Controllers (EEG-scanning)

ibva

Lately, I’ve been looking into methods of controlling the computer without using my legs or my hands. EEG-scanning was one of them:

EEG-scanning is a way of analyzing your brainwaves. Brainwaves are weak electric signals, so the EEG-scanner amplifies them and sends them to a computer for processing. I got the chance to test an EEG-scanner called IBVA (Interactive brainwave visual analyzer).

This scanner sends the amplified brainwave signals to a computer via bluetooth and is compatible with OSX and comes with many interesting and crazy applications, among others a VST-synth.

Basically, what you get are signals over a serial port which you can process the way you find it necessary, for example with Max/MSP.

This can be used to many things, but apart from the 1Hz-signal you get from blinking your eyes, it’s quite hard to control.

I was thinking of using it as a kind of “organic random”, but my conclusion was that it was to much hassle to just get some random numbers and the audience would definitely not hear a difference (please comment on this statement if you feel for it).

One method for implementing this in my playing that could make some sense is to record both the music and my brainwaves from some sessions playing improvised music. Later add effects to the music that enhances my musical intentions, for example at a musically “dirty” section of the performance, I could add some distortion, and at more “romantic” parts, I could add some reverb etc. Then I would link the corresponding brainwaves to trigger those effects and see if I try to do this live, that my feelings, reflected in my brainwaves, would trigger the right effects … Well, it has to be tested.

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