PID 2008

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Physical Interaction Design For Music

CCRMA / RP Summer Workshop 2007
September 3 - 14

Instructors: Michael Gurevich, Carr Wilkerson
Teaching Assistant: Bruno Ruviaro


This course was originated in 1996 to offer a hands-on approach to interaction design for musical applications. It was originally helmed by Max Mathews and Bill Verplank, and early on was jointly taught over teleconference with instructors at San Jose State and Princeton. In 2002, CCRMA began offering a intensive two-week workshop version of this course during the summer.

This workshop integrates programming, electronics, interaction design, audio, and interactive music. Focus will be on hands-on applications using sensors and microprocessors in conjunction with real-time DSP to make music. Specific technologies will include C programming for Atmel AVR microcontrollers, PD and/or Max/MSP for music synthesis, and sensors including force-sensitive resistors, bend sensors, accelerometers, IR range finders, etc. Participants will design and build working prototypes using a kit that can be taken home at the end of the workshop. Further issues to be explored will include modes and mappings in computer music, exercises in invention, and applications of sensors and electronics to real-time music. The course will be augmented by a survey of existing controllers and pieces of interactive music.

COURSE SCHEDULE (will change as needed)

We will meet from 9am-5:30pm daily, with a break for lunch from 12-1:30.

Week 1
Date Morning (9am-12noon) Afternoon (1:30pm-5:30pm)
9/3 Monday Introductions, course overview, Introduction to Electronics, Microcontroller Architecture AVR Programming, PID2007 Lab 1
9/4 Tuesday Lab 1 & PID2007 HW 1 Review, Guest Lecture by Bill Verplank on Interaction Design PID2007 Intro to Pd, PID2007 Lab 2
9/5 Wednesday Lab 2 & PID2007 HW 2 Review, Sensors, OSC & Communication in Pd PID2007 Lab 3
9/6 Thursday PID2007 HW 3 Review, Survey of Physical Interfaces for Music, More Sensors Continue Lab 3
9/7 Friday Lab 3 Review, Filters, Project Ideas (PID2007 HW 4) PID2007 Lab 4

Week 2
Date Morning (9am-12noon) Afternoon (1:30pm-5:30pm)
9/10 Monday Project Concept Update Work on Projects
9/11 Tuesday Work on Projects, MIDI Work on Projects, Capacitive Sensing
9/12 Wednesday Work on Projects Work on Projects
9/13 Thursday Topics on Demand Work on Projects
9/14 Friday Work on Projects Project Presentations


One of the goals of this workshop is to help you get hands-on experience building a musical physical interaction project of your choosing. You are encouraged to work with other workshop participants on the project, particularly those who might have skills that complement your own. Since the workshop is short, it is a good idea to start thinking of ideas during the first week's lectures and labs; during the second half of the workshop, you will primarily be working on getting a "demo-able" prototype ready for the project presentations on Friday afternoon.






Project questions

  • Can I do ____ for my project?

You can do whatever you would like for your project. Keep in mind that you really only have a week to work on it, so you might want to focus on one crucial aspect of a larger project that you'd like to have working.

  • Can I incorporate my own hardware and software into my project?

Yes, you can, although we have limited time and ability to support hardware and software other than what is introduced in the labs. Ideally, your hardware and/or software can send OSC messages to interface with the tools we provide.

  • Can I keep the tools we use during the workshop?

The software we're using is open-source, and can be downloaded and set up on your own Linux, Windows or Mac OS X computer. The cost of the development kit (including the prototyping board, some sensors and accessories) is included in the workshop fee, so it is yours to keep. Some of the sensors, tools and equipment you will use belong to CCRMA and/or RP, so please ask before taking anything that is not in your lab kit. We will try to point you to sources where you can buy similar parts.