Design & Evaluation of an Accessible Hybrid Violin Platform

Daniel Overholt, Steven Gelineck

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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We introduce and describe the initial evaluation of a new accessible (easily replicable) augmented violin prototype. Our research is focused on the user experience when playing such hybrid physical- digital instruments, and exploration of novel interactive performance techniques. The goal of wider platform accessibility for players and other researchers is approached via a simple ‘do-it-yourself’ design described herein. All hardware and software elements are open- source, and the build process requires minimal electronics skills. Cost has also been kept to a minimum where possible.
Our initial prototype is based upon a relatively inexpensive electric violin that is widely available online. This instrument serves as the starting point for construction, to which our design adds Digital Signal Processing (DSP), gestural sensing, and local sound output. Real-time DSP algorithms run on a mobile device that incorporates orientation/gesture sensors as well, with the resulting sound amplified and rendered via small speakers mounted directly to the instrument. The platform combines all necessary elements for digitally-mediated interactive performance; the need for a traditional computer only arises when developing new DSP algorithms for the platform.
An initial exploratory evaluation with users is presented, in which performers explore different possibilities with the proposed platform (various DSP implementations, mapping schemes, physical setups, etc.) in order to better establish the needs of the performing artist. Based on these results, future work is outlined leading towards the development of a complete quartet of instruments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression
EditorsBaptiste Caramiaux, Koray Tahiroğlu, Rebecca Fiebrink, Atau Tanaka
Number of pages4
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherGoldsmiths, University of London
Publication date30 Jun 2014
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-906897-29-­1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014
Eventnime 2014: 14th International Conference on New interfaces for musical expression 2014 - Goldsmiths University, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Jun 20144 Jul 2014


Conferencenime 2014
LocationGoldsmiths University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • augmented instruments
  • evaluation
  • augmented violin
  • violin
  • DIY
  • musical interfaces


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