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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
May 8, 2013

Keith McMillen On Kickstarting A Music Controller Revolution

Creating a new midi device or digital instrument is not as hard as it seems.  There’s the hardware aspect which is difficult to understand, but made easier by the development of drop in part and other types of kits.  The software side of things is perhaps the most understandable, as backyard home brewers have found ways to basically hack electronic devices and turn them into Frankenstein controllers that do much more than what they could have purchased at the store.  Making a piece of hardware that functions is in fact simple, and now that we can print 3d objects, it has become even simpler.

This is not what Keith McMillen has been trying to get at.  His experience in the industry, designing new instruments and implementing then, has taught him that instruments being created in digital form aren’t special unless they have unique characteristics about them, characteristics that make them …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
April 28, 2013

Geco Promises Music Applications for Leap Motion

Whenever a person tries to create a new form of communication the challenges are very apparent right off the bat.  Think of a conductor telling what the orchestra to do.  For those who know little about their responsibilities, it goes much farther than swinging your hands wildly in the air.  Those gestures actually have meaning and the conductor also incorporates his eyes and eye contact into the communication as well.  Now, controlling a piece of hardware or software with only the hands has its own set of challenges.  For one, each gesture must be defined down to a science; there cannot be any leeway in what the actual meaning of a gesture is.

The next difficult challenge is determining how to do this in three dimensions.  On a flat two dimensional surface you may only have to deal with up, down, left and right – but that third dimension adds …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
April 18, 2013

QuNeo Performance Techniques

It has been quite a while since the QuNeo made its first debut from its very own kickstarter campaign.  While at the most basic level it is only a controller (and there are many of them out there), it did have the advantage of being somewhat modular and the ability for each user to set it up the way they like.  Since then, Keith McMillen has kept on, producing a slew of gear; trying to keep up his reputation for creating “next level” gear – and for the most part he has done so.  His next creations featured control voltage output as well as many expressive and gesture features that are being integrated into the newest types of mixers today.

So, does of this new gear to drool over make us forget about the humble QuNeo that started it all?  Have users actually embraced the QuNeo in the ways that …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
April 6, 2013

The Keytar Grand – A Short History

It would be foolish to look at modern controller designs and call them original.  Any idea that we see now has already been attempted to varying degrees of success, before.  The mainstay of the controller and the market are devices that sit on the table which react to the users’ input.  This includes but is not limited to touching, pressing, pounding, and even hovering a finger over a desired spot.  Even the most complex gesture based controllers that allow you to float your hands over a three axis system can be trumped by an older device called the theremin, which was revolutionary for its time.

The idea of combining the keyboard and guitar has been attempted and was actually accepted for a short period of time before they went out of style.  Given the way that styles and devices come back in retro fashion, we should expect to see some …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
March 29, 2013

Hot Hand USB Wireless MIDI Controller

There have been plenty attempts at exploring gesture control with MIDI controllers.  So far, we are still at a primitive state, where there are more experiments than products being produced with this in mind.  The QuNeo creator has naturally been looking for new ways to input gesture and have it decoded by MIDI software.  Other successive MIDI controller featured an expressive gesture control where the fingers could actually add movement to the sound of a note.  On the other side of the spectrum, hackers have been building detection software with three axes in order to track the motion of the hand or hands sin the air.  The trouble with this method is the amount of gear needed to pull it off – one company has put in all the hard work to create a device just like this.

The Hot Hand USB controller has a silly name, and it seems …