The UBS Virtual Maestro : an Interactive Conducting System

Nakra, Teresa M. and Ivanov, Yuri and Smaragdis, Paris and Ault, Chris

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The UBS Virtual Maestro is an interactive conducting system designed by Immersion Music to simulate the experience of orchestral conducting for the general public attending a classical music concert. The system utilizes the Wii Remote, which users hold and move like a conducting baton to affect the tempo and dynamics of an orchestral video/audio recording. The accelerometer data from the Wii Remote is used to control playback speed and volume in real-time. The system is housed in a UBSbranded kiosk that has toured classical performing arts venues throughout the United States and Europe in 2007 and 2008. In this paper we share our experiences in designing this standalone system for thousands of users, and lessons that we learned from the project.