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Events: CHI 2014
The course Introduction to Designing and Building Musical Interfaces will be presented in room 709 of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre - South Building during CHI 2014 in Toronto, Canada on 30 April 2014 from 14:00 - 17:20 pm.

Who should come ?

The course is aimed at beginners but more experienced participants will have plenty to explore. Familiarity with basic aspects of interactive media will be helpful, however there are no specific technical prerequisites. No background in music or computer audio is assumed. The intended audience consists of those who are interested in starting projects relating to music technology. Those with a general interest are also welcome. If you work in one of the following fields or research one of the following topics, and/or have a specific interest in interactive media, we strongly suggest you to visit.

I-CubeX is also used for scientific research, tracking and counting of people as well as sensing of neuro-physiological signals such as muscle tension, heart beat, brain waves and skin resistance. So if you're active in one of the following areas we also encourage you to check us out.

What is this about ?

This course provides a general, gentle, and fun introduction to the theory and practice of gestural interface design for creating and performing music. Participants will learn key aspects of the theory and practice of musical interface design by studying case studies and hands-on experience mainly sourced from the leading conference in this area, known as "New Interfaces for Musical Expression" or NIME. Advances in digital audio technologies have led to a situation where computers play a role in most music production and performance. Digital technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for the creation and manipulation of sound, however the flexibility of these new technologies implies a confusing array of choices for musical composers and performers. Some artists have faced this challenge by using computers directly to create music. However, most would agree that the computer is not a musical instrument, in the same sense as traditional instruments, and it is natural to ask "how to play the computer" using interface technology appropriate for human brains and bodies.

Course schedule

The workshop will be held on Wednesday 30 April 2014, 14:00 - 17:20 pm. See also the CHI course information for more details. In two eighty minute sessions we will introduce an approach to the design of musical interfaces.

1st session: Lecture with many video demonstrations of musical interfaces presenting key aspects of the theory and practice of musical interface design by studying case studies and hands-on experience mainly sourced from the leading conference in this area, known as "New Interfaces for Musical Expression" or NIME.

2nd session: Hands-on lab where participants will use hardware and software tools (I-CubeX, Max/MSP, Ableton Live) for prototyping their own musical interface.

Hands-on session details

This session will provide you with hands-on understanding how to combine Cycling74 Max and Ableton Live software with I-CubeX sensors to capture all your performance gestures, resulting in uniquely personal instruments for musical expression. Browse these slides to get a sneak preview ! The aim is to achieve four goals:

  1. Understanding I-CubeX sensors' capabilities (what they can capture and how they could be applied).
  2. Understanding I-CubeX operation (how to setup a number of sensors and create control messages).
  3. Understanding I-CubeX integration (how to apply and route control messages into 3rd-party software such as Ableton Live)
  4. Understanding I-CubeX application development (how to create standalone patches with Cycling74 Max)
Each participant will be setup with an I-CubeX equipment kit consisting of the following items:

Demonstrations and tutorials:

  1. Getting started with I-CubeX using Link.
  2. Connecting I-CubeX to Cycling74 Max using Link.
  3. Connecting I-CubeX to Cycling74 Max using icubex.digitizer.
  4. Connecting I-CubeX to Ableton Live.

Software to download and install during the break after the first session:

Do I need to bring anything ?

Please bring your own computer and if you wish your own digital sound devices and musical instruments. Familiarity with Ableton Live and Cycling74 Max software comes in handy, but no knowledge of sensors and sensor interfacing is assumed, while it will not be necessary for participants to hack hardware or solder electronic components.

Location

The course will be held in room 709 of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre - South Building, 222 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto ON, M5V 3L9, Canada.

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