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.

"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 July 29, 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 July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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