New Music Controllers (NMC)

Workshop Date: 
Mon, 06/28/2010 - Fri, 07/02/2010

New Music Controllers (NMC)
Ed BerdahlWendy Ju 
Guest lectures from Ge WangDan Overholt, and more

Many workshops teach the technical details involved in making music using the Arduino. The PID workshop goes the extra mile by mentoring participants in evaluating and further developing their own ideas with the help of the Verplankian physical interaction design (PID) framework. Participants learn the philosophy and utility underlying the eight interrelated PID perspectives: idea, metaphor, model, display, error, scenario, task, and control.  

 The workshop also teaches technical skills for designing musical interactions. The workshop integrates programming, electronics, robotics, audio, and interactive music along with PID. Hands-on applications using sensors and microprocessors in conjunction with real-time DSP will be explored for making music. Specific technologies will include Arduino platform, processing, Firmate, and PD and/or Max/MSP for music synthesis. Participants will learn how to use resistive, force-sensitive, capacitative, optical, ultrasound, magnetic, optical, and acceleration sensors. We will also teach students how to make their own sensors with custom geometries constructed out of materials such as conductive fabric, piezoresistive fabric, copper tape, and piezoelectric PVDF. We will discuss popular controller components such as (multi-)touch screens, TacTex pads, Nintendo Wii, Novint Falcon, and many more. Participants will design and build working prototypes using a kit* that can be taken home at the end of the workshop. Many prototypes will be applicable 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 course will be augmented by a survey of existing controllers and pieces of interactive music.   

This workshop is intended for
Musicians 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; 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 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 with any music software/hardware they already use.

There is a $20 lab fee included in the cost of this workshop. Participants have the option of purchasing a $100 lab kit at the end of the workshop. The kit contains an Arduino, a prototyping board, power supply, data cable, and a variety of sensors.

See the course website from last year.