The Soundplane: a new instrument for intimate control of synthesis
Randy Jones, Madrona Labs

Computer music research has been wildly successful in making new timbral resources available to the composer. But while advances like physical modeling and granular synthesis have spread to a wide audience through commercially available software, hardware devices capable of intimate control over these synthesis methods are just beginning to appear.

Randy Jones designed one such instrument, the Soundplane, and after three years of development he is making it commercially available starting this Fall. Externally, the Soundplane is a wooden interface with the feel of an acoustic instrument. Internally, it is a surface pressure sensor with a resolution of 8 rows by 64 columns by 12 bits by 1kHz. Its design invites effortful manipulation, and a connection between performer and audience. Randy will demonstrate a prototype and pass it around for hands-on time. He will also describe the inner workings of the Soundplane in detail, and chart its development process from thesis project to shipping product.

Randy Jones is a composer and designer who makes new systems for audiovisual expression. He has performed and lectured at festivals including Cimatics (Brussels), MUTEK (Montreal), the Festival de Música Electroacústica (Havana), Decibel (Seattle), and New Forms (Vancouver). He was a co-creator of Jitter, the graphics and matrix processing software published by Cycling '74. At his new company, Madrona Labs, Randy and his colleagues are on a mission to design and build electronic instruments that are at least as expressive as acoustic ones.

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Monday, November 7, 2011, 10:00pm to Tuesday, November 8, 2011 12:00am