A prototype for pitched gestural sonification of surfaces using two contact microphones

Novello, Alberto and Rayzhekov, Antoni

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We present the prototype of a hybrid instrument, which uses two contact microphones to sonify the gestures of a player on a generic surface, while a gesture localization algorithm controls the pitch of the sonified output depending on the position of the gestures. To achieve the gesture localization we use a novel approach combining attack parametrization and template matching across the two microphone channels. With this method we can correctly localize 80 \pm 9 % of the percussive gestures. The user can assign determined pitches to specific positions and change the pitch palette in real time. The tactile feedback characteristic of every surface opens a set of new playing strategies and possibilities specific to any chosen object. The advantages of such a system are the affordable production, flexibility of concert location, object-specific musical instruments, portability, and easy setup.