report, research, tangibles, TEI°10

Flexi Knobs by Michael Hlatky and Kristian Gohlke

flexiknobs2

We started to cover the demo session with the Flexi-Knob project from the AudioCluster associated to the University of Applied Sciences Bremen in Germany. The approach behind this project is to create a quick change between normally assigned Midi Channels on a GUI by using multiple mouse cursors. On the first site it seems quite strange, having more than one mousecursor floating over the graphical interface but in this case it totally makes sense. The single cursors are displayed not as arrows, but as slightly rotating circles in the same colour of the physical controlling devices.

flexiknobs

The shown example was to trigger rotary knobs on a software synthesizer, such as for example a waldorf largo (not the displayed one above) interface with the FlexiKnobs. Once you move the “cursor” onto a control dial on the GUI it enlights and sticks to it. Now you can turn the knob and the digital knob on the GUI rotates in the same mapped way. One big advantage I see on this project is the possibility to create ones own controller layout on the working table. The delay located to the right hand, the volume over there and the flanger right next to it. This frees musicians from strict technological default controller layouts and enables a more intuitive and embodied use of music software. We argued a lot about the use for live musicians and came to the conclusion that it might work well for DJs and producers in a case of computerised and loop based music but won´t really help professional musicians on stage. Solid predefined synthesizer systems might work better there! If you want to know more about making music with software I recommend to visit createdigitalmusic.com
See the interview that will be uploadad soon to learn more about the difference to regular MIDI controllers and the possible use of it in other applications.

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