Concept Tahoe: Microphone Midi Control

Schlessinger, Dan Moses

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We have developed a prototype wireless microphone that provides vocalists with control over their vocal effects directly from the body of the microphone. A wireless microphone has been augmented with six momentary switches, one fader, and three axes of motion and position sensors, all of which provide MIDI output from the wireless receiver. The MIDI data is used to control external vocal effects units such as live loopers, reverbs, distortion pedals, etc. The goal was to to provide dramatically increased expressive control to vocal performances, and address some of the shortcomings of pedal-controlled effects. The addition of gestural controls from the motion sensors opens up new performance possibilities such as panning the voice simply by pointing the microphone in one direction or another. The result is a hybrid microphone-musical instrument which has recieved extremely positive results from vocalists in numerous infor-mal workshops.