Passively Augmenting Mobile Devices Towards Hybrid Musical Instrument Design

Romain Michon, CCRMA - Stanford University
J. Smith, M. Wright, C. Chafe, J. Granzow, and G. Wang

May 16, 2017 - NIME Conference, Copenhagen (Denmark)

Mobile Devices are Great!

  • As stand alone devices they present a promising platform for the creation of versatile instruments for live music performance.
  • Within a single entity, sounds can be generated and controlled, differentiating them from most Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs), and allowing the creation of instruments much closer to "traditional" acoustic instruments in this respect.

But they were never designed to be used as musical instruments and lack some crucial elements to compete with their acoustic counterparts.

The BladeAxe*

* R. Michon, J. O. Smith, M. Wright, and C. Chafe. Augmenting the iPad: the BladeAxe. In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Brisbane, Australia, July 2016.

Mobile 3D

An OpenScad library facilitating the design of mobile device augmentations

Simple iPhone 5 case made from 3D-printed holders and a laser-cut plastic plate

Simple passive augmentation example

Leveraging Built-In Sensors and Elements

Amplitude-Detection-Based Augmentations

Frequency-Detection-Based Augmentations

Passive Amplifiers and Resonators

Passive Amplifiers and Resonators

Playing With Motion Sensors

Holding Mobile Devices

Wind Instrument Paradigm

Holding the Device With One Hand: Using the Thumb

Holding the Device With One Hand: Single Hand Handle


CCRMA 2016 Composed Instrument Summer Workshop

2017 Augmented Smartphone Workshop - Aalborg University (Copenhagen)

Future Directions

Thanks! :) Questions?