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#1147246 - 03/01/08 05:01 PM Who wants a new MIDI controller?
RogerW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 439
I know I want one of these:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkpEPth8ubs \:D \:D

The video looks suspicious, but the device appears to be real:
http://cmr.soc.plymouth.ac.uk/publications/IJDHD_5_2_2006.pdf

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#1147247 - 03/01/08 05:47 PM Re: Who wants a new MIDI controller?
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
Cool. There is also www.emotiv.com which makes this technology very affordable. I wonder what kind of connectors it will have (USB, hopefully). It would be fun getting one of those when they become available and write some software for it.
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#1147248 - 03/02/08 01:20 AM Re: Who wants a new MIDI controller?
RogerW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 439
Interesting. Wonder how long it will take until stuff like this can be found in the average home. Unfortunately the device in the video still seems to require the player to focus on what keys to press. What I've always wanted is a helmet that would output midi data of the music I hear inside my head. Now that would be the ultimate composing tool! Perhaps in 200 years...

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#1147249 - 03/02/08 04:31 AM Re: Who wants a new MIDI controller?
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
I don't know how these two particular devices work, but from an article I've read many years ago, you associate a thought -- for example "chair" -- with an action -- for example "move the mouse cursor to the left". Then after some practice you no longer need to think about the chair to make the mouse move. I don't see why this couldn't work to output MIDI too. \:D
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#1147250 - 03/02/08 05:24 AM Re: Who wants a new MIDI controller?
ktom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/07
Posts: 212
Loc: Somerset UK
Fascinating stuff, and I reckon the video is genuine - but reading the academic paper closely you can see that the way it works is a very long way indeed from "think of what you want to hear". Stochastic processes and Markov chains are a long way in the past for me - and I dont think I want to go there again!!

I recall reading that research in this area has been popular with the military for a long time, because of obvious applications, so I guess the most advanced stuff will be classified anyway..

As for 200 years time - I fear it is more likely that direction of musical data transmission will be from[/b] the computer into[/b] our brain, including breaks every 90 seconds for hover-car insurance, virtual exercise software and DIY transplant kits \:\(
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#1147251 - 03/02/08 06:04 AM Re: Who wants a new MIDI controller?
RogerW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 439
 Quote:
Originally posted by ktom:
reading the academic paper closely you can see that the way it works is a very long way indeed from "think of what you want to hear".[/b]
Yes, so it seems. But it should be possible, at least according to this quote from Daniel Levitin's book "This is your brain on music":

Pitch is so important, that the brain represents it directly; unlike almost any other musical attribute, we could place electrodes in the brain and be able to determine what pitches were being played to a person just by looking at the brain activity.

He later gets back to the subject:

The direct mapping of pitch is so important, it bears repeating. If I put electrodes in your visual cortex (the part of the brain at the back of the head concerned with seeing), and I then showed you a red tomato, there is no group of neurons that will cause my electrodes to turn red. But if I put electrodes in your auditory cortex and play a pure tone in your ears at 440 Hz, there are neurons in your auditory cortex that will fire at precisely that frequency, causing the electrode to emit electrical activity at 440 Hz - for pitch, what goes into the ear comes out of the brain!

I'm no expert on neurology, but from what I've read, the brain activity when you think of an action is usually very similar to the brain activity when you perform that action. So perhaps the neurons in the auditory cortex also fire in the same way when I think of a pitch as when I hear the pitch. Then I could one day get my Midi helmet! \:D

Another interesting implication of the two quotes above is that every single person actually has perfect pitch, most people just don't know how to use it...

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