Conference paper Open Access

Vodhrán: collaborative design for evolving a physical model and interface into a proto-instrument

Pardue, Laurel S; Ortiz, Miguel; van Walstijn, Maarten; Stapleton, Paul; Rodger, Matthew

Michon, Romain; Schroeder, Franziska

This paper reports on the process of development of a virtual-acoustic proto-instrument, Vodhrán, based on a physical model of a plate, within a musical performance-driven ecosystemic environment. Performers explore the plate model via tactile interaction through a Sensel Morph interface, chosen to allow damping and localised striking consistent with playing hand percussion. Through an iteration of prototypes, we have designed an embedded proto-instrument that allows a bodily interaction between the performer and the virtual-acoustic plate in a way that redirects from the perception of the Sensel as a touchpad and reframes it as a percussive surface. Due to the computational effort required to run such a rich physical model and the necessity to provide a natural interaction, the audio processing is implemented on a high powered single board computer. We describe the design challenges and report on the technological solutions we have found in the implementation of Vodhrán which we believe are valuable to the wider NIME community.
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