Posts Tagged ‘music’

Social Instrument v2 (in the making)

// December 27th, 2009 // No Comments » // Physical Computing

Social Instrument v2

I’ve continued on work from the first social instrument I created at the beginning of the semester.  With that one I wanted to make the interaction with the device as simple as possible and let the users focus on the interaction with each other instead.  With this second iteration I wanted to maintain that relationship but at the same time push it a little further.  This version now uses Ableton Live to generate the audio (using MIDI).  The users now have some additional controls.  Each have different controls available to them with the exception of a button to trigger notes being the common element between the two interfaces.  On one side there are controls for: note, tempo, reverb and playback.  On the other side there are controls for: instrument, volume, distortion and recording.  Also new in this version is a shared space.  It acts as both a form of feedback as well as introducing a new social interaction.  In addition to lights that indicate recording status and tempo, there will be a proximity sensor that controls pitch bend.  Seeing as this will be located in the middle, it becomes a different social interaction as it is the only control that the two users have to share.

With the addition of these added controls, the two users have to work harder and place an added focus on the way they communicate in order to create interesting melodies.  I have been prototyping what I have so far and am now moving on to building a more permanent structure for the instrument.  In doing so I am designing the interface in a flexible way so that I can easily make changes as I learn more from further user testing.  I now have the laser cutting done and all of the wood cut.  At this point I have a bit more sanding to do and a clear coat to apply to the enclosure.  After that I just need to assemble everything and reconnect all of the wiring.  Once the rest of the fabrication is done I’ll post some more documentation of the final result.  In the meantime, you can see some more photos and a video that demos it’s functionality here.

A social instrument (v1)

// October 6th, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Physical Computing

This is my first project for physical computing. I call it a social instrument. Reason being is that it requires two people to play the instrument. The interface is very simple. There are two buttons, one for each person. The simplicity of the interface shifts the interest from the interaction with the device, to the interaction with the other person. It is this social interaction that drove my interest in developing the project.

social instrument v1

I am hoping to develop the project further. One of the ideas I have is to add a sensor in the middle of the device. This would add a new social interaction of interest as the two users would have to fight over the use of the new control. I am also planning on redesigning the interface slightly to add further clarity that device is meant for two people. As well I am also planning on experimenting further with the possible melodies that can be played. I will leave to guess what song the instrument is playing now. I will give you a clue though. I chose a song that has a very easy rhythm to play. You can watch the video here to hear it in action and see if you can figure out what it is …

more photos on my flickr page.