Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Sound of Touch @ Siggraph Emerging Technologies 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.

Enhanced Life
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.

Goals
To demonstrate a system that gives children and adults a truly new way to interact with sound.

Innovations
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.

Vision
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.

[siggraph.org]
[Thesis pdf - 13 MB]
[Videos and demonstrations]