Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Students invent 'aura' musical instrument using gloves

Date:
February 18, 2014
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Imagine holding music in your hands. That’s what you can do with the Aura, a new electronic musical instrument conceived by engineering students.

The new musical instrument, Aura, allows the musician to control sound simply by moving their hands in the air.
Credit: Image from a video courtesy of the Cornell Daily Sun. Videographer: Ryan Larkin.

Imagine holding music in your hands. That's what you can do with the Aura, a new electronic musical instrument conceived by Cornell University engineering students.

Related Articles


"The goal was to create the most intuitive instrument," said senior Ray Li, who came up with the idea of an instrument played by gesturing in the air and brought it to life in collaboration with programmer Michael Ndubuisi, also a senior.

To play the Aura, Li dons gloves fitted with sensors that report the position and orientation of his hands in a magnetic field. Raising and lowering the hands controls pitch; spreading them apart increases volume. Closing the fingers activates flex sensors and muffles the sound, and twisting the hands adds distortion. Through an interface created by Ndubuisi, hand positions are converted to signals in the universal MIDI language for electronic instruments and fed to a synthesizer.

The result looks something like a person listening to music and pretending to conduct, but this "conductor" is more like a wizard conjuring music out of thin air.

"We're trying to capture those intuitive gestures and make music," Li explained. The magnetic sensors were lent by Ascension Technology Corp. of Vermont, which developed them for medical applications, motion tracking and manipulation of 3-D graphics.

Li's first electronic instrument, a class project for a circuits course in his sophomore year, was Sabre, an electronic cello in which conductive strips replaced strings, and a joystick in the right hand could modify the sound. Aura grew out of a desire to improve expressiveness. He wanted more than a joystick, he said, so he could directly control the sound with his hands.

The Cornell Council for the Arts is funding a public presentation at the end of this semester, for which the team is developing the next phase, called SoundSpace. This will let the musician control recorded sounds of various instruments, add percussion through body movement, and provide some visual representations. The concert is slated for March 26 in Cornell's Barnes Hall Auditorium.

"The musician will create a whole song on stage with nothing," as Li describes it, adding that he will have to recruit a whole team of programmers to bring his vision to life.

Outside of class, Li plays "a bit of piano and guitar," but focuses on vocals, singing with the a cappella groups Tarana and Exploosh!

Video: http://www.cornell.edu/video/ray-li-invents-electronic-musical-instrument-aura


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. The original article was written by Vasyl Kacapyr. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Students invent 'aura' musical instrument using gloves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218142251.htm>.
Cornell University. (2014, February 18). Students invent 'aura' musical instrument using gloves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218142251.htm
Cornell University. "Students invent 'aura' musical instrument using gloves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218142251.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins