interactive controller design '03 ::Grab Pipe::
The Grab Pipe

A multi-purpose, instrument combining the form of a classic woodwind (saxophone, oboe) with modern DJ techniques (crossfader, rotating neck) and tilt/shake sensing.

The Grab Pipe is an audio/visual controller that lets a performer manipulate sounds and images on a computer or synthesizer. The Grab Pipe combines the general form of a saxophone with new controls techniques developed by DJs and Turntablists. Specifically, The controls are a cross between a saxophone and a DJ Battle setup; the top hand has saxophone-like "keys" and rotates (like a record), while the bottom half uses a crossfader straight from a Numark DJ mixer.

A real full-size image.
The Grab Pipe was built during my second year at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications program, as an excercise in audio/visual instrument building.

It is more than an exercise, though - the Grab Pipe is a finished, working instrument that I play at clubs in New York City. It is designed with intuitive, ergonomic controls in mind, but its PVC piping frame and modular design also allow for the addition and removal of new controls and sensors, making the Grab Pipe a very flexible experimental controller platform.

For the ITP Winter Show '03, I created and audio-visual piece for show-goers to play on the Grab Pipe. Here are the instructions:

Materials: -PVC piping
-Rotating shaft (neck)
-MicroChip PIC18F452 microcontroller
-Analog Devices 202XL Accelerometer
-Numark DJ Mixer Crossfader
-Video game buttons
[N]ew [I]nterfaces for [M]usical [E]xpression[2]
A part of the NIME2 performance group.