Gestural Graphic Interface

Computational Media, Physical Computing

Partnering with two other people, my final project for ICM and PComp is the same: A graphic and musical interface that uses gloves  to enable inexperienced people to create, enhance and play music. After brainstorming for about a week and letting our simple ideas multiply and evolve into something that stays faithful to our project goals, and researching the scope and methods of other similar projects, we decided to take on a multi-faceted, holistic music creating interface that lets the user draw basic music notes in the form of doodles on a screen, and enhance it with the glove. The program will take inputs from the coordinates of the drawings to play and loop it, and from the sensors in the glove to add drastic effects, both musical and visual, to show the fun and the power in the art form itself.

Our inspiration through this research has been the Mi.Mu glove made by Imogen Heap, a glove that records, loops, plays and adds effects to sounds and music, while the user performs.


Hand gestures — to make the music making process as intuitive as possible

To make this glove possible, we plan to build one using flex sensors, accelerometers, and probably even some tactile sensors, however that will greatly rely on the degrees of control we need.

Circuit diagram of one of the simplest glove designs

Our aim with the glove involves giving super powers to user when it comes to affecting change to the music. the first iteration might look similar to this one.

For the interface on the screen, our designs are still coming together, but the current target is around halfway between a traditional step sequencer and Kandinsky from the Chrome Music Lab Experiments. We researched a new library of functions for our project, Tone.js, and learned about its abilities and pitfalls.

Check it out:

The Progress:

We are currently researching the timeline, looping and how we are add and delete new user-added sounds to an existing loop. It is challenging but our progress is motivational.

Using Tone.js, we have so far created a sketch that uses this library to play beats at different frequencies and note lengths, and a sketch that creates markers to let the user draw, and maps sounds to each coordinate (and adds it to an array).

[Please refresh in case the sketches below do not work]

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We are still understanding the workings of Tone.js and the next step is to serially communicate with the glove and add more changeable parameters to our sounds in code. We’re still in the process of acquiring materials for construction of the glove. This project has turned into an enormous undertaking, but it’s moving steadily forward, and I can’t wait to see how it develops.


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