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