The following research aimed to investigate how music making approaches observed in interactive sound installations can be facilitated into a product based musical instrument. This approach to music making was broken into two parts. The first investigated interactive methods for controlling music and the second explored the role of robotically or mechanically augmented instruments to create music. The purpose of this project is to bring unique music making methods that are currently explored in installation art and compacting them into an accessible product for the commercial market.
The product of my research “Reel Control” is a compact instrument for controlling the playback of audio samples stored onto multiple cassette tapes. Using cassette tape the user can make subtle or dramatic pitch bends that will bear a warm and rich analogue sound quality. This was achievable as cassette tape is a linear analog storage format and as the playback speed is altered so too is the pitch of the contents recorded onto the tape. Reel Control is re-proposing an old obsolete technology by fusing it with modern technology. Using hand gestures creates an intuitive and natural method for controlling Reel Control. To do this I employed the use of the Leap Motion hand motion sensors, Arduino microprocessors and custom software written in openFrameworks (a c++ coding language framework).
While interactive music installations are being used to create interesting relations between data and music they are mostly large in scale and set in a gallery context. I contributed to this field by creating a compact instrument that is unique in the way that it is controlled and sounds.