May 7, 2013

New USB MIDI Breath Controller

There are some great MIDI innovations out there, but the noticeable ones are the ones that make use of human sensory techniques and other ways of inputting a signal that goes beyond striking a key or a pad on a controller.  The very action of pressing a button seems to be digital and one dimensional.  You press a button and it is on – let go and it is off.  What about pressing the button slightly or adding intensity to the pressure?  Shouldn’t that count for something?  It does.  Modern controllers are making use of the sensitive nature of the human touch – and the latest goes one step further.

When singers sing or talkers talk, they are actually creating vibrations through the air or pressure waves; it just so happens that our ears are able to detect such patterns in the air.  Why wouldn’t this work for midi controllers?  A new controller called the Breath controller actually measures the vibrations created by vocals and uses that to code and decode MIDI messages.  In its current form, it relies on algorithms to do most of the work, as the hardware side of it is pretty small and lifeless.  Can someone say vocoder?