Jul 26, 2009

Multi-Touch Musical Instruments- Surface Editor: Post via the NUI-Group Forum

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Multi-touch Everywhere Technology in Action

Below is the video from
Future Instruments, a company formed through Geneva's Conservatory of Music and the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland. It is worth watching the entire video clip.

The following information was posted in the NUI-Group Forum:

"The research group at Geneva’s Conservatory of Music presents the Surface Editor and Surface Tracker software applications for turning ordinary surfaces into multi-touch musical instruments. The Surface Editor allows users to custom design interfaces by dragging and dropping components, such as buttons, sliders, keyboards, and many others, onto the interface. The surface can then be used to control digital audio workstations, virtual instruments, hardware synthesizers and samplers, VJ software, and other applications, via either the MIDI or OSC protocol. The Surface Tracker is a multi-touch tracking application created for tracking movements on a surface using high speed infrared OptiTrack cameras. These cameras have on-board image processing, which allows them to process 100 frames/sec while sparing the host computer’s CPU. The applications are available at

Here are more details from the Future Instruments website:

Surface Tracker

"The Surface Tracker is an open source application for low latency multi-touch finger tracking. It was designed initially for our Multi-Touch Everywhere system (MUTE), but it should work more generally as well to track fingers which have been illuminated using the laser light plane method. It only supports low latency OptiTrack cameras; these cameras have frame rates of 100 frames per second, but due to their onboard image processing, these cameras only consume 3-5% of your computer's CPU (depending on your processor)."

"The Surface Tracker is a standalone application, which sends Open Sound Control messages to any connected client application at a user defineable IP address and port. It implements the TUIO protocol, which was specially designed for transmitting multi-touch events on a table surface."

"The Surface Tracker is currently only available on Windows. This is due to the fact that the driver for OptiTrack camera's is currently only available on Windows. We are, however, currently having discussions with the makers of the OptiTrack camera about extending support of their cameras to OS-X

You can download the Surface Tracker from the Future Instruments download page.

I wish this system was around when I was taking a computer music technology class!

Greg Kellum's Website: Surface Editor

A Flexible Mapping Editor for Multi-touch Musical Instruments(pdf)
Greg Kellum, Alain Crevosier (9th International Conference for New Interfaces for Musical Expression - NIMES

Sneak Peek: Musical Instruments of the Future
Eliot Van Buskirk, Gadget Lab, Wired 2/25/09

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