Monday, 16 August 2010

New Project - Virtual Instrument With Guitar Control

Hi there, I thought it was about time to make my first official post on my blog and outline my plans for a new project! Here goes:
Some hardware I'll be using in my new project!

For the final year of my degree beginning this Autumn, I've once again chosen a module that focuses on creating and utilising alternative and interesting forms of interactive music performance (or composition, art installations etc.). Following the success of my 'iTouch Synth' (Mac application available here!) I have again decided to design and create a virtual instrument, with an alternative method of control.
iTouch Synth'
 In the accompanying documentation for 'iTouch Synth', I stated that the limitations encountered in my previous computer music projects - the projects I have created in MaxMSP - had arisen due to a necessity to map my own creations to another person's i.e. my software patch to a their hardware controller. With this in mind, I found using the customisable environment of the iPod application TouchOSC liberating, given that I could custom fit my own controls to software patch.
I love my MIDI controller, but it has its limitations.
 As much as I enjoyed and was pleased using this customisable touch-screen control - which I will continue to use in the future - I couldn't help but long for the feeling of tactile controls! It was this longing and a hypothetical idea for expanding the capability of existing instruments that brought me to my latest project idea.
iPod Touch - too flat!
 At this stage, my basic plan is to have a virtual instrument - a synth or sampler, possibly a hybrid - that is played using my electric guitar - with frequency and amplitude tracking etc. Alongside this I plan to employ hardware controls for adjustment of software parameters. Rather than using my current MIDI controllers, iTouch or investing in a floor-controller, I've instead decided to have integrated controls on and within my electric guitar, using the open-source hardware Arduino.

My Arduino Duemilanove and breadbord.
So far my experiments have covered FFT frequency tracking and re-synthesis as well as endless breadbord prototyping of the hardware but the project is developing quickly! Stay posted here in coming weeks for information on this developing project!
Some of the components to be added to my guitar.

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