingers. According to him, WizardFingers is already capable of 64th note rolls at over 250 beats per minute. That’s on every drum simultaneously. Each drum is hit with a lever attached to a linear pneumatic actuator. A laptop running MAX/MSP generates MIDI sequences, which are sent to Doepfer MTC64 board. All of these actuators are hooked up to the board, which sets them off in sequence.

[Fauzii] ultimately hopes to develop AI software that will allow WizardFingers to compose its own tunes on not only a drum kit, but bar chimes and an organ as well. His site documents the whole concept quite well (just watch out for wild cats).

Maker Faire 2008: Stribe music controller


We saw a lot of interesting gear at Maker Faire last weekend and thought we’d highlight some of those projects this week. [Josh Boughey]‘s Stribe was originally inspired by the monome 40h. It features of 16 columns of 64 LEDs for a total of 1024 individually addressable lights. Even with all those LEDs, PWM control means it can run off of USB power. 8 spectrasymbol softpots are used between the columns for user input. It’s really quite an amazing feat for being [josh]‘s first board design. All of the circuit designs and firmware are available. Check out Flickr for more photos from this weekend.

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