The Drancing accelerometer music "air instrument"

What is Drancing ?

Drancing is a gestural synthesis accelerometer music system (an "air instrument") under development by Dr Darren Kelly since 1996. Drancing employs triaxial-accelerometers (3D vector acceleration transducers) to synthesise music, visuals, and computer controls from human gestures, dance, and movement.

The name Drancing is derived from "Drumming-by-Dancing" (or "air drums" mode) which is just one of its many applications. It can also be used as an "air synthesizer", "air guitar", or "air piano", and to make sounds never heard or named before.

Drancing uses real-time synthesis of sound and visuals

A distinguishing feature of the Drancing system is that it can employ continuous, real-time synthesis of sound to create strong aural biofeedback, not just triggering of pre-recorded samples (although it can trigger samples as well).

The "organic" Drancel RGB LED visuals and real-time computer-generated visuals also promote strong visual biofeedback. It is by design a "synaesthetic" instrument.

Video: YouTube: Drancing accelerometer music with Wiimotes: 3D variable frequency oscillators + amplitude variation + triggered "air drum" samples

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
ERROR: You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.
This error usually only occurs if embedding remote content fails; Please try playing the original video on the original site using the following link.
Scenes

Demonstrates combined oscillator frequency variation, amplitude variation, and triggered Drum sample ("Drumming by Dancing") modes along with Drancel RGB monitor visuals projected onto the "Drancer" performer.

For this demonstration two hand-held WiiTM Remotes on a MacBook Pro were used. (The original Drancing accelerometer suit (since 1997) used 5 triaxial accelerometers in a "body star" pattern").

Drancel RGB PureData/GEM accelerometer monitors

Drancel RGB PureData/GEM accelerometer monitors

The Drancel accelerometer "light atom" principle can be applied to any light source or video generator; here PureData/GEM computer visuals are used to create Drancel accelerometer monitors, based almost exactly on the Java visuals from previous versions of DranceWare.

The corresponding (very pragmatically developed) prototype PureData/GEM patches look a bit rough, however the resulting monitor lights are beautiful when projected behind a performer, and they provide excellent visual feedback to accompany the audio synthesis.

Video: 2 Drancers (acceleration avatars) each with 5 Drancels: in PureData/GEM Prototype of DranceWare: rotating camera: driven by Wiimote

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
Scenes

Demonstrates 2 "Drancer" acceleration avatars, each with 5 Drancel RGB triaxial accelerometer synthesis atoms, with orthogonal "light cones" (which correspond to LEDs with reflectors). The sound here is synthesised from 2 sets of WiiTM Remote accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM. (For this demonstration every Drancel RGB of each Drancer receives the same signals.)

Video: Drancel RGB accelerometer "light horns" sound=colour synthesis principle (with 3 Variable Frequency Oscillators): driven by Wiimote

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
Scenes

Demonstrates one Drancel RGB accelerometer synthesis atom design, with orthogonal "light cones" (which can correspond to LEDs with reflectors). The sound here is synthesised from WiiTM Remote accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM.

Video: The Drancel RGB virtual triaxial accelerometer: colour=sound synthesis principle in 3D (with 3 VFOs and simulated sinusoidal signals)

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
Scenes

Demonstrates one Drancel RGB accelerometer synthesis atom design, with orthogonal "light cones" (which can correspond to LEDs with reflectors). The sound here is synthesised from simulated sinusoidal accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM.

Photo of the original Drancing accelerometer suit

Photo of the original Drancing accelerometer suit

The original Drancing prototype used 5 triaxial accelerometers in a "body star" formation in a suit and a cable for data transfer.

Video: Drancing suit 2002: triaxial accelerometer sound axes: variable frequency and variable amplitude modes

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
Scenes

Demonstration of the axes of a triaxial accelerometer using sound synthesis. The relationship to gravity is explored using vector acceleration with 3D Variable Frequency Oscillator (VFO) mode, then amplitude variation "triaxial chord" mode.

Video: Drancing suit 2002: variable frequency + variable amplitude mode

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
Scenes

The (X,Y,Z) channels of five 3D accelerometers vary the amplitudes and the frequencies of 5 x 3 = 15 pure sinusoidal oscillators.

One can hear "beat" frequencies generated by similar frequencies corresponding to different accelerometer channels, such as when the arms are raised to similar levels, which effect can be exploited for musical nuance and for movement therapy to measure symmetry of posture.

Video: Drancing suit 2002: "air DJ" scratching: variable frequency + variable amplitude

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
Scenes

So who needs a turn-table ? Look Mum, no hands !

Video: 1 Drancer (acceleration avatar) with 5 Drancel RGB virtual triaxial accelerometers: colour=sound synthesis principle in 3D (PureData/GEM) 3 VFOs per Drancel and simulated sinusoidal signals

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
Scenes

Demonstrates one "Drancer" (an acceleration avatar for the Drancing accelerometer music system) with 5 Drancel RGB accelerometer synthesis atoms (corresponding to hands/wrists, feet/ankles, and waist). The sound here is synthesised from simulated sinusoidal accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM.

Video: 2 Drancers (acceleration avatars) each with 5 Drancels: in PureData/GEM Prototype of DranceWare: Driven by Wiimote

Play video (then use fullscreen !)
Scenes

Demonstrates 2 "Drancer" acceleration avatars, each with 5 Drancel RGB triaxial accelerometer synthesis atoms, with orthogonal "light cones" (which correspond to LEDs with reflectors). The sound here is synthesised from 2 sets of WiiTM Remote accelerometer signals driving Variable Frequency Oscillators (VFOs) in Pure Data; the visuals are in GEM. (For this demonstration every Drancel RGB of each Drancer receives the same signals.)