Leap Motion Alters Sounds of Multiple Instruments

As Dev Kits for the Leap Motion start trickling in, designers are coming up with some compelling uses for this motion-based controller.

Stephane Bersot recently used his to control a number of physical musical instruments. Using the Leap Motion he composed and performed a tune that uses air drums, controls the pitch on his guitar, and the EQ on his piano.

The lead licks on the guitar are especially impressive, with pitch bends that rival Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins.


The trickiest part for Stephane seemed to be the air drums. He explains:

My method is pretty basic and still needs some work actually. It wasn’t easy to play drums with it. I used the velocities and the position of the pointables on the X axis. Basically I play a note when I reach the right velocity (down motion) then to avoid the note to be played many times I wait for the velocity to be crossed the other way (up motion). Add to that a bit of filtering to smooth the results and that works ok for this video.

10 thoughts on “Leap Motion Alters Sounds of Multiple Instruments

    1. A consumer grade 3D positioning system that can sense osculations of a few mm at frequencies in the human audio range from a foot or more away ten years from now sure but today it would be a huge jump. that being said i wouldn’t mind if it were true.

  1. Who can tell me how many hours of work into this project and how many lines of code he had to write?
    I really want motion sensing controllers, but at the moment they still need a lot of improvements in both hardware and software.

  2. I’ve waited over a year to get my leap motion and it’s hopefully almost here! I’ve been coming up with different App ideas and interactive ways to really take it’s capabilities into the future. I loved the videos! Great for a little inspiration!

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In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

View more articles by Michael Colombo