Aug 14, 2009

What happens when engineers and musicians get together? They get Calvin Harris "Ready for the Weekend" with the Humanthesizer and Bare Ink

So what happens when engineers and musicians get a chance to mix it up?

The Humanthesizer project is the result of a collaboration between musician Calvin Harris, and masters students from the Royal College of Art Industrial Design Engineering program.
What makes this project innovative is that a special conductive ink, called Bare Ink, was used to support the creation of the music.

From the Bare Conductive website:

Bare is a conductive ink that is applied directly onto the skin allowing the creation of custom electronic circuitry. This innovative material allows users to interact with electronics through gesture, movement, and touch. Bare can be applied with a brush, stamp or spray and is non-toxic and temporary. Application areas include dance, music, computer interfaces, communication and medical devices. Bare is an intuitive and non-invasive technology which will allow users to bridge the gap between electronics and the body."

(Please overlook the bikini-clad women in the videos below, because the innovative technology supporting the Humanthesizer is worthy of the watch. Parents be forewarned!

The Making of the Humanthezizer

Close to the finished version:

Information from YouTube regarding the Humanthesizer project:

"Calvin performs a version of his new single Ready For The Weekend on a unique human synthesiser. The instrument employs 15 bikini clad models painted with Bare Conductive, a new skin safe ink which conducts electricity. When the performers touch the connection completes a circuit, triggering a sound....The instrument consists of 34 pads on the floor which have been painted with the conductive ink and connected to a computer via some clever custom electronics. The performers stand on the pads, and touch hands to complete a circuit and trigger a sound. Different combinations of pads trigger the different sounds needed to play the track....Bare Conductive was developed by RCA students Bibi Nelson, Becky Pilditch, Isabel Lizardi and Matt Johnson. The custom electronics and software for the project were created by Matt Johnson, employing two Arduinos and the graphical audio programming tool Max MSP. The performers, floor pads, Arduinos and Max MSP combine to create a giant MIDI controller which is used to create music which is sequenced and quantized with Ableton Live." (Special thanks to: RCA / Bare Conductive - Bibi Nelson, Becky Pilditch, Isabel Lizardi, Matt Johnson -

(The Ready for the Weekend music video is available on YouTube. Parents: the music video has dancing girls throughout, in one-piece bathing suits.)

Thanks to Celine Latulipe for the link!

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