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    Seeking feedback on a new motion-based MIDI controller that incorporates iPhone or iPod touch


    www.freesound.org appears to have a lot of expert musicians engaging with it so I wanted to ask if I could get some feedback on our music technology project. The device incorporates an iPhone or iPod touch and has a variety of uses, but perhaps the use most relevant to you is wireless motion control of DAW software like Ableton or Traktor. Here is a quick 1 minute demo we did with Ableton:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGKKZRC7THo

    Clearly, we are trying to mix the best of both worlds with physical touch control (great for precisely timing a trigger) and motion control (great for controlling and combining multiple parameters at the same time). Would something like this be useful to you? Is there another direction you can see this is going in? We would be very grateful if you have any feedback you could provide, and if you want more background info you can also visit www.auug.com Thanks for your time! Alan

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    Hi Alan,

    I was just wondering in what context you're planning to use this technology. Do you want it to be a standalone instrument, or are you planning to use it in combination with other midi controllers.

    As a standalone instrument i think it's possibilities are quite limited. It works well for controlling volumes and effects but other than that it's not the best way to control your DAW. In my opinion this particular device is unsuitable to use as a replacement for other midi controllers.

    So lets say you're using it in combination with other controllers that you operate with your hands. It's quite annoying to have a iphone taped to your hand when pushing buttons or controlling faders, so you might want to take it off. An other problem that'll occur is that when you're using your hands to control other devices the iphone should turn off, since the gestural information isn't directed to that particular controller. (i had a classmate who used a controller i made who ran in to the same problem. It were two XYZ controllers running from the waist to the hands. He used it to control particular parameters but when he had to touch his mouse or keypad or anything it was a problem because he forgot to program a turn on/off button)

    Other than that the gestural information is not very expressive. When you're aiming at a gesture controlled instrument, have a look at the kinect and the projects that are done with the kinect.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPcoM7BIDZ4

    Hope you don't mind me speaking my mind. Good luck with the project!

    Www.timbijnen.nl
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    Hi Timbijnen,

    Thanks very much for your detailed and thoughtful reply. We are very grateful to get such considered feedback!

    In answer to your question, we are planning to develop the Motion Synth as both a standalone instrument (for controlling other sound apps running on the same iOS device) and a MIDI controller (wireless and cabled). Additional info on the project is available here: www.auug.com

    Thanks also for the link you provided; it is indeed an excellent and very expressive demo of motion control via the kinect. Our aim with the Motion Synth is to combine motion control with the kind of melodic and harmonic control that is possible with conventional instruments, since this combination is difficult to achieve with systems like the kinect.

    Thanks again for all your feedback - it will help guide our future decisions on the project.

    Best regards,

    Alan

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