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 Post subject: suit for b-boy that could send midi events
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:42 am 
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Posts: 65
I just found out about this group! Thats great news! I'm a long time maker - mostly electronics projects of various sorts. The other day at our church we had a b-boy on stage along with a DJ. I got to talking with them about an idea to have a suit of sorts for the b-boy that could send midi events wirelessly to a computer. They were both interested in the idea so I thought I would begin some research into the idea. Here is some ideas I found so far:

Fabric bend sensors - http://www.instructables.com/id/Fabric_bend_sensor/
Pressure sensitive gloves - http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/07/how-to_pressure-sensitive_glove_fin.html
Merlin stretch sensors - http://www.merlinrobotics.co.uk/merlinrobotics/merlin-stretch-sensors-c-33.html

And these cool knitwear suites that incorporate the merlin stretch sensors in them called Aeolia - http://spinhandspun.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/aeolia-knitwear-incorporates-stretch-sensor-technology/

I've never done anything with midi so I know little about it other than it seems to be low bandwidth - It should be possible to use something like an xbee for the wireless communications though.

Thats my current project. Any thoughts?

John


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 Post subject: Re: suit for b-boy that could send midi events
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:28 am 
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I am sure we could suggest lots of different things, but I guess I would like to know a bit more about how and what he would want triggered.

or lets start with, does he want to trigger them himself, or just let them happen when certain moves are done?

You can find sensors for a Arduino that measure distance to an object, or acceleration that could both have uses for this.

If he used a mat, Rfid sensors and a couple readers could be employed to trigger events ( or even in a suit, but that would be a bit more tricky)

Also you could go beyond Midi events and trigger integrated LED lights in the suit, or another prop too.


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 Post subject: Re: suit for b-boy that could send midi events
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:02 am 
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Booka wrote:
Also you could go beyond Midi events and trigger integrated LED lights in the suit, or another prop too.


Led's could be used as midi "instruments" each led representing a different note. Most people don't realize that midi communication goes 2 ways and that you can play a midi file on a midi connected instrument. I'd like to make a midi instrument sometime, using solenoids to strike a xylophone or even a full piano.

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 Post subject: Re: suit for b-boy that could send midi events
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:39 pm 
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i know a fellow who did that in college... it'll take some doing, but let me see if i can track him down. was in a history of electronic music seminar with him.


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 Post subject: Re: suit for b-boy that could send midi events
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:39 am 
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metis wrote:
i know a fellow who did that in college... it'll take some doing, but let me see if i can track him down. was in a history of electronic music seminar with him.


It's not a project I plan to take on any time in the near future...

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 Post subject: Re: suit for b-boy that could send midi events
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:07 pm 
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I made a little wearable drum machine with force sensing resistors.

I used xbee radios, which seem to be the best suited wireless for the application (don't go blue tooth)

the trick with the xbee radios is you have to configure the baud rate to midi. Midi rate is 31250, but to set the baud rate on the xbees you have to use hexidecimal. 31250 in hex is 7A12.

the other trick is xbees are at 3.3v, so an arduino mini pro is best suited for the application. On the receiver radio, the one that outputs the actual MIDI you'll need to bump the 3.3v coming out of the xbee up to 5 volts. there used to be a circuit out there I had that had two logic level converters, but I think buying the XBee Adapter kit - v1.1 Manufactured by Adafruit would be easier.

I've also made two wireless drum controllers you strap to your ankles, sending velocity data by way of accelerometers.

Good luck and hit me up with any questions. MIDI data from analog sensors isn't easy.


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 Post subject: Re: suit for b-boy that could send midi events
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:25 am 
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jtbarclay wrote:
I'd like to make a midi instrument sometime, using solenoids to strike a xylophone or even a full piano.


I'm in the process of making a full MIDI piano right now. It's an old pianocorder player piano which I've tapped into. The microcontroller solenoid driver works, and I just finished wiring up the MIDI input. The only thing left is a little glue code, and in a few days I'll be able to drive it from the computer.

I'm very interested in a MIDI mallet instrument, as I built my own marimba a few years back. The hardest part for me is sourcing a few dozen cheap solenoids.


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