Fernando Kriete - May 14th 2004

Sensor Gloves


The ideas behind the goals for this project came from two different directions. First we wanted to successfully utilize Flex sensors to control continuous parameters in Reason. During our first project we tried creating the force to bend the flex sensors using a fan getting poor results because of the relatively high resistance of bend in sensors compared to the amount of wind output we hand available. While working on this project we realized that the seemingly ideal way for utilizing these sensors to their full potential would be to use them on a hand. So the idea of attaching them to a glove came about in this way.

Then we began thinking as to how we can vary the types of MIDI manipulation. When Mario DeCiutiis came in for his DrumKat presentation he expressed that he was having a hard time getting drummers to accept the DrumKat. He went on saying how he is trying to tap the DJ market by offering an extremely manipulative and expressive device which DJs could program and perform their Dance music in a live atmosphere. This is where the final goal for our project came from. So we fused the ideas of sensor filled gloves and the dance music live performance.

Building the Gloves

List of materials:

    1. Mac with Max and Reason
    2. Doepfer Box
    3. Two gardening gloves
    4. 5 flex Sensors
    5. 5 Force Sensing Resistors
    6. Electrical wire
    7. 2 nine pin connectors
    8. 1 Circuit breadboard
    9. Electrical tape
    10. Souder

One of the main problems we ran into while building the gloves was how to attach the flex sensors to the fingers of the gloves in a manner which allows for full flex of the sensors by extending and contracting the fingers the way you would make a fist. The Sensors had to be attached on the top part of the glove from the lower part of the sensor to around the knuckle area of the hand. The problem was that if you just simply glued the tip and the bottom of the sensor, the tension created when flexed would most definitely snap the sensor or unglue it. So we needed to somehow attach the tip of the sensor to the tip of the glove in a way that allowed fluid movement of the sensor while flexing. This was solved by creating slits of a silky cloth at the tips of the fingers, which the sensor would slide in and out from while flexing. These slits are clearly illustrated in the following picture.


We also had trouble setting up the distance sensors. One of them just did not work, and the other was accidentally fried, so we were left without that option. The tilt sensor also never worked.

Max Patch

5 Controller ins from the flex sensors, sending 6 controller outs into Reason.
Each one manipulates the flex data to come up with an accurate range of 0-127 for the flex sensors

5 Note ins coming from the FSRs, sending 5 note outs into Reason.
Manipulates the data from the FSRs so that it sends note-on/off when tapped. No velocity values needed since we are only
turning mutes on/off.

One of the main problems we encountered here was the when a sensors sends one hit of data, max would react by sending two bangs instead of one. Using a toggle, 2 switches, and a number of other objects to strip the data of the extra bang solved this.

Reason File Components

Drummixer with 1 channel per drum component -> CH1 Mixer1

Mixer1 with Aux1->EQ, Aux2 -> Reverb, Aux3 -> Delay, Aux4 -> Flange

Redrum —> individual Drums to Drummixer

Redrum -> Delay -> EQ -> Mixer1 CH2-> - Bongos

Subtractor -> 3 Parametric Eqs -> Reverb -> Mixer1 CH3 — Bass line

Subractor -> Mixer1 CH4 Left — Lead melody

NNXT ->Scream -> Reverb -> Mixer1 CH4 Right — Lead Melody

Maelstrom -> Phaser -> RV7000 -> Mixer1 CH5 — Strings

Parameters that the Gloves are controlling:

Left Hand — Continuous controllers
Pinky — Delay on Drums
Ring — Drums Flanger
Middle — Bass Filter Frequency
Pointer — Strings Modulation Wheel
Thumb — Melody Resonance on Scream

Right Hand — Note on/off
Pinky — Mute Mixer1 CH1 - Drums
Ring — Mute Mixer1 CH2 — Bongos
Middle — Mute Mixer1 CH3 - Bass
Pointer — Mute Mixer1 CH4 - Melody
Thumb — Mute Mixer1 CH5 - Strings

What I would have done differently knowing what I know now is maybe use a different kind of more sensitive sensor for the note on/off since the FSRs are not as sensitive as wed like them to be. Ideally a small tap on the tip of the finger should trigger and the FSRs do not respond in that manner. Also I would slightly reposition the sensors so that they are more on the tip of the finger so as to be able to play it like a piano, and not with a flat palm. •

Jeff Hamalainen's report