Thesis Info

The [hid] Toolkit for Pd
Hans-Christoph Steiner
2nd Author
3rd Author
Masters of Professional Studies
Number of Pages
New York University
Thesis Supervisor
Kathy Wilson
Supervisor e-mail
ksw2 AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Interactive Telecommunications Program
Languages Familiar to Author
English, Deutsch
URL where full thesis can be found
instrument design, game controllers, pure data, music
Abstract: 200-400 words
The [hid] toolkit is a set of Pd objects for designing instruments to harness the real-time interaction made possible by contemporary computer music performance environments. This interaction has been too frequently tied to the keyboard-mouse-monitor model, narrowly constraining the range of possible gestures the performer can use. A multitude of gestural input devices are readily available, making it much easier utilize a broad range of gestures. Consumer Human Interface Devices (HIDs) such as joysticks, tablets, and mice are cheap, and some can be quite good musical controllers, including some that can provide non-auditory feedback. The [hid] toolkit provides objects for using the data from these devices and controlling the feedback, as well as objects for mapping the data from these devices to the desired output. Many musicians are using and creating gestural instruments of their own, but the creators rarely develop virtuosity, and these instruments rarely gain wide acceptance due to the expense and skill level needed to build them; this prevents the formation of a body of technique for these new instruments. The [hid] toolkit is built in Pd, which provides an ideal platform for this work, combining sound and visual synthesis and control with easy access to many external devices for interfacing with humans. Pd is a high level programming language, which is relatively easy for novices without major limitations for advanced users. Using consumer HIDs allows musicians to build a shared body of technique, much like video game players have developed; the [hid] toolkit enables sharing of instrument patches. In combination, designers of new interfaces for musical expression can design their own instruments while building upon existing skills.