The Caress

The Caress

  • 2015
  • Electronics, Wood, Software
  • Description

    An Electro-acoustic Percussive Instrument for Caressing Sounds

    This paper documents the iterative development of the Caress, an electroacoustic percussive instrument that blends drumming and audio synthesis in a small and portable form factor. The Caress is an octophonic miniature drum-set for the fingertips that employs multiple acoustically isolated piezo pickups, coupled with eight independent signal chains that utilize the raw acoustic signal from each pad as excitation for a unique resonance model. The hardware is designed to be robust and quickly reproducible (parametric design and machine fabrication), while the software aims to be light-weight (low-CPU requirements) and portable (multiple platforms, multiple computing architectures). Above all, the instrument aims for the level of control intimacy and tactile expressivity achieved by traditional acoustic percussive instruments, while leveraging real-time software synthesis and control to expand the range sonorities beyond acoustic percussion instruments. This instrument as well as this document is dedicated to the memory of the late David Wessel, pioneering composer, performer, researcher, mentor and all-around Yoda of electroacoustic music.

    A paper on this instrument was presented at NIME 2015.

    This instrument is the evolution of an series of older prototypes, called "the tippler".

  • Acknowledgements

    This project is conceived and executed by Ali Momeni.

    This instrument is dedicated to the memory of the late David Wessel.