Some of us move freely between the real and virtual dimensions, can make dubstep basses just by moving our spine, and shoot flames out of our hands naturally. For everyone else, there’s this.
Ryan Challinor, whose day gig is as a developer working on Dance Central, apparently just couldn’t get enough Kinect hacking at his desk at Harmonix. He’s spending his evenings do yet more, with a tool he calls “Synapse for Kinect.” It’s free and open source, and merges performance of visuals with music. And it should please Quartz Composer fans, to boot. He writes:
This is sort of a Kinect hack on steroids. It’s easy to install on anyone’s computer, it’s open source, and it gives you a user-friendly interface to control music and visuals in Ableton Live and Quartz Composer fully through Kinect input. More directly, it allows you to do things like play with a dubstep theremin while you have fire shooting out of your hands.
(Sadly, he really means “dubstep bass.” “Dubstep Theremin?” Now that might rekindle my waning interest in the genre. Make it so.)
See the video at top for a demo, and explanation below. And he has hopes that the wider community of artists will become involved, too — this isn’t just about one guy showing off a cool demo. He explains:
I want to get a lot of visibility for this project, to get it in the hands of talented musicians and artists so they can create awesome stuff. [Visit] http://synapsekinect.tumblr.com, where people can find more information about the project and download everything they need to run it on their own computer. Thanks!
Have at it:
I saw yet another Kinect music demo last week here in New York; I feel a round-up coming on. And yes, the tech has its limitations: it’s not a low-latency system, it lacks tangible feedback that you get from physical controls (try a Theremin), and some of the analysis can be challenging. But there’s still potential, within some of those restrictions, potential that is increasingly being realized in functioning projects. If you have some you’d like to see in our round-up, let us know in comments or via our contact form.
And yes, this is a bit late. I’m a human, not a virtual robot. Yet.