MIDI keyboards, slider boxes, joysticks, gamepads, are ubiquitous interfaces right now to the computers that surround us. To turn these interfaces into musical instruments there are various steps to guide the design of a playable instrument. In this seminar we will explore the basics of how to access various interfaces from SuperCollider, strategies to explore the semantics of the interfaces that we use and the data that they generate, and methods of mapping these to control sonic processes.


Session #01

  • Interfacing
  • Basics of accessing devices (HID, MIDI, OSC) and their data.
  • Inputs and outputs.

Session #02

  • Mapping
  • Exploring the semantics and data of the interfaces
  • Events vs. continuous control
  • Default states
  • Physical properties of controllers
  • Gestures
  • Types of movement and control
  • Energy
  • Modal control
  • Mapping strategies
  • Session #03

  • Designing the instrument
  • Sound design for realtime control
  • Programming an instrument

Notes: HID only works on OSX and Linux. Participants should bring some controllers that to use during the workshop.

Level: Introductory/Intermediate (some knowledge of sound synthesis and SuperCollider is assumed)

Tutor: Marije Baalman

Marije Baalman studied Applied Physics at the Technical University in Delft and graduated in February 2002 on the topic of Perceptual Acoustics. In 2001/2002 she followed the Sonology Course at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. She completed her Ph.D. on Wave Field Synthesis and electro-acoustic music in 2007 at the Electronic Studio of the Technical University of Berlin. Between 2007 and 2010 she was a post-doctoral researcher in Computation Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research goes into the use of wireless networks for live performance (such as dance and music), and installations. She has performed and exhibited work across Europe (STEIM, WORM (NL), EXIT festival (F), Club Transmediale (D)) and beyond (Electrofringe (AU)) and collaborated with, among others, Alberto de Campo, Hannes Hölzl, Chris Salter, Michael Schumacher, Attakkalari Dance Company and Workspace Unlimited. She is a contributor to “The SuperCollider Book” (MIT Press, coming up in 2011). In her artistic work she is interested in the realtime components of the work, in that nothing is precomposed as such, but rather the (mostly, but not exclusively) sonic output depends on realtime interactions, be it of the performer, or of the audience. Thus composition becomes more the composing of behaviours and interaction modalities, creating processes, rather than fixed sound tracks. This is expressed with tools such as physical computing (performance interfaces and/or installations), livecoding (both as a skill, as well as a performance interface), digital and analog sound processing, and improvisation.

Time Schedule: Friday 26.10.2012, 18:00-22.00h. Saturday 27.10.2012, 11:00–14:00h, 16:00-19:00h Sunday 28.10.2012, 11:00–14:00h, 16:00-19:00h

Location: Fabra i Coats – Fàbrica de Creació. Sant Adrià, 20. Barcelona. Metro Sant Andreu.

Price: 90€ (or cheaper if you sign up to the whole series, look here for details)

To sign up or request further information, please send an email to i…@lullcec.org.

This activity is organized l’ull cec with the collaboration of OSIC, Institut de Cultura de Barcelona and Fabra i Coats – Fábrica de Creació.