Watch a Haken Continuum Rival String Instruments for Expression

Enough of cheesy MIDI keyboards faking instruments. Yes, it looks embarrassing. Here’s something entirely different. On the subject of the Haken Continuum, a single, touch-sensitive, continuous-pitch instrumental controller, we can see in a video just how expressive it can be. The Continuum Fingerboard consists of a large, soft playing surface. Press in with your fingers, and three-dimensional sensing responds in pitch and timbre. The range is even greater than an 88-key keyboard in the full-sized model; an optional stand holds it steady (and would look at home on the deck of a Klingon warbird). The instrument, full of carefully-crafted custom …

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New Instruments with Electricity: Kalimba + Ring Mod, Continuum + Kyma [Videos]

Combining even a couple of pieces of equipment can yield a kind of new, hybrid instrument. Our friend Chris Stack shares the latest in his fantastic ExperimentalSynth.com series, that haven for exploring strange, new sounds, seeking out new life and new electronic civilizations. Above: “Kevin Spears explores new soundscapes playing his kalimba through a Moog MF-102 Ring Modulator.” Below, featuring Sally Sparks: “A quick look at the Haken Continuum and Kyma sound engine.” Enjoy, and have a great weekend, y’all.

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Open Source Multitouch Continuum-Style Controller, in Action

Cyril Stoller shares this project, for a variety of multitouch devices (Mac / Windows / Linux / Android, screens and projection) through the also-free-and-open-source Kivy framework. It’s inspired by the brilliant Haken Continuum fingerboard, but whereas that more tactile controller is hard to get, this runs cheaply all over the place. (It could also be a way to practice and save up for a Haken, it occurs to me.) Thanks to Graham Comerford for the tip. I wonder what other ideas might apply to playing multitouch as an instrument. More discussion on the excellent NUI forum – a great spot …

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New Instruments That Matter: Four Examples, Live in SF, Really Do Move Music Forward

Richard Lainhart mans the Haken Continuum at an early installment of our Handmade Music series, back in 2007. Meanwhile, in 2011: among many options, four digital instruments challenge you to practice – really – with expressions that are deep and satisfying. Is there anything genuinely new in digital instruments? Isn’t it just a load of repeated novelty, without the ability to actually make useful musical noises? Hasn’t the technology just gotten in the way of the music? Isn’t … (sigh) .. all you see … all you get … (repeat ad infinitum) Even among technologist futurists, skepticism about the iterative …

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The Joy of Modular: Exploring the Buchla 200e at BuchlaWorks Site

For many, the notion of producing sound by patching spaghetti-like nests of cords in hardware is a historical curiosity. Even among those who appreciate this hardware for what it is, conventional wisdom says such instruments aren’t really modern. (Don’t even ask the various universities who gave up on using and maintaining the gear entirely, relegating them to dusty closets — or much worse.) Modular synths are under pressure in 2007 to compete with lots of new technologies. Is it worth making music with them? Composer/musician Richard Lainhart has taken up what is perhaps the most modern of modular analog synths …

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Haken Continuum Fingerboard, Alternative Music Controller, in Action

The Continuum provides subtle, continuous control of software instruments. And now it has a stand that looks like it was lifted from the set of Deep Space Nine. Alternative controllers come and go, but some designers lavish attention and craft on their controllers. The Haken Continuum is one we’re likely to revisit over time, because it’s an expressive instrument with continuous control that, for a small but dedicated audience, has proved its musicality. We saw a snapshot of the Continuum alongside the Buchla 200e, courtesy Richard Lainhart’s studio, and some of you were interested. After the jump, check out the …

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