Gestural Interfaces

This project examines the possibilities of gestural controllers within the real time laptop free-improvisation. I used a Nintendo Wiiremote to control a sound synthesis software developed in SuperCollider.

The instrument implements a granular synthesiser which uses physical sounds (buffers). The physical movement of the WiiMote is converted to OSC data via OSCulator and then routed via localhost to the port of SuperCollider.

The variables are not controlled directly by the performer but they are mediated by random generators and implementarions of Brownian movement operators, enclosed in patterns in SuperCollider. While patterns are running, the step size of the Brownian motion is controlled by the WiiMote. Other random operators embodied in the patterns are controlling the envelope of the grains, and other parameters such as the starting position of the reading of the grain.

Code excerpt from the instrument:

Pbind(\instrument, \grains,
\amp, Prand([(0.6..1.0)], inf) * Pfunc{~amp1},
\pan, Prand([(1..-1)], inf),
\bufnum, ~buffs[6], //6
\rate, Pgbrown(Pfunc{~int1}, Pfunc{~int2}, 2.0, inf) * Pfunc { ~specs[\rate1].map(~rate) },
\startPos, Pwhite(0.1, 1.0, inf) * Pfunc { ~specs[\attackall].map(~attack) }.poll,
\attack, Pbeta(0.01, 0.2, 5, 2 ) * Pfunc { ~specs[\attackall].map(~attack) },
\sustain, max(0.003, Pwhite(0.3, 1.0, inf) * Pfunc { ~specs[\sustainall].map(~sustain) }),
\release, Pgbrown(0.2, 2.0, 0.1) * Pfunc { ~specs [\releaseall].map (~release) },
\dur, Pgbrown (0.01, 0.1, Pfunc {~duration1}, inf )

Using patterns and other random processes the performer has not a direct access to the sonic outcome. The performer then…

becomes a sort of a pilot who directs the whole musical outcome by drawing the coordinates: Formalised Music (Xenakis, 1971).

This performance environment was premiered at “Interactions 2012” in Bangor University, and presented at “Lipam 2012”,  in the University of Leeds (poster).

A paper explaining thoroughly the process and the outcome of this project alongside some background of the gestural controllers is written and awaits to be published.

Sounding examples using this instrument can be found here 

2 thoughts on “Gestural Interfaces

  1. Many thanks for spending some time to talk about this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more about this topic. If at all, while you gain expertise, can you mind updating your website with extra information? It’s very great for me.

    1. Firstly, apologies for not being able to come back to this thread for a while now and thanks for your feedback. I am explaining thoroughly on my PhD thesis about real time manipulation of this concept using patterns for real time improvisation. Here is the link with the thesis

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