Designed for musicians, DJs and live performers, Remidi’s wearable MIDI controller that turns your hand into a whole new type of instrument.
Tapping your fingers to the rhythm of your favorite songs on a desk, table or even your steering wheel can help pass time while at work, in class or stuck in traffic. But how much cooler would it be if you could turn your hand into an actual, fully-functional musical instrument? That was the idea behind Austin-based startup Remidi’s latest wearable device, T8.
T8 is a MIDI controller that allows you to command a wide range of digital music with your hands. The system consists of two parts: a sensor-laden glove and an embedded wristband that wirelessly sync to a laptop or mobile device running music creation software.
The bracelet includes a pair of select buttons (to hit play/pause, choose between modes, etc.) and a knob on top for scrolling through note or chord sets, samples and parameters. Housed inside the band is an accelerometer for detecting mid-air gestural controls and expressive pitch bends, as well as an ATmega32U4 and Bluetooth 4.0 module for communication with any laptop, PC, smartphone or tablet. There’s also an RGB LED and a 110mAh battery, which boasts a life of around five to 10 hours and can be recharged via microUSB in about a half an hour.
“The controller also has the ability to sense the physical movements of your wrist and arms. Rotate your wrist to distort your audible output using any effect, or move it up and down to cause a reverberation,” Remidi writes. “The circular dial, located on the top of the T8’s controller, allows you to program another complete set of notes, so with a twist of the dial, you can instantly flip to an entirely new note-set.”
The wristband magnetically links to a snug-fitting Spandex glove, which is home to eight pressure sensitive trigger zones — one in each of the fingers, another in the thumb and the rest in the palm area. These ‘skeleton’ sensors are made of human-friendly PET and TPU, along with proprietary smart textile components. According to its creators, “no other ‘musical glove’ can come close to the T8’s electronic sensitivity and physical durability.”
Users can configure each sensor to trigger samples, notes or presets when the sensor hits any surface, which enables you to control up to 16 different sounds with one hand. For instance, you can sound a kick drum with your thumb or use you palm to bring in a hi-hat and snare. Additionally, the pressure sensitivity of the sensors can be defined by the user and the T8 knows exactly when — and at what pressure — you’re pushing the palm of your hand against a surface as well as how soft or hard you’re putting two or more sensors together.
To get started, simply out your T8, sync it to your mobile device and begin jamming right there on the spot. Based on percussion algorithms, the T8 can sense when any one of the eight sensors makes contact with a desk, wall, subway seat, car window, yourself or another human, and triggers the corresponding, programmed sound to play. In fact, did you know it only takes one hand to record the instrumentals for 2Pac’s California Love?
Meanwhile, an accompanying app lets users customize functionality and configure the system; however, Remidi’s controller even integrates with third party music software and digital audio workstations, like Ableton Live, Animoog, GarageBand or any other program that supports MIDI.