Published June 1, 2020 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Patch-corde: an expressive patch-cable for the modular synthesizer.


Many opportunities and challenges in both the control and performative aspects of today's modular synthesizers exist. The user interface prevailing in the world of synthesizers and music controllers has always been revolving around knobs, faders, switches, dials, buttons, or capacitive touchpads, to name a few. This paper presents a novel way of interaction with a modular synthesizer by exploring the affordances of cord-base UIs. A special patch cable was developed us- ing commercially available piezo-resistive rubber cords, and was adapted to fit to the 3.5 mm mono audio jack, making it compatible with the Eurorack modular-synth standard. Moreover, a module was developed to condition this stretch- able sensor/cable, to allow multiple Patch-cordes to be used in a given patch simultaneously. This paper also presents a vocabulary of interactions, labeled through various physical actions, turning the patch cable into an expressive controller that complements traditional patching techniques.



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2220-4806 (ISSN)