Insight2OSC: using the brain and the body as a musical instrument with the Emotiv Insight

Levican, Constanza and Aparicio, Andres and Belaunde, Vernon and Cadiz, Rodrigo

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Brain computer interfaces are being widely adopted for music creation and interpretation, and they are becoming a truly new category of musical instruments. Indeed, Miranda has coined the term Brain-computer Musical Interface (BCMI) to refer to this category. There are no "plug-n-play" solutions for a BCMI, these kinds of tools usually require the setup and implementation of particular software configurations, customized for each EEG device. The Emotiv Insight is a low-cost EEG apparatus that outputs several kinds of data, such as EEG rhythms or facial expressions, from the user’s brain activity. We have developed a BCMI, in the form of a freely available middle-ware, using the Emotiv Insight for EEG input and signal processing. The obtained data, via blue-tooth is broad-casted over the network formatted for the OSC protocol. Using this software, we tested the device’s adequacy as a BCMI by using the provided data in order to control different sound synthesis algorithms in MaxMSP. We conclude that the Emotiv Insight is an interesting choice for a BCMI due to its low-cost and ease of use, but we also question its reliability and robustness.