[hid] toolkit: a Unified Framework for Instrument Design

Steiner, Hans-christoph

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The [hid] toolkit is a set of software objects for designingcomputer-based gestural instruments. All too frequently,computer-based performers are tied to the keyboard-mousemonitor model, narrowly constraining the range of possiblegestures. A multitude of gestural input devices are readilyavailable, making it easy to utilize a broader range of gestures. Human Interface Devices (HIDs) such as joysticks,tablets, and gamepads are cheap and can be good musicalcontrollers. Some even provide haptic feedback. The [hid]toolkit provides a unified, consistent framework for gettinggestural data from these devices, controlling the feedback,and mapping this data to the desired output. The [hid]toolkit is built in Pd, which provides an ideal platform forthis work, combining the ability to synthesize and controlaudio and video. The addition of easy access to gesturaldata allows for rapid prototypes. A usable environmentalso makes computer music instrument design accessible tonovices.