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Friday, 18 March 2011

A Wearable Wireless Sensor System


In this digital age, new interfaces for musical expression provide much broader musical possibilities than have ever existed before. There is a constant quest to be in harmony with one’s instrument so that music can flow freely from the imagination and take form effortlessly. This sparks an interest in new ways to interact with instruments, because we may be able to achieve more fluid methods for creating music. There are many new digital musical interfaces, but most are based on traditional musical instruments or are at least designed as a tangible object. This project aims to eliminate the physical “instrument” altogether. The sensor system enables the use of one’s own body as a musical instrument through detection of movement, freeing the artist from traditional requirements of producing live music. The ability to create and manipulate sound through movement provides the potential for immediate intuitive control of musical pieces.

Dance and music are quite obviously intertwined. One seems empty without the other. Dance and music deserve a close relationship, with no strings attached. The goal of this project is to blur the line between the two, and open up an avenue for them to mingle more intimately. Instead of dancing to music, it is now possible to create music by dancing. This project is a tool, an interface between motion and music, a new musical instrument. It is designed to be highly configurable to allow the artist as free a form of expression as possible. It is also designed to be fun and comfortable to use. This is a powerful tool and a fun toy.

High Level Design

This project implements a wireless, wearable sensor array which operates fast enough to generate MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) data in real-time based on the user's motions. Four sensors attached to one's body wirelessly send data to a MIDI host. The system is designed to be flexible, so it can be attached to a personal computer (PC), digital audio workstation (DAW), or stand-alone synthesizer, sampler, etc, and configured at will as an air guitar, input to an algorithmic composition, moshing interpreter, a live soundtrack to your daily life, or any other scheme you can imagine.



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