MIDI Out of Hand
MIDI Out of Hand is a MIDI controller that reads big, expressive movements by the player or players. To activate a note, a player presses a footswitch. The sound can be modified by pulling either of the retractable cords from the upper part of the instrument: by default, the left cord controls the filter cutoff, and the right cord controls the pitch shift, but they can be mapped to any parameter in a DAW.

MIDI Out of Hand attempts to expand the kinetic vocabulary of electronic instruments. Pursuing this opened the final instrument to be played in novel ways, like by more than one person at a time.

This project also prompted a process for instrument prototyping. In a workshop, participants pretended to “play” nearby large objects—like a recycling bin, a paper cutter, and a ladder—as though they were instruments. We used a keyboard to produce sounds that roughly mirror the movements they were making, and determined what movement-sound combinations were most interesting and realistic.
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The yellow foot switch activates the highest note. The three pedals go up by fourths.
When retracted, the cords rest snugly on the body of the instrument.
One person is not expected to play all three notes at once. Three people are.