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I’ve been eager to experiment with combining my Eurorack system and the Leap Motion tracking device for over a year, since our former student Philip DiTullio and I discussed it in one of our Office Hours. Leap Motion is a device which tracks the motion of your hands in 3-Dimensional space. With my newly acquired Expert Sleepers ES-8 DC coupled audio interface module and some trusty apps on the computer, we can reroute the tracked motion of our hands to send CV signals to the Eurorack system,

Many developers have implemented this controller into virtual and augmented reality applications, including some for MIDI and audio composition. A number of users have taken the software development kit and applied it to Max4Live devices in Ableton Live. One of these free Max4Live plugins, LeapModulation, has made it easy to map the X, Y and Z axes to any function in Ableton.

While the setup is a bit complicated, by using LeapModulation with a very simple Reaktor Blocks patch, we can send DC offsets from the ES-8 outputs to the system. A very simple Block, the CV Processor, can be used to perform this function. By using the built in Ableton plugin parameter configuration mode, it’s very easy to map each axis for each finger or hand to control that DC offset amount.

Reminiscent of Max Matthews’ classic Radio Baton, the Leap Motion can be applied in many different ways in a Eurorack system. One basic application would be to create a virtual theremin, another traditional electronic instrument that requires no physical touching. One of the uses I have been experimenting with is using the motion of my hands while patching the system as a modulation source…

Which alternative controllers are you using with your modular system? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Leap Motion with Eurorack Modular Synthesizer

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