iPhone wielding guitar adds tip of your finger or tip the instrument control

[Rob Morris] has been hard at working improving his guitar augmentation techniques. Here he’s demonstrating the use of an iPhone to control the effects while he plays. This builds on the work he shared a few years ago where he strapped a Wii remote to the body of his ax.

Just like the Wii remote, the iPhone includes an accelerometer. As you would expect the best parts of the older hack made it into this one, but the inclusion of the touch screen adds a lot more. In the clip after the break he starts by showing off the screen controlling a whammy bar functionality. But we really love the octave offset feature that comes next. This kind of sound manipulation simply can’t be done using a purely physical method (like the whammy bar can). But he’s not done yet. The demo finishes with a Theremin feature. You’ll notice he plucks a string but no sound comes out until he starts touching the screen. This turns it into an entirely different type of instrument.

The only info we have about putting this together is the list of packages he’s using:  TouchOSC, Max/Msp, and GuitarRig

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Adding remote touch control to the Kaoss Pad


[Munki] enjoys using his Kaoss Pad MIDI controller to add a new dimension to his music while playing guitar. The only thing that bothers him about the Kaoss Pad interface is that it can be difficult to trigger or alter effects in the middle of a bitchin’ guitar solo. He started looking around to see if there was a way to control the Kaoss Pad wirelessly via a touchscreen and found that with a little tweaking, his iPhone was a perfect candidate for the job.

He grabbed a copy of TouchOSC from the AppStore and configured it to communicate with his computer. After building an interface for his iPhone, he taped it to his guitar and gave it a try. Everything seemed to work pretty well, but he didn’t stop there – he also wanted to control Ableton Live and Max MSP from his iPhone. It took a bit of research and some tinkering with the Live API, but he eventually got everything working together nicely as you can see in the video below.

If you are interested in trying this out yourself, he has several useful links throughout his article, and he has made his TouchOSC/Max MSP patch available for download as well.

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Using TouchOSC with your projects

[Marcus] wrote a guide to using TouchOSC to control your projects. He sent a link to us after reading our feature about using Open Sound Control for Arduino without an Ethernet shield. He’s been using that method for quite some time now, but takes it one step further by using a smartphone as a control device. He designs his own user interface for the iPhone using TouchOSC. This is a package which we’ve seen in other projects but now you can get an idea of how easy it really is.

The project starts by interfacing an Arduino with the device you’d like to control. The circuit above patches into a remote control using a couple of transistors. Now the Arduino can simulate button presses on that remote, sending the signal to turn a light on or off. Next, TouchOSC is used for the smartphone - here it’s an iPhone but the suite works on Android as well. In the video after the break you can watch a quick interface design demo. Buttons are dragged into existence, uploaded to the phone, then configured to control you device over a network. A Processing sketch listens for OSC commands and then sends instructions to the Arduino via USB.

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iPhone drum machine isn’t synthesized

There was a time when a drummer would grab some sticks and lay out a groove using the items around him as instruments. [Lsa Wilson] would rather not work quite that hard and has chosen to do the same thing by tapping on an iPhone screen. As you can see in the clip after the break, many of the items in the room around him have been fitted with solenoids. Each is connected to an Arduino which is then controlled by Open Sound Control and interfaced with the iPhone via TouchOSC. We love the sounds being created and can’t help being reminded of the Multixylophoniomnibus.