Gyrotyre : A dynamic hand-held computer-music controller based on a spinning wheel

Sinyor, Elliot and Wanderley, Marcelo M.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper presents a novel controller built to exploit thephysical behaviour of a simple dynamical system, namely aspinning wheel. The phenomenon of gyroscopic precessioncauses the instrument to slowly oscillate when it is spunquickly, providing the performer with proprioceptive feedback. Also, due to the mass of the wheel and tire and theresulting rotational inertia, it maintains a relatively constant angular velocity once it is set in motion. Various sensors were used to measure continuous and discrete quantitiessuch as the the angular frequency of the wheel, its spatialorientation, and the performer’s finger pressure. In addition, optical and hall-effect sensors detect the passing of aspoke-mounted photodiode and two magnets. A base software layer was developed in Max/MSP and various patcheswere written with the goal of mapping the dynamic behaviorof the wheel to varied musical processes.