Over the years, we’ve seen all kinds of far-out interfaces for music. But where do you begin if you want to just get started?

Interfacing a simple sensor with your music software is a decent place to begin. Nick Latocha, aka myredhotcar, uses Max/MSP to connect Ableton to the output of a photodetector (a resistive sensor that is sensitive to changes in light). Yes, in this example, the result isn’t so different from turning a knob, but that’s the point: starting with something basic like this is the best way to learn.

The result: move your hand around, and change the modulation on a wobble bass.

Max/MSP and Ableton Live are the ingredients in the example, but you could easily substitute other software for reading the sensor (Processing has a number of similar examples, for instance), and you could output communication to any music tool.

But if you’re curious about going beyond knobs and faders, this can be a fun way to get rolling.

And the next time a music artist accuses you of “pressing play” in your festival gigs, you can one-up them by not touching … anything.

Light-Controlled Dubstep Wobble Bass

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001138444109 Mutis Mayfield

    I made something similar with DBeam at my SP555 (and voice transformer) with cero coding. Not so versatile but ready to loop capture!
    ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541269477 Marc Resibois

    Actually if he’s mapping the full 1024 values of AnalogRead() it is going to be a LOT better than a midi controller ^_^. 
    Awesome place to start so I won’t have to do too much to tranform my legoduino in an Ableton controller.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=561327964 Chase Dobson

    This would have been so much better had it been anything but Wobble bass.   :P