During the 7 date tour of my band Author & Punisher of the Netherlands, I did a short residency at STEIM just before the Patterns and Pleasure Festival at STEIM. My instruments typical involve some heavy CNC machining and coating processes, so I thought I would use my time designing a new machine for rhythm control. Most of the rhythm midi/usb controllers I have made involve a cyclical motion of your body to create a somewhat organic clock or rhythm, but the the pace of the music is delegated by 2 fixed positions. Lately, I have been very interested in encoding rhythms and texture in a different and more physical way; ie. instead of using effects and modulators in software, use physical texture to control a software wave. For rhythm this will take the form of a landscape of grooves and a stylus (much like a record) triggering at each groove, and the notches will be laid out in grids with different line frequency. The stylus (much like a spring loaded ball on a limit switch) will be attached to a very rigid XY mechanism with a handle and switches for each finger (designating different percussion samples).
For an oscillator, I am envisioning something very similar but the grooves will be notched onto discs that spin. It was great to discuss some of the new interfacing technologies with the STEIM staff as it is crucial that the wiring and software be robust for touring and plane rides etc. I will post more on these topics as the designs develop!
For now, I am sidetracked with building some voice modulating masks for an dark doom industrial acapella piece \m/ I am putting together for an art show in March.