New Music Controllers

Workshop Date: 
Mon, 08/25/2014 - Fri, 08/29/2014

Sasha LeitmanMichael Gurevich                           
                                                                                                                     CCRMA Summer Workshop Main Page

 In this workshop, you will learn how to construct novel musical controllers and sound art objects. Alongside physical interaction design, the workshop integrates programming, electronics, audio, and interactive music. Participants will learn how to use some of the basic tools of Maker community, including the Arduino platform, sensor technologies, communication with MIDI and Open Sound Control (OSC), and physical interface design. 


The workshop will cover industry-standard resistive, force-sensitive, capacitative, optical, ultrasound, magnetic, and acceleration sensors. We will also teach participants how to make their own sensors with custom geometries constructed out of materials such as conductive fabric, copper tape, piezoelectrics and everyday objects. 


Participants will design and build working prototypes with the aim of developing these for performance and exhibits. 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 workshop will be augmented by a survey of existing controllers and pieces of interactive music.   


This workshop is intended forMusicians or composers interested in exploring new possibilities in interactive music in a hands on and technical way; Anyone looking to gain valuable skills in basic analog and digital electronics, with a focus on invention; OR Makers, engineers, computer scientists, or product designers interested in exploring artistic outlets for their talents and collaborating with performers and composers.  


Workshop structure: The workshop is an accelerated variant of the Music 250A course. The workshop will consist of half-day supervised lab sessions, and half-day lectures, classroom exercises and discussions. Classroom sessions will feature live demos and/or concerts of interactive music and instruments. Participants are encouraged (but by no means required) to bring their own laptop computers and music software for creating their projects. However, each participant should bring a pair of headphones with 1/8" (3.5 mm) audio connector.


NOTE: There is a $20 lab fee included in the cost of this workshop. Participants have the option of purchasing a $80 lab kit at the end of the workshop. The kit contains an Arduino, a prototyping board,  retractable USB cable, and a variety of sensors.