Wiimote Project » Wiimote Projects » Other Projects » New project - theremin/synth controller/dj scratch/dj mix
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: New project - theremin/synth controller/dj scratch/dj mix  ( 8099 )
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« : January 18, 2009, 10:10:17 PM »


I am somewhat new to this but have been thinking along similar lines as some of the other work I see here as well as the great work Ken Moore has done on the Wii theremin front.

I am a Computer Science student at Cal State with a minor in Recording Arts. I was a professional club DJ for a number of years and have been fascinated with music production most of my life. My interest in the theremin has ramped up recently and my initial idea for a Senior project involved creating a virtual digital theremin. Of course I thought this was an original idea until I started researching and saw all the awesome work done out there already on the web.

After seeing Ken Moore's site I decided that the Wiimote route was the best way to go, at least for the time being, as it is cheap and easy. 2 big pluses in my book.

Anyways, my idea is to create a Wii triggered application that will do the theremin thing, as well as controlling other synth parameters such as resonance or various filters, and couple it with the DJ side - the ability to scratch is a must and perhaps even, although this may be a bit ambitious, the ability to mix just like on 2 1200s with a mixer.

I see there is already some work on here done along these lines and am excited at the possibilities. I plan to completely design and code the app and UI myself, mostly from scratch, although using the available libraries that are out there for the Wii mechanics. I have already set up a Wiimote with a bluetooth dongle and IR led and found a piece of software (http://onakasuita.org/wii/index-e.html) that lets me use the LED to control my mouse. So that's a start...

In any event, as I am new to many of these concepts, I have my work cut out for me... fortunately I have some time before I have to enroll for the Sr. Project class, so I have plenty of time to research this stuff further. I am particularly interested in how timecoding works, such as used with products such as Final Scratch, as well as Midi interfacing.

Well, sorry for the long winded post, but I wanted to introduce myself and am absolutely open to feedback, suggestions, etc.

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« #1 : January 18, 2009, 11:07:04 PM »

How brilliant would a air mixing desk be?

Thinking a DJ with gloves (IR-Led's on the base of a finger). A Wiimotes pointing upwards and the DJ scratches it up DJ Hurricane style (I love my Beastie Boys).

You could set up a peice of plastic that outlines the mixing slider and the tables. So when the Ir is floating over the left deck you have scratch control when the IR shifts to the volume switcher you can slide you finger up & down to switch the volume between the decks, etc. SOOOOOOO much potential here!

djmojo show us ya mojo!


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« #2 : January 19, 2009, 10:34:48 AM »

You could set up a peice of plastic that outlines the mixing slider and the tables. So when the Ir is floating over the left deck you have scratch control when the IR shifts to the volume switcher you can slide you finger up & down to switch the volume between the decks, etc. SOOOOOOO much potential here!

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the positive feedback! The wiimotes shining up isn't even an idea I had though of, but I might have to explore that.

I was thinking along the lines of a just mounting a single wiimote in front of the dj and my app would display back the position of the LEDs, but there would be graphical guides on the LED monitor that would show where to place the hands for various functions.

In terms of scratching, I think getting precision out of the system is going to be the biggest challenge.

In terms of making a mixing system, how does one lock the value of the pitch bend slider? In other words if I want it to be sensitive to my movements, but how could I also trigger a lck mechanism to lock it in at the BPM I want? And then unlock it if it needs adjustment? A lot to think about...
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« #3 : February 23, 2009, 07:46:25 PM »

Wow, this is almost EXACTLY the concept I've been fiddling with in my head for several months.

I'm an art academy student, hoping to finish a Master course in Digital Media Design, but I've always had a knack for awesome interfaces and interaction. And since my second passion is music, this concept was a natural evolution ;)

Anyway, the Air Deck with infrared gloves is something I've been dreaming off to make, but never really got to start with. Now that I need a graduation project, it rekindled my interest in this. And voila, there's other people likeminded!

Oh and kudos on the wiimote pointing up, I think you can get a lot more precision from that as opposed to pointing from the front. Besides, you could track the thumb and indexfinger so that they control the pitch when you put those together. While you go in 'scratch-mode' once your 4 fingers are aligned.... Just stuff like that, I think it could be awesome.

Djmojo, I'd love to team up for this project if you feel like it! I'll send you a PM too, perhaps we can get this thing going, such an idea shouldn't go to waste ;)

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« #4 : July 09, 2009, 06:49:42 PM »

Quick Update.

I know it's been several months since I've posted, but I am still working on this project and have made progress.

I initially was using Brian Peek's C# Wii library, and had some success tying that to MIDI Pitch Wheel out messages which I used to control external VST instruments that I have.

However, for a comprehensive solution, I really want an integrated synth capability, and thus I have moved on to Java which IMO is better for sound and MIDI than C#. So now I have integrated, user definable synth capabilities, and would like to add the MIDI out thing as an option as well.

As for the DJ side, that will have to come later, although I am definitely enthused to get to work on that soon. I would just like to make sure I have the theremin/synth control thing mostly done before I tackle that, as the DJ thing I think will be more complicated to incorporate.

Anyways, that's all I have for now. Once I'm a bit further along, I will have more information and hopefully will throw a blog up or something to keep people up to date and provide more details.

The good news is, My Senior Project class doesn't start until the Fall, so I have the rest of the summer to really get the big stuff done, and then the Fall can just be spent cleaning it up, making the GUI look pretty and doing the documentation stuff.

See you guys around,
~dj mojo
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