“I had an ergonomic problem and I paired it with a motivation,” Westerman said of the early inspiration. “I’d always felt that playing the piano was so much more graceful and expressive than using a computer keyboard, and I thought how great it would be if I pulled some of that expression from the piano to the computer experience.” Wayne Westerman is that engineer from Apple who used his piano as a reference in developing the multi-touch interface.

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the prestigious IRCAM, a Music & Technology institution in Paris. If you’ve unfamiliar with IRCAM it’s worth doing a little digging, they’re the place where Max was first created, a music/sound programming environment that’s become the standard in visual programming environments for realtime sound installations and too many music projects to name. I spoke about creating new instruments, the challenges of creating a Rapid prototyping workshop for instruments and why I chose to make the workshop…Continue Reading “Workshop Talk at IRCAM”

A question that keeps running through my mind is what is the proper context for a Workshop on Creating Musical Instruments with new technology? Most might answer with a music school or university and others might say a place where people study electronics and engineering, but personally, coming from a UX and Interaction Design background equips me with just the right blend of strategizing, making, testing skills to create instruments. That’s exactly why I decided to facilitate my workshop at the Midwest UX in Chicago…Continue Reading “Workshop in Chicago at MWUX”

The basis for any tangible interface that interacts with a computer or electronics is the sensor. Sensors track a change in themselves or the environment and convey this change to the computer in the form of a number. A sensor could track anything from a touch to a stretch or a shake. Using this changing number they output, we can manipulate parameters in a computer. In the case of a musical instrument this could mean the volume, pitch or any number of characteristics that can…Continue Reading “Sensors for Gestural Musical Interfaces”

To streamline the Sonic Interactions workshops we’ve created an open source audio toolkit which we’re calling the Sonic Interactions Kit (SIK). It was important  to create an accessible open source audio kit for the workshops. Hardware SIK consists of the following hardware components: Raspberry Pi (https://www.raspberrypi.org) – Linux Microprocessor Lots of Pots expansion board (https://moderndevice.com/product/lots-of-pots-lop-board-for-raspberry-pi/) USB Audio Adapter The Pi comes with sound but only a low quality output, this adapter (https://www.adafruit.com/product/1475) adds higher quality input and output. Software The Raspberry Pi will need to…Continue Reading “Sonic Interactions Kit”