NSFW! Nothing but component porn here today! Hot lusty pieces of dreams. Try not to stare and definitely don't let your significant other see this post! It’s dirty dirty from this point forward.
The campaign is over. Or should I say "this" campaign is over;-) the long road to not just a cool live performance system, but the BADDEST live performance system will most likely work something like this;
· decide on cool feature
· find out it’s hard to implement but not impossible
· trial and error
· beg smarter people for help
· bang head against wall
· Fall into a depression because I suck at everything, blah, blah, blah...
· Contemplate ending it all JUST before finding a super simple solution that eluded me for weeks.
· cry tears of joy
· Repeat for each of the dozen or so distinct aspects of this project.
It will be a headache for a few weeks but it will be some sick shit when it is done. And now I have 90% of the components necessary for the first full prototype. I visited Anton who runs Tinkersoup.de here in Berlin. He has all the coolest components available and is the only source for m the vast majority of the components in this project. And he's a nice guy as well.
Anton sat with me the other day and helped me decide on the various components that would make my controller be truly badass.
· 2 more arduino boards and 2 more radios for them. Now I have one arduino/xbee for each hand, one for the headset oral interface and one radio as a base station. I am preparing for a week of studying serial communications so I can determine which arduino is which and assign said units data where it needs to be.
· Another BlinkM MaxM crazy rgb LED. Now I have one for each hand. they come with a powerful microprocessor board that allows you to save light sequences onto it but I think I would rather focus on my color synth in PD which will allow a never ending variety of color combinations using PWM (pulse width modulation), which basically means that each color will have 255 levels of intensity, which will allow me to create very sophisticated color effects using some of the built in video processing objects in PD, like GEM.
· FORCE SENSING RESISTORS!! Oh....these are soooo sexy. Why? They are variable pressure sensors. I will be using them as the "keys" of my instrument. The effect will be that of "squeezing" the controller more so than tapping buttons. Each key will be capable of precise pressure control so I can, for instance, press normally for playing, a little harder for another function and a little harder still for still another function. So fresh, so clean!
· 2 vibe boards. After hanging out with Rob, the developer of TouchOSC, he informed me that Touch OSC had access to the vibrate alert thingy in the iphone. At first, it didn't faze me too much. It was cool but it was like, "so what?" That was until I realized that I could use it for haptic feedback, which is basically getting back a touch response when interacting with certain technology. So I enabled it for certain functions in my gestural system and now it is indispensible! I want to know if a particular effect is on, without looking? "bzz, bzz"...yup. Is this function a ("bzzzzzzz, bzz, bzz") or function b (bzz, bzz, bzzzzz"). It’s amazing! So I purchased a couple of these devices for my controller. They are much more powerful than those found in phones which will be necessary in a hot confusing club environment. It will be mounted on the strap that goes across the back of my hand, right next to the...
· 3 axis accelerometer. This system is designed for 2 accelerometers, one for each hand. The strength of these components will become obvious when they interact with each other. I created a dual accelerometer system last summer and I look forward to making use of it with this system. Although, while chatting with Anton he described a component call an IMU (inertial measurement unit) which does the accelerometer stuff as well as doing sensing direction, which accelerometers do not do. I can tell that the MkII version of the controller will almost definitely have a set of these, but right now, I think I can survive with 3 degrees of freedom.
· 5 volt regulators. Why even mention such an unsexy component?! Because you know what is less sexy than this part? Frying your shit. That’s really unsexy. This is a consideration because the big ass lights I just HAD to have for this joint?! Well they shoot-up electricity like a crack-addict. Like REALLY! It’s pretty unsettling. And using normal, say 1100mah batteries, the system would be almost dead in 40-50 minutes, no joke. so I am sourcing some bad ass li-on monster batteries and they will most likely provide more power than the rest of the system is comfortable with, hence, the understated beauty of these 5 volt regulators. Surges up to 40v? Squashed! Knowing that my boards won’t be frying in my hand, is very sexy.
Hot and bothered yet? Yeah me too. There are a few more pieces that I must acquire, but I have enough parts to push forward with some of the more in depth aspects. Intense times ahead.
I will have to throttle it down a bit for the next couple of days though. Tomorrow I will be doing a bit of the Beatjazz at Rosa Calleta in Kreuzberg starting at 5 pm. And then on Tuesday I head to Hannover for CeBit Sounds as part of a discussion panel on music technology and then a performance using said technology. Geek heaven! Me, on a mic, talking about technology!! Hahaha! They just don't know, do they?
But after that, it’s back to Berlin, and a solid 2-3 week shut in; stock up on food and do nothing but code. If you are into pure data or arduino or any of that stuff, contact me, and you are more than welcome to drop by and co-code or whatnot. See you soon.