The God Article - Progress and Prototyping

An update on our progress and looking forward to user testing.

Our group is working hard to get a functional prototype ready for testing with a Ney player (or 'Neyzen') in early May. Currently we're making good progress with both strands of the prototype:

  • Hardware (the instrument itself, rigged with sensors to capture data about how it is played)
  • Software (the screen-based interface that 'plays back' that data to the Neyzen)

 

Hardware:
To date, we have:

  • 3D printed a replica Ney, in order to accurately position the various sensors. We had problems with the assembly of it in 4 parts and are currently working on a new design made of 3 parts.
  • 3D printed and assembled a Kaval (another related instrument) - we've done this as it's somehow easier to play, but very similar in construction to the Ney. The outcome is very encouraging
  • Experimented with capacitive sensing to track the fingering (analogue values) and air pressure sensing
  • Experimented with wireless communication between the sensors and the boards and on the electronic board made by soft copper
  • Explored various sensing technologies (like Touch√© from Disney Labs) and various audio descriptors

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Software:

To date we have:

  • Started to refine designs for data visualisations for the first round of testing. These will concentrate on a linear, data-rich visualisation (to use as a transcription¬† of a performance for teaching/study/comparison) and non-linear visualisation that illustrates the relationship between breath and tone only (for use as a practise aid when learning to produce sounds from the Ney)
  • Started to design the user experience of recording and playing back data - in other words how the software interface might feel to use as a teaching or practice aid.

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We're really looking forward to testing things with a musician next week.

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