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Revision as of 19:52, 23 February 2007 by Gurevich (Talk | contribs) (Myrtle)

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The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) is an interdisciplinary center at Stanford University dedicated to artistic and technical innovation at the intersection of music and technology. We are a place where musicians, engineers, computer scientists, designers, and researchers in HCI and psychology get together to develop technologies and make art. In recent years, the question of how we interact physically with electronic music technologies has fostered a growing new area of research that we call Physical Interaction Design for Music. We emphasize practice-based research, using DIY physical prototying with low-cost and open source tools to develop new ways of making and interacting with sound. At the Maker Faire, we will demonstrate the low-cost hardware prototyping kits and our customized open source Linux software distribution, that we use to develop new sonic interactions, as well as some exciting projects that have been developed using these tools.

Software Tools

PlanetCCRMA Blurb and pics here

Hardware Tools

Description and photos of the AVR board and sensors we use. Talk about setting up a simple demo (like a distance-sensor theremin?).




Myrtle is a music controller that communicates with a computer via OSC (Open Sound Control, an open-ended machine communication protocol) and MIDI simultaneously. The interface is primarily designed for controlling the pitch, amplitude envelope, and rhythm of three sound sources in real-time. Designed in conjunction with the Pd environment, Myrtle currently controls a bank of FM synthesizers via OSC, and can transmit 12 different user selectable MIDI notes via a standard MIDI out port. These notes are triggered real-time using a fader. Myrtle was designed to be used in a live-performance environment, played solo or as part of an ensemble. Instead of an "all-in-one" design, the functions of Myrtle are fairly specific, giving it a unique sound and feel. However, since it is only a controller and not a stand-alone instrument, it can be mapped to any number of different sounds or devices, limited only by the numerical data it puts out. The typical usage of the controller is with the left hand controlling pitch via the foam strips (see below), and the right hand manipulating the various controls on the right side.. There are many ways to use the controller differently than this, however. The goal was to create a new and unique tool for musical expression, and integrated into that goal was the idea that Myrtle would have the ability to control audio synthesis in complicated ways, using an intuitive and easy-to-use design. The combination of 3 different controls - a fader, optical sensors, and a series of buttons, used in conjunction with one another , were all integral in achieving this goal.

Please see the detailed Myrtle project page here:

Justin Yang's Thingie