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Vibrato - Touch Sensitive Musical Instrument

Vibrato is the final project Anne Hong and I did for Physical Computing last semester. The photo at left shows the layout, seven tubular illuminated keys, with linear proximity sensors that detect the position of a finger touch anywhere along each tube. By touching the key anywhere along its length, the user plays a corresponding note of the music scale, with the octave depending upon which third of its length is pressed. Subsequently, the user can slide the finger on the key to perform pitch bend or vibrato effects.

The sensors used were Quantum QT401 linear touch sliders on custom designed PCBs embedded within each key, with 3M Photographic tape used as the required resistive element. A 12" piece of the 3/4" wide tape has a resistance around 75k-Ohms, perfect for this application. More details are available on the project site.

Upon further refinement, the project has been requested for display in ITP's Spring 2006 Show.

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