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  • Leap Motion as MIDI Controller for Velocity Crossfade

    Hi all, I wondered if anyone else had heard the buzz about the Leap Motion, and considered its application for VSL? I have been struggling for several months to find the right controller for velocity crossfade. My modwheels feel a bit sluggish, and aren't accurate enough. I know others have recommended a breath controller, but those are notoriously hard to come by, and I don't fancy buying an Eigenharp for that when I already have three MIDI keyboards in my studio. Also, I think the lips might ache after a while. I instead have been looking into a theremin-style controller, and found these are also few and far between, ranging from a £150 kit with several hours assembly time to a £500 handmade wave theremin. So I was rather delighted when I discovered the Leap Motion, which costs just £70, is the size of an ipod, and can hopefully do many, many, good things. It tracks finger movements to within a hundredth of a millimetre, and can read movement across three axes. A MIDI-controller program shouldn't be hard for someone to make, surely (given my non-existant wealth of knowledge of the subject). So hopefully soon I'll be able to 'conduct' three different VI parameters in real time - velocity crossfade, volume, and whatever else is needed at the time I suppose... Just wondered if the idea might possibly appeal to some others, and so I thought I would mention it. Peter

  •  Oh that thing rules!!  I recall seeing something on gizmag a few months ago but I forgot to follow it to completion.  I wonder if they'll ship soon.

    For that price, it's kinda worth a try - even if it doesn't work for VSL, I bet it'll be useful for all kinds of other computing tasks.  I'm a computer programmer so I'm always looking for shortcuts and macros and stuff.  It'd be interesting for me to gather some of my colleagues and see if we could come up with a cool musical product to develop on this platform - something more like that Smule company would make.    A much more expensive option is the Microsoft Kinect for Windows but I'm not even sure that MS has released it for general consumption or just for developers. 

    I'm going to get on the purchase list now, so I'll report back as soon as I get one and play with it.


  • I found this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHFYi6rtpmM) as a proof-of-concept, given that the program there includes the synth and things, I would have thought a MIDI controller would be comparatively easy. I know nothing about programming though. Is it the sort of thing you think you might be able to have a go at, if no one else does?

  • I found it's much easier to use no controller at all .. just draw in the x-fades ... then you have 100% control :D And actually I've become rather fast at doing that .. if I used a controller it'd probably slow me down.

    Personally I welcome a huge touch screen to work with Logic so i can actually write and draw on the surface .. rather than with a pen tablet.


  • This may excite you for a possibility.  A guy is using the Leap Motion to control filters on a VST effect:

           

    just received a developer unit from Leap Motion and started playing around. There are several MIDI library APIs available so doing programming for these should be fairly simple to start making some test apps. 

    I'm thinking I could make an app that you'd leave open in the background that perhaps would send MIDI through a MIDI server app like rptMIDI (I have a tablet app that works with that).    You could pick a MIDI CC#, a range, maybe one controller for X and one for Y axis.   Or maybe a different controller # for each hand as shown in the video?  Or both!


  • Well, that's it, really. Just watched the video; that's exactly what I'm after, thank you so much for posting. I imagine even if an app like that somehow never made it into production, I could pay a programmer to make one for less than the cost of a MIDI-theremin.

    I think you're on the right track with a background app that would be left open. Something with a very simple interface like:

    Left hand enable? Yes/No
    Left hand X-axis enable? Yes/No. Controller? Insert CC number here.
    Left hand Y-axis enable? Yes/No. Controller? Insert CC number here.
    Left hand Z-axis enable? Yes/No. Controller? Insert CC number here.

    Right hand enable? Yes/No
    Right hand X-axis enable? Yes/No. Controller? Insert CC number here.
    Right hand Y-axis enable? Yes/No. Controller? Insert CC number here.
    Right hand Z-axis enable? Yes/No. Controller? Insert CC number here.

    That way you could control up to six parameters independently, but also pull everything right back for simplicity. So you could do a full conducting job controlling tempo, velocity, volume, expression, perhaps reverb level etc. Or you could switch everything off except one axis for one hand, for careful velocity crossfade input. Or just one axis for each hand for a virtual theremin performance.

    If you set up Vienna Instruments so that all woodwinds have one CC# for velocity crossfade, all brass have a second and all strings have a third, and do the same for volume, you could (in theory, it might take some practice) conduct and shape the sound of an orchestra in real time. Or not have volume, and instead have one for woodwinds, one for brass, one for strings, one for percussion, one for voices, and one for keyboards. Or do it one section at a time, splitting woodwinds up into flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons etc.

    I think that with a basic interface like that, a simple little app (which from what I've seen would take only a few hours to code/program) could become a very powerful tool.

    Pyre

  • I ordered one around 3 weeks ago or so. Havn't heard anything yet, so I think they're shipping slow at the moment. However, the leap motion with combined with some connections through some app like Cycling 74 - Max, may be possible. I think it's genius for daw users if we can write apps for it.