Aftertouch MIDI Glove

It’s been a while since I posted a new project here, but after the Moving Silence festival I got so fascinated, inspired and charged with this creative energy that shortly after I just knew exactly what I was going to do.

At first it occurred to me that so far I’ve been working on mostly controllers but not something as expressive as an instrument on its own. I really got inspired by Shingo Inao and Onyx Ashanti and their devices. I wanted to use my body and movement to produce or effect the sounds, but still be able to use that hand for my usual controllerism routine. That’s when the glove idea came in.

Effects would be triggered by pressing buttons on the glove and tilting it, this way the user is able to precisely control which effect he wants to trigger. Also I wanted to somehow trigger samples from it, by making a big sudden move with my hand. I also light feedback with colors and intensity that would be directly related to the intensity of the effects would be great. I believe that its very important when the audience can relate visual elements, big movements, lighting and color to what they are hearing.

So I began working on this idea by taking apart my old useless controller, I needed the accelerometer and IR proximity sensor inside. It took literally just a few hours to put everything together and start working on the code. I graphed all the values from the sensors and tried to find what kind of data and movements would make more sense for this project. Also I had to smooth out all the readings to get rid of the sudden irregular movements. I ended up using the rate of change looking for sudden accelerations for triggering samples, and constraining some values that would be used for tilt tracking.

The buttons are a bit small and uncomfortable to press all the time, so I’ve put a small piece of cardboard underneath the board to lift it higher, also sew in square pieces of cardboard over the push witches, though they slide out of the way and require readjustment. Still have to work on improving this. If you have any ideas pleas let me know in the comments 🙂

I highly believe that such technology should be free and the only way forward is to collectively contribute in its development and innovation. So you are highly encouraged, almost expected, to re use this code, improve it, and share it 🙂

As I mentioned above, building it is fairly easy and cheap. Here are all the parts I used.

1 x pair of cycling gloves €10(?)
1 x Teensy 3 €15
1 x ADXL335 Accelerometer €20
1 x Infrared Proximity Sensor €12
4 x Mini Push Buttons €1.20
1 x Common Anode RGB LED €1.5
3 x Resistors €0.60
+ bunch of Wires

Very roughly all the parts for this cost around 60 euros.

This is the diagram of how I wired everything up (note that I used a Teensy 3 microcontroller and the pins are a bit different)

And you can find all the source code here: github

13 comments for “Aftertouch MIDI Glove

  1. will
    February 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Wow, I am so interested in your design! As a student major in electrical engineer I’m also thinking about making such a product so when I try to do some research online I find your products. May I know which program do you use for playing the music?

    • Tomash
      February 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Glad you find that interesting! Here I’m using a DJ software called Traktor from Native Instruments, but I’m also using Ableton Live a lot. Good luck!

  2. Mariano
    March 4, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Incredible work, I am looking to create a similar device, and I was wondering if I could use the Makey Makey arduino board for this. It only has 6 analog input ports and the other 12 are digital. Is it possible to use the digital ones as well, or should a purchase another arduino board?

    • Tomash
      March 4, 2013 at 10:21 am

      I only used 4 analog inputs for this project, so you should be fine 🙂

  3. Tammy
    June 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Hi there, nice work inspired from what you have created, I am trying to create what you have achieved but having trouble wiring up the teensy board from your schematic view, are you able to tell me which pins need to go where? exactly please. Thanks.

  4. Cosmo
    July 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    The glove looks amazing! Love your ideas, MIDI has taken on a new lease of life these days . . .

  5. Hector
    October 15, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I wnat to do this project for my class

    I ask you to which code you did Arduino or tennsy

    • Tomash
      October 23, 2013 at 9:38 am

      there’s a link to the source code in the post

  6. November 12, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    if you could end this, make important soft programming crazy values I feel you making more money with this than most of them can imagine… i’m one of these that really want to buy such a controller.
    with all due respect
    make it for the people and electronic scene

  7. Adrian
    October 29, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Thomash, could you please clarify the type of resistor, it is hard for me to make out the colour of the bands in the schematic.

  8. Luca
    February 13, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Hi! This is an amazing project! I’ve been trying to recreate it but I’m having problems with the code and my arduino uno…Any idea on how I can make it work? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *