Theremin Sensors Workshop [de Berlin]

theramin.jpgTheremin Sensors Workshop with Andrei Smirnov :: May 18 – 22, 2009; 12:00 – 6:00 pm :: NK, ElsenStr. 52 (2.Hof) Berlin, Germany :: Course Participation fee: 100 euros :: Registration required (limited to 12) — email enka_nkATgmxDOTde

This intensive workshop offers hands-on introduction to interactive systems, based on the theremin-sensor technology developed by Andrei Smirnov and based on the same principle as a well known electronic musical instrument the Theremin, invented by Russian inventor Leon Theremin in 1919. The sensors are small and sensitive digital Theremins useful for numerous applications including motion tracking, gestural interfacing, monitoring of small variations of electrical capacitances related to any sorts of conductive materials and media, including metal objects, foil, liquids, water, human body, plants, metal threads, thin plastic films with metallization, all sorts of Christmas stuff etc.

As a starting point of the workshop participants will convert their laptops into digital multichannel Theremins to develop further, during the workshop different interactive audio/video installations, motion capturing systems, unusual gestural interfaces, 3D Theremins, digital Terpsitones and other unusual musical instruments.

The workshop is oriented on sound and media artists, composers and musicians, who have particular interest in sound art and interactive systems, forgotten history and musical technology in general.

The theoretical introductions, which accompany a workshop, give detailed technical overview of sensor technology and construction, basic principles of operation of the theremin based systems, art and music applications, useful concepts and ideas, condensed historical content, mostly related to almost forgotten historical facts.

Participants will learn:
= How to detect different sorts of motion and measure it
= How to monitor very small variations of electrical parameters
= How to deal with the data acquired
= How to integrate these systems into musical performance, dance, video, sound and art installations
= How to build multichannel sensor systems based on Arduino microcontrollers
= How to program new instruments and perform with them

Requirements: Each participant should have a computer with an audio input and headphones. All computers and software should be configured and checked in advance (!).

Minimal configuration
1. Laptop with PD or MAX/MSP installed
2. Stereo audio input
3. Personal headphones
4. All appropriate cables
5. Appropriate amount of power plugs

Useful options: Experienced participants interested in development of multichannel theremin-sensor systems should bring multichannel sound cards or Arduino microcontrollers which will be converted into multichannel USB theremins. For those who hate computers and interested in pure analog circuits some breadboards will be very useful.

Software: Participants should have some skills in PD or MAX/MSP programming. It is also possible to work with any favorite software, oriented on interactive systems development, which allow external control via OSC or MIDI (Supercollider, Isadora etc.). In all cases control data will be provided via MAX/MSP runtime or PD patches from instructor’s library. It is important to remember that in many cases the use of extra software will result in significant increase of latency and other possible timing problems.

Analog and digital USB sensors for testing, experimenting and performance as well as all appropriate software libraries will be provided by instructor as well as different stuff for antenna construction.






May 13, 2009
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