As if Kinect didn’t do enough already, Aussie sound artist and developer Chris Vik is working on software that translates motion into music.

Or as Vik, who just appeared at the Seattle Science Festival, puts it in geek speak: “I’m currently developing a tool for Max that receives data from the Xbox Kinect and outputs it as MIDI data that can then be used to control any given device that may receive MIDI such as a synthesizer or musical DAW.”

In other words, he turns moves into musical compositions.

Since Vik started working on his software in April 2011, he’s done several demonstrations, especially for Microsoft conventions  and electronic music events. Vik also performs under the name Synaecide and has done work producing sound and music for gaming, animation, circus and theater.

Watch a video that explains Vik’s process:

So far, there is no word whether Vik will do a Kinect composition set to that infamous MS dance routine, but that is something we’d definitely like to see.

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  • Roy Leban

    This is cool, but it’s not a new idea. I saw a demo of technology very similar to this at SigGraph in 1988. A dancer was able to make very nice music which coordinated well with what they were doing. We were able to try it for ourselves and it was fun, though I could tell it would take a lot of practice to be able to create things that were truly musical.

    This category of things seem reminiscent of the Theremin, though it was much harder to play. Theremins came in various sizes and Melbourne has a giant outdoor one you play with your body. The Museum of Radio and Electricity in Bellingham has one that visitors can play with.

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