Category Archives: Research

Karlax

The karlax resembles a clarinet or soprano saxophone in size and geometry, although its control structures do no involve blowing air through the instrument. Instead, the karlax wirelessly transmits data to a sound engine (e.g., computer software instrument) by manipulating 10 keys (with continuous range output), 8 velocity-sensitive pistons, 17 buttons and a combination mini-joystick and LCD character display, operated with the thumb of the left hand. The interior of the karlax contains both a 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer. In addition, the upper and lower half of the karlax can be twisted in opposite directions; that is to say, the upper and lower half can be rotated in opposite directions because the joint between the two halves of the instrument acts as a type of rotary potentiometer with a maximum rotation angle of 65°. Furthermore, at each angle boundary (i.e., 0° and 65°), the karlax offers an additional 12.5° of resistive twist space, providing a resistive force for the performer, who may have a sensation similar to bending or pulling a spring – albeit the movement is still a twisting/turning motion.

Development on the karlax began in 2001.  This digital musical instrument has been commercially available since approximately the mid-2000s and is manufactured by DA FACT, in Paris, France.

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T-Stick

The sensor-based t-stick digital musical instrument, which was invented in 2006, offers great potential for virtuosic control over a diverse range of sounds and musical materials, as well as promising new forms of musical and gestural expression. The t-stick has been designed and constructed to permit a unique variety interaction techniques such as: touching, gripping, brushing, tapping, shaking, squeezing, jabbing, swinging, tilting, rolling, and twisting. As a result, a significant emphasis is placed on the gestural vocabulary required to manipulate and manoeuvre the instrument. The musical experience for both the performer and audience is characterised by a notable engagement between performer body and instrument.

The t-stick project grew out of a collaborative undertaking by music technologist Joseph Malloch and composer/digital instrumentalist D. Andrew Stewart at the Input Devices and Music Interaction Laboratory and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media and Technology (McGill University), in cooperation with performers as part of the interdisciplinary McGill Digital Orchestra project.

The ongoing development of the t-stick family is a result of continuing institutional and public support. To date, the t-stick has been presented in Canada, Mexico, Norway, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and Korea Republic.

For more information and performance footage: