In the fall of 2009 I wrote an essay in Musicology about how the user interface of instruments affects the way we play and compose music. The twist however was that instead of researching existing instruments I decided to ”create” one. What I did was to program a a Wii remote to be used as a MIDI-control unit. This way I could play it like an instruments at the same time as adjusting control parameters.
This ofcourse has been done before and seen on youtube. However, these videos feature a much simpler and restricted take on the subject. While most are satisfied with playing a couple of chords and a bit of melody I also implemented a ”Tap tempo” function, drum loop functions with beat repeat effect toggle, various multi purpose dry/wet effects (Reverb, chorus and delay).
The Wiimote is connected to the computer via bluetooth and the programming has been made in a program called GlovePIE. Through this program the actions of the Wiimote affect certain parameters in a sequencer called Ableton Live. Since the creation of this project I have started working with a great program called MaxMSP, thus realizing the restrictions of doing it the way I ”used to”. The Wiimote synthesizer will therefore be replaced with something WAY cooler. Currently I am working on a glove with IR LED lights attached to the fingertips that with the use of a Wiimote’s IR tracking ability can control heaps of awesome stuff. Stay tuned for that!
A video will be posted of the Wiimote synthesizer in due time.