Strings early video demo

This past September, I was in Seattle (to play a show as Blue Sky Black Death’s vocalist). I bumped into my friend David Lu, and over lunch at Elliot Bay bookstore, we took an idea he had and sketched it out on a napkin. The idea was simple: A musical instrument where drawn lines becoming plucked strings, with pitch based on length.

Lots of possibilities. Can you layer loops as you perform, like physical stomp boxes? Can you use two fingers to create a bow? Can you tune your strings to form a particular chord or scale?

I got a quick Flash prototype working during following weekends (shown in video). The plucking physics involved a lot of trigonometry, and fine-tuning things like decreasing the flexibility as you approach the endpoints. The audio samples are cello pizzicato from corscia_s at freesound.org.

I’m about 50% done recreating it in HTML5 + Javascript. The Canvas element has been seamless for drawing vector shapes, although the Audio doesn’t seem as elegant as Flash’s yet. More on that in another post. Also, the project is still in need of a name.

5 comments on ‘Strings early video demo’

  1. eran hilleli says:

    Alexander this is the most beautiful digital creation i have ever witnessed.

  2. Noga Brienes says:

    I agree with Eran.

  3. Moco says:

    Wow, really impressive! The simplicity & genius reminds me of Balldroppings. no more words …

  4. [...] months of listening to plucked string samples and bezier curves for the MTA.ME and Crayong projects, I’ve been itching to find a slightly different field to play in. The relationship [...]

Leave a Reply