Author Archives: Kevinernste


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Ray Li’s Aura, SoundSpace, and related work

Ray Li, BS ’14 (Music 1421, 2421, Independent Study) and Michael Ndubuisi, BS ’14 (Music 1421), designed Aura (later evolving into SoundSpace), a new instrument that allows the musician to shape and control sound through hand movements.

SoundSpace uses electromagnetic sensors to track the exact position of the gloves in space. The motion of the musician’s hands can trigger prepared sounds, play different notes and add musical effects.

“We wanted to imagine sound as a tangible thing that you can hold between your hands,” Li said. “We’ve tried to create something that can basically do anything that you could do in a normal sound-editing computer program.”

Aura on Cornell Daily Sun video on Aura.

Video courtesy of the Cornell Daily Sun. Videographer: Ryan Larkin, film major.

Discovery Channel Daily Planet feature:

The software for Aura has, more recently, been expanded into SoundSpace including recent performances with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and as a solo instrument as with the demonstration of SoundSpace is below.

SudoGlove and SudoSynth

Jeremy Blum’s SudoGlove (also SudoSynth) is “a gesture controller that can be easily interfaced with hardware or software via a wireless connection. The glove implements an array of sensors plus filtering circuitry and mathematical analysis firmware to derive state values for each sensor and transmits them to an authorized receiver. I have used the glove to drive an RC car, to synthesize music, to manipulate openGL video, to control arbitrary processing software, and to control performance lighting effects.”

The instrument and its varied applications was featured in April 2011 on the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet.

A complete summary, details of further uses, pointers to additional research and publicity, and links to code (Creative Commons License) can be found on Jeremy’s own (very thorough) page here.

A music-specific discussion of the development and application of SudoGlove/SudoSynth to performance is here.

SudoSynth demonstration:

CUMotive: wireless wearable accelerometers for music

In the Fall of 2007, undergraduate Nathan Ward presented several demonstrations of his CUMotive system, the culmination of his work in music and engineering (CEMC, Electrical Engineering), part of his independent major. CUMotive was the recipient of the 2008 “Where’s the BOOM” Award at Cornell’s Bits on Our Mind (BOOM) technology exhibition.

CUMotive code and information is available online. See here for a more complete description of the work as presented for ECE 4760, Designing with Microcontrollers. This work was also presented at the NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) Conference 2008 in a paper entitled Wearable Interfaces for Cyberphysical MusicalExpression. CEMC and Professor Kevin Ernste appear in the acknowledgements.

Nathan began at CEMC as a student of Music 1421 and proceeded to take a series of courses through Music 6420/4420 followed by an Independent Study focussed on the work below. In addition to this series of demonstrations (in Lincoln Hall B20), Ward presented this work in 2009 as a composition for live contortionist and electronics (excerpt below).

An example of a wireless accelerometer system with gesture recognition capabilities:

A few examples using a custom wearable accelerometer system as a gaming controller:

A performance in Cornell’s Barnes Hall with contortionist Jackie Ward:

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