Saturday, August 04, 2007
Hybrid Percussion: Extending Physical Instruments Using Sampled Acoustics
Roberto M. Aimi has developed an array of digital/acoustic percussion instruments that convolve the audio output of damped semi-acoustic physical objects with recorded impulses of real and synthetic instrument sounds to create highly expressive hybrid instruments.
The Sound of Touch enables people to manipulate sound samples in a way that is much more immediate and intuitive than current digital tools. The system's technology and interface designs adopt characteristics of acoustic instruments, making samples that are recorded on-the-spot malleable and flexible through continuous gestural interaction with physical textures and resonant objects.
To demonstrate a system that gives children and adults a truly new way to interact with sound.
The Sound of Touch builds on a technique for continuous digital convolution developed by Roberto Aimi for creation of semi-acoustic musical instruments. A stand-alone wand incorporates both a microphone for recording samples and a piezoelectric sensor for stimulating the samples. A "texture kit" enables sonic experimentation with a wide range of physical textures and resonant objects.
Because it makes sonic exploration so intuitive, a generation of musicians could adopt this system as their preferred synthesis technique in the next 10 years. Ultimately, the system could become a commercial product that would enable people to paint with sound wherever and whenever they want, either for professional sound-design projects or just for play.
[Thesis pdf - 13 MB]
[Videos and demonstrations]