Symboter/Records /(2004) DataGlove Music

(2004) DataGlove Music

(2004) DataGlove Music

I am fascinated by alternative input devices for creating or controlling musical events. That’s why I also have a Tenori-On from Yamaha, which is rather disappointing as a sample player, but shines (or rather: shined…) as an input device with a new operating structure.

Around 2003 I developed a data glove that has a direct MIDI output and outputs the finger bending as a MIDI controller value. You can set a minimum and maximum for each finger and reverse the direction of the increase, i.e. the value becomes higher when the finger is bent or stretched in the other direction. This allows you to set whether a fist, for example, mutes everything or whether this is done with the extended fingers, depending on your preference.

Here is a Flash demo (removed, Flash is no longer available…)

Schneiders Büro, very well known as a Berlin based specialized shop for everything that makes analog sounds or “screws them up”, invited me to demonstrate the glove at their booth at the Musikmesse Frankfurt in April 2004. Fortunately, my old buddy Dieter Döpfer was there with his great A-100 modular system, which I immediately connected to via a midi to CV interface. I wore a midi transmitter on my glove, all powered by rechargeable batteries, so I could “knead” sounds wirelessly.

Here is a picture of it:

Olaf Schirm with MidiGlove

After the Musikmesse, I had many contacts from musicians who would like to use the glove, but it was too expensive to manufacture for the pricepoint they were willing to pay for it. I built the glove in series for me an some friends fore music applications a few years. I market I did not knew before, medical and research was attracted by my design and after some months of further development the DataGlove was able to measure individual finger joints, pressure at the fingertips and hand tilt. The DataGlove can still do midi, including gesture recognition and converting gestures into midi, but it’s only really used in industry and VR labs. It’s a shame really, but I understand it’s too expensive.

Now, some years late, I no longer produce DataGloves for third parties, only for myself. Incidentally, I have also built complete data suits and midi shoe soles.

Olaf Schirm Symboter Dataglove
Olaf Schirm with DataGlove (Foto: Oliver S. Scholten)

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