The Kinect software for Xbox is a brilliant and innovative creation, allowing for the production of not only incredibly fun games, but also cool and interesting hacks/mods. A new project, entitled Synapse for Kinect, aims to use this technology to produce music.
Under development by Ryan Challinor, Synapse for Kinect uses the movement of your body to create musical pieces, such as Dubstep as demonstrated in the sample videos (see below). By day, Challinor is a programmer for Harmonix’s Dance Central series, and wanting to expand upon this amazing technology, he decided to make this project his night-time side project. Challinor himself explains it as “sort of a Kinect hack on steroids.”
In the video, Challinor demonstrates the software to create a sample Dubstep song. The software is very easy to use, easy to install and/or mod to your own liking, and has a very easy-to-use interface that connects with Abelton Live and Quartz Composer using the Kinect input. What exactly does it do? Users can select different components within Abelton to control using their body, most likely their hands, and select which axis they would like to use to manipulate said control. In the software demonstration, Challinor uses his hands to control the volume of a sound effect (manipulated using the Y axis, i.e., by moving his right hand up and down), as well as applying distortion to the sound effect (manipulated by using the X axis, i.e., by moving his right hand up and down).
This software is a great example of what many uses the Kinect could have, and with some more tweaking, this software could easily be used not only in games, but perhaps even in live performances! I would love to personally see some awesome demonstrations, and if you would like to give this technology a try (musically talented or not), be sure to download all the FREE and open source software that Challinor graciously gives out and be sure to either leave a video comment on his video, or leave a comment in the comment section below! You can find all of the software, as well as videos on the project, on Challinor’s personal Tumbler!
You may also want to check out Virtual Jamming with Kinect and Kinect Hack Uses iPhone and iPad to Play Dodgeball!