Apple Watch a Likely Target for Music Making Applications – Experimental and Otherwise

Apple Watch could be the first in a new wave of wearable technology for musicians. The idea isn’t new. We’ve seen various notions involving wearing extra controls for music. In fact, the whole category of alternative interfaces is deeply indebted to Michael Waisvisz, who helmed STEIM for many years and whose interface The Hands inspired generations of musical gloves and gestural interfaces. Guitarists have had various rings to wear; IK Multimedia is currently experimenting with rings that aid in gestural control of iOS. Apple Watch may not become the accessory the iPad and iPhone have for music, but – partly …

READ MORE →

Me the Machine: Imogen Heap Navigates Music, Music Video with Her Gloves

Watching Imogen Heap dance her way through cyber visuals and glowing-LED percussion, it’s easy to forget that you’re not watching a special effect. What was once a hypothetical, speculative scenario in sci-fi is now just what Imogen is doing with gloves and sensors. At the same time, the lineage to artists like Pamela Z or Laurie Anderson is clear, too. Now the question is, what’s next? “Me the Machine” debuted in a performance on her gloves. The music really is one that she can play with wearable tech. The music video just adds visualization to that performance – and, in …

READ MORE →

How Gloves and Wearable Tech Could Change Music Performance: In Depth with Imogen Heap and Team

In fits and starts, musical interface inventors have tried for decades to make manipulating digital music more expressive. But that persistence comes out of a clear goal post. They want the machine’s seemingly-endlessly possibilities to fit the human like a glove. Imogen Heap is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of electronic musical performance, always making it seem as effortless as her songwriting and stage presence. For the Gloves Project, she assembled a super-team of wearable experts, interaction designers, and music researchers, several doctorates between them. This who’s-who have finally unveiled a project they’re ready to make public, and the …

READ MORE →

Grabbing Invisible Sounds with Magical Gloves: Open Gestures, But with Sound and Feel Feedback

You might imagine sound in space, or dream up gestures that traverse unexplored sonic territory. But actually building it is another matter. Kinect – following a long line of computer vision applications and spatial sensors – lets movement and gestures produce sound. The challenge of such instruments has long been that learning to play them is tough without tactile feedback. Thereminists learn their instrument through a the extremely-precise sensing of their instrument and sonic feedback. In AHNE (Audio-Haptic Navigation Environment), sonic feedback is essential, but so, too, is feel. Haptic vibration lets you know as you approach sounds — essential, …

READ MORE →

Maker-Faire Music: VAMP and Glove-Controlled Vocals

Elly Jessop and VAMP at the Maker Faire from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo. Yann Seznec aka The Amazing Rolo brings CDM his coverage of music tech at the Maker Faire in three episodes today. Continuing the tradition of computer-augmented vocal performance and interactive gloves, Elena “Elly” Jessop shows off her VAMP system at Maker Faire. Elly is a Masters student at the MIT Media Lab’s Opera of the Future research group, headed by Todd Machover. Interestingly, Elly’s background is in conventional theater, including stage and costume design and choreography. http://web.media.mit.edu/~ejessop/ VAMP stands for “Vocal Augmentation and Manipulation Prosthesis.” What’s …

READ MORE →

Gustavo Bravetti, Driving Crowds Wild with a Wave of His Wii-Enabled Hands

Gustavo Bravetti – Alternative Controllers @ Tribaltech 2009 (SC edition) from Gustavo Bravetti on Vimeo. Friend of the Site Gustavo Bravetti is back, getting the young Brazilian boys and girls on their feet with his virtual reality glove and Wiimotes and gesturally-controlled electronica. Gustavo sends us this video from the 2009 Tribaltech SC Edition in Campinas. Having seen a lot of DJs take the easy way out at festivals in front of throngs of people, it’s great to see someone really play his laptop – and while some of us, ahem, look goofy waving Wiimotes around, Gustavo makes it look …

READ MORE →

Thimbletron: TradeMark’s MIDI Thimbles Make Illegal Music

Cassette-tape DJ battles are just one of TradeMark G.’s retro, regressive, subversive musical creations. He also likes to put on glasses, a white lab coat, and interactive sewing thimble gloves, in order to produce illegal, copyright-crushing musical performances. Many of the techno-gimmicks seen here on CDM are one-offs and prototypes. The Evolution Control Committee, by contrast, has been producing “illegal art”, often with the aid of technology, for some 20 years. They’ve been “culture jamming”, dropping Napster bombs (remember Napster?), infamously attracting the ire of CBS, and dressing up as giant pairs of trousers and cans of Parmesan cheese ever …

READ MORE →

Controlling Music with DIY Interactive Gloves

Interactive artists and musicians have long experimented with sensor-packed gloves for controlling music, sound, and video. There’s Laetitia Sonami, who controls Max/MSP with her Lady’s Glove, and many other projects like the Hypersense Complex flex sensor glove-cum-gestural software as seen here this summer. Laetitia’s glove is elegantly sculptural, as seen below, and with years of practice performing with it, she’s built a whole performance practice around the glove as an instrument. Eric Singer deserves special credit in this category. (See link for projects and videos.) In the early 90s, he hacked the Mattel PowerGlove, a controller for the Nintendo NES, …

READ MORE →

Hypersense Complex: Gestural Gloves for Music

Flex sensors are fab: these cheap strips send varying voltages when you bend them, seen in use in projects like Eric Singer’s sonic banana (basically, a bendable tube for triggering sounds). The trick is turning that flex data into something useful. Hypersense Complex is a three-person collaborative working on new musical interfaces, and they’ve been nice enough to post details of the hardware and software they’re using. Hardware — all cheap, off-the-shelf stuff you can play with, too. Software — they’re doing fancy Python script interpretation to turn gestures into music in the free sound app SuperCollider. Check out details, …

READ MORE →

P5 Data Glove and Music

Friday we looked at a big roundup of game controllers for music, courtesy Chris O'Shea. Ready to look like a cyborg when making music? Want to keep your entire budget under US$20? Here's where to get started (thanks to atariboy for some link pointers here): Get the hardware: Pick up a P5 virtual reality gaming glove. (Check Froogle and the like; they're easy to find. I just picked one up for US$15.) Get something to make music with: Get something to control, like plasq's free/donationware sampler instrument Musolomo. Watch a video demo: Don't believe it will work? Take a pause …

READ MORE →