Capacitive Touch Musical Instruments

I facilitated a day-long computer music camp. We created instruments that use capacitive touch to generate sound from the computer. I created various sounds for the participants to choose from, and each person chose up to five sounds for their instrument. Each person made independent capacitive touch sensitive areas on their instrument; we assigned one sound per capacitive touch sensitive area. I used the program Processing, and an Arduino Uno to trigger the sounds when the body makes contact with a capacitive touch sensitive area on the instrument. Some materials used as a conductor to trigger sounds include graphite, copper tape, and conductive metal objects, such as cans, paper clips, bottle caps etc.

After we made our instruments, we got into small groups and created music together. I recorded the audio for each group music making session to give to the participants.

Graphite is being used as the conductive material for this instrument
Each individual yellow wire is connected to it’s own Arduino pin; we stripped the other end of the wire to make metal to metal contact with the wire and the capacitive touch sensitive area on our instruments.

Computer Music Making

I facilitated a day-long computer music camp. The intention of the camp was to facilitate interactive collaborative music making among the participants. I set up various computer music making tools for the group to choose from. The participants in the camp got into small groups, and used the various computer music making tools to create their own music. I created a digital interface using the program Processing, which is comprised of 10 buttons; I programmed each button to play a different sound when pressed. I also set up a midi keyboard, including a library of sounds to play with the keyboard, and a digital synthesizer. Each group took a turn making music together, using the various tools available. I recorded each musical session and uploaded the audio files to the internet. The groups made their own ‘album art’ for their tracks, and I included a link to the audio files on the album art.

Computer music making set-up
Processing sketch comprised of buttons that play sounds when pressed
Album art