My AirDeck virtual theremin application was recently mentioned in Electronic Gaming Monthly and I was briefly quoted. Here is the excerpt from the article:
I am also posting a couple of photos that I sent to EGM to use in the article. EGM did not end up using them, but they are really great shots taken by my friend Omar Ramirez of Public Works Collective from my sit-down with them last year. Public Works Collective is a group putting together a film documentary chronicling the history of the Los Angeles electronic dance music scene. Here are the shots:
Ken Moore has been working on theremin emulation for some time now. He developed a Wii remote based theremin, and was quite helpful to me as I was developing my AirDeck project, which was also a Wii based theremin emulation application. Now Ken has done it again. This time, with the Kinect motion detection device that is used with the Xbox 360. Perhaps, if I can find the time, I can work on something similar with the PlayStation Move, which I have, and then we will have effectively converted all three motion based video game systems into theremins. Check this out:
This is a pretty good basic introduction to theremins and how they work from G4TV’s Attack of the Show segment called It’s Effing Science.
For the past few months I have had a number of people asking me if and when I plan on releasing the code to my AirDeck project. This is something I have been thinking about, but I have a number of concerns. I am not intending to make any money off this project (not even sure if I could), but I know that I would not someone else to run with the code and make money off of it either. Also, because I am using several APIs that were developed by other people, I am not sure what the licensing issues are. So, I am still deciding on how to proceed.
In the meantime, however, I have decided to post an early iteration of this project in applet form. This is a mouse based version, not using the Wii remote, as this is how I initially began coding and testing the project. I will be the first to admit this is somewhat buggy. I am also interested in seeing how this runs as a client applet on other machines over the internet. This is using a beta version of the JSYN api that is supposed to work without any plugin software. It works fine on my machine, but please leave me a note in the comments describing any issues you may encounter. Thanks and enjoy!
Also, this is a java applet, so java must be installed on your machine. Here is a link to the applet page:
This is a beautiful rendition of one of my favorite relaxing classical pieces. This version is played on a theremin by Randy George. Enjoy.
This website chronicles the history of electronic musical instruments from the late 1800s to 1990. Included is information about the theremin, the Ondes-Martenot and the Telharmonium, which are three very interesting early instruments.
Here is some video I shot shortly after my project presentation which demonstrates the AirDeck virtual theremin application I designed and explains some of the features. It uses the Wii remote as an input mechanism by tracking motion with Infrared LEDs. The AirDeck is written in Java with the WiiUseJ API for handling Wii remote events and the JSyn API for internal synthesis. It can control MIDI out as well as offering a simple DJ scratch interface for real-time manipulation of sound samples similar to a DJ scratching with vinyl records. After about a year of working on this project, I am very relieved that it is finished. I’ve learned a lot and am looking forward to possibly working on other similar concepts in the not too distant future.