Some time ago, I promised more details on my next project. Well, here it is!

Following my current fondness for the mid-last-century space race it is called Sputnik. It is/should be a New Interface for Musical Expression, or NIME for short. But what is all that mumbo jumbo, you ask?

Sputnik combines fancy 3D graphics with a music generation backend. The user interacts with a 3D scene via a wiimote controller. She can interact with objects in the scene through an arc of light, select them, move them around and do other (to be developed) stuff. These objects then react to the user’s input and trigger the sound creation.

For instance, you could control the playhead of a sampler by dragging a 3D object across the scene. Twist the wiimote, or push buttons, or waggle the nunchuck controller to change additional effect parameters and things alike. The 3D scene allows to have many of such objects at the same time, thus adding a bit of a state to the interface.

The challenge will be to find mappings and matching sound generation algorithms that put the system to good use and allow an expressive performance.

The project targets OSX as its main development platform but it should be possible to port it to other platforms afterwards. Pure data will be used for sound generation, but any other tool could be used since Sputnik outputs standard midi messages.

Project deadline is christmas, so stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks.