“Effects Man” – Fun with The Kinect

So with all things that you have to learn, once you’ve got over the first hurdle of ‘The Basics’, comes the experimentation part – Where the fun begins.

We know the Kinect is fairly new to the world of technology and therefore it’s purposes are constantly being redefined. To keep up with all these changes, you’ve got to be testing out and trying to find weird and wonderful uses for your own small projects. With this said, my friend Dan (over at: http://dgrizzle.wordpress.com/) and I started working on such weird and wonderful things.

The original plan was that we’d create something that could control effects without interfacing with fiddly DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation – Cubase, Logic, etc). Obviously this idea naturally gravitated towards using the Kinect and we ended up making it within a day. Not only that, we made it the day before we performed at Pizza Express!

So here’s a video of us getting it working fairly smoothly – apologies for the quality, didn’t have much time to edit properly.

Simply put, Effects Man – Sorry if it seems sexist but we only had a day to think of the name too 😉 – uses Synapse to output all the skeletal data. Puredata routes all these wonderful numbers and, if necessary, a little maths is applied. Ableton Live is the last in the chain and is being controlled by the numbers received via Puredata to control Reverb and Distortion.

Now for those of you who came to the gig will have noticed that this wonderful thing didn’t actually take place, it was not seen at all… The reason being?

”]It had perfect positioning, no mic stands to mess with the Kinect’s idea of what skeleton to track, good height so it was hidden from the audience… conditions were perfects. The only thing we didn’t plan for? Anytime we triggered distortion there was some pretty noticable feedback. Enough to the point where we had to scrap the idea.

But it’s fine, it’s a learning curve. This didn’t make the project any less, it just means that we need more time for tweeking before actually performing.
Still, not bad for a day’s work?


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