d-Touch lets you make music using a PC, webcam and blocks

Posted on Aug 31 2011 - 12:22pm by Julius

Making music using computers have been possible for quite a while now. Artists, musicians, producers, and even ‘normal’ people have been making music in their homes using mid to high end software for the last ten years or so. Now, researchers at the University of Hampton have developed a way to make music using tangible objects and computers.

“Grab a block and add a base beat, turn a block to speed up the high hat and we have a new way to generate music through controlling the computer,” said Dr. Enrico Costanza of the University’s ECS – Electronics and Computer Science department, who is launching their creation, the Audio d-touch.

The Audio d-Touch, which is based on Constanza’s research into TUIs (tangible user interfaces), gives users physical control of their music. It uses PC or a Mac and a webcam, and through simple techniques, physical blocks are tracked on a printer board. The position of the marked blocks determines how sound samples are played. Think of it like using a real-life Propellerhead Reason Redrum kit.

The Audio d-Touch doesn’t only let you play samples from your library, you can also use it to record your own samples and program them by placing the blocks where you want them to be.

You can make your own d-Audio at home. All you need is a computer that is equipped with a webcam and a printer. You need to have a physical interactive object to place the visual markers that are recognized by the program. The software and instructions on how to make one are available at the Audio d-Touch project page.

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