Sunday Software Sound Hacks


[Ico Doornekamp] sent us his ultrasonic-entirely code based-thermin project in response to yesterdays Virtual theremin. By using the programming environment Pure Data, he is able to transform his laptop into a dual input device (while only using a single microphone) without modification. By being so open-ended theoretically anyone can have a theremin within a few moments of downloading, but he does mention it might not work on all hardware.

Also in relation to yesterday’s use of a Wii remote [blobKat] let us know about his thesis project, performance based music making. After studying the connection between musicians and their use of laptops decided that they would want more interaction and movement in their music creation. He combined gesture recognition and synth based movement with Wii remotes to achieve his ends. The video above is an explanation and example of his efforts.

17 thoughts on “Sunday Software Sound Hacks

  1. I’m near speechless… I’ve wanted something like this since I was a kid. Quite a novel control interface for music. I can just picture cuing some Bach and playing conductor for a day.

  2. It’s a great hack, but I seriously doubt how many artists would prefer the wiimote method to express themselfs, since the original issue was “not look so limited and stupid behind your laptop” is it going to look any better with jacking off your wiimote? :D

  3. i’ve had an idea brewing about performance based music production, but i’m not too mechanically enclined nor very program-language savvy. either way, it’d be a freakin’ sweet idea to put into action. i see how you guys like to hack random video-game controllers and other button-oriented things and i thought, hey, why not develop some way of turning ANY video-game controller, external numeric keypad, keyboard,etc into a MIDI device. can you imagine the applications for musical performance especially with this new age of musicians. anybody got any feedback? maybe there’s already something similar and i just haven’t found it yet.

  4. @AJ: there are a few tools that allow exactly what you describe.
    to name a few:
    -MJOY turns standard joysticks and gamepads into MIDI controllers. pretty straightforward.
    -MiJoy ($$, VSTi only) does the same thing but has a few more options
    -GlovePIE: total madness. accepts anything as an input device including Wiimotes, can control MIDI and OSC (besides emulating any other input device) and can be fully scripted.

  5. @Glen: I recorded that video with Photo Booth on mac, which mirrors everything. I didn’t notice it until I uploaded it to vimeo :) stupid!

    @Jeff: the AI comes from the WiiGee java wiimote gesturing library… it uses hidden markov models. Much credit to the WiiGee guys, without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do this.

  6. AJ What you want is a CV to MIDI interface. Old synths (pre midi) used to use voltage levels to fire off keys on a slave keyboard. You can find models of these that may be a little pricey but they let you vary the voltage input levels, which would be useful to you ie output of said walgreen’s videogame device into CV that converts to MIDI. There are also a number of MIDI controlled power outlets for the randomization of devices or lights as it was made for. My MIDI days are a bit past at this point, but I am slowly rebuilding my arsenal of relatively sweet machines. Sorry if you already knew about this stuff, not sure about your level of savvy, just trying to help spark ya know :)

    I’m with ya though on the mix of circuit bending and the power of MIDI. I am really thankful that the developers were smart enough to leave open parameter slots and gave it to the world free :)
    DMX has always seemed like its roided-out, asshole older brother lmao.
    If ya really want these things though holler back and I’ll see what I can dig up yo.

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