IDMIL to present haptics research at EuroHaptics 2016 Conference, 4-7 July, Imperial College London, UK

IDMIL PhD researcher John Sullivan will present recent haptics research at the EuroHaptics 2016 Workshop “Musical Haptics: use and relevance of haptic feedback in musical practice”. The workshop will take place at July 4, 2016 from 9:15 - 13:15 at Imperial College London, UK.

The workshop, organized by Stefano Papetti (Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland) and Ercan Altinsoy (Institute of Acoustics and Speech Communication, Dresden University of Technology, Germany), will include presentations by Vincent Hayward, Gareth Young, Nicolas Castagné, and Edgar Berdahl.

Abstract: Tactile Augmented Wearables for Delivery of Complex Musical Score Information
John Sullivan, Deborah Egloff, Marcello Giordano, Marcelo Wanderley

Tactile augmented wearables have been object of much research in recent years, both in academia and industry, and have been used to convey information such as navigational cues or system notifications. In the music domain, tactile wearables have been used to convey simple musical information to performers, in the form of, for instance, tempo cues or instantaneous feedback about the interaction with a live-electronics system. More complex tactile cues can also be designed. “Musicking the body electric” is a multidisciplinary project aiming at developing a set of tactile augmented garments for professional musicians, and a vocabulary of complex tactile icons (“tactons”) to be used by composers to deliver score information. What are the perceptual limitations of delivering complex, whole-body patterns of vibrations to performing musicians? Can musicians learn to reliably recognize icons and associate them to score elements? What are the best strategies for actuator choice and placement? These research questions are at the core of the “Musicking the body electric” project, and offer a cause for a more general reflection on the many issues to be addressed to evaluate abstract languages of tactile icons delivered by specialized wearable devices.

See the full workshop program here.

IDMIL Researchers at the Workshop "Haptics and musical practice", 4-5 February, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland

Prof. Marcelo M. Wanderley and Ph.D. student Deborah Egloff participated in the Workshop “Haptics and musical practice”, that took part on February 4-5 2016 at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology, Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich, Switzerland.

They were part of a group of researchers from Switzerland, Italy, Austria, France, Scotland, Germany who research haptics and music.

The full program is available at the Workshop webpage.

IDMIL Thesis Work featured at Wired and Canal Savoir

The development of an fMRI compatible cello (Avrum Hollinger's Ph.D. thesis) was featured recently in a video shown at Canal Savoir and referenced in Wired Magazine.

A Comprehensive Review of Sensors and Instrumentation Methods in Devices for Musical Expression

Now available online: Carolina Brum Medeiros and Marcelo M. Wanderley (2014). A Comprehensive Review of Sensors and Instrumentation Methods in Devices for Musical Expression. Sensors Journal 14, no. 8: 13556-13591.

Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs) are musical instruments typically composed of a control surface where user interaction is measured by sensors whose values are mapped to sound synthesis algorithms. These instruments have gained interest among skilled musicians and performers in the last decades leading to artistic practices including musical performance, interactive installations and dance. The creation of DMIs typically involves several areas, among them: arts, design and engineering. The balance between these areas is an essential task in DMI design so that the resulting instruments are aesthetically appealing, robust, and allow responsive, accurate and repeatable sensing. In this paper, we review the use of sensors in the DMI community as manifested in the proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME 2009–2013). Focusing on the sensor technologies and signal conditioning techniques used by the NIME community. Although it has been claimed that specifications for artistic tools are harder than those for military applications, this study raises a paradox showing that in most of the cases, DMIs are based on a few basic sensors types and unsophisticated engineering solutions, not taking advantage of more advanced sensing, instrumentation and signal processing techniques that could dramatically improve their response. We aim to raise awareness of limitations of any engineering solution and to assert the benefits of advanced electronics instrumentation design in DMIs. For this, we propose the use of specialized sensors such as strain gages, advanced conditioning circuits and signal processing tools such as sensor fusion. We believe that careful electronic instrumentation design may lead to more responsive instruments.

Distributed tools for interactive design of heterogeneous signal networks

Now available online: Malloch, J., Sinclair, S., M. M. Wanderley (2014). Distributed tools for interactive design of heterogeneous signal networks. Multimedia Tools and Applications. DOI: 10.1007/s11042-014-1878-5

We introduce libmapper, an open source, cross-platform software library for flexibly connecting disparate interactive media control systems at run-time. This library implements a minimal, openly-documented protocol meant to replace and improve on existing schemes for connecting digital musical instruments and other interactive systems, bringing clarified, strong semantics to system messaging and description. We use automated discovery and message translation instead of imposed system-representation standards to approach “plug-and-play” usability without sacrificing design flexibility. System modularity is encouraged, and data are transported between peers without centralized servers.