“The Sound of Touch: A Wand and Texture Kit for Sonic Exploration” by Merrill and Raffle

  • ©David Merrill and Hayes Raffle

  • ©David Merrill and Hayes Raffle


Entry Number: 22


    The Sound of Touch: A Wand and Texture Kit for Sonic Exploration




    In this paper we describe the Sound of Touch, a new instrument for real-time capture and sensitive physical stimulation of sound samples using digital convolution. Our hand-held wand can be used to (1) record sound, then (2) brush, scrape, strike or otherwise physically manipulate this sound against physical objects. These actions produce sound in a manner that leverages peoples existing intuitions about sonic properties of physical materials. The Sound of Touch permits real-time exploitation of the sonic properties of a physical environment, to achieve a rich and expressive control of digital sound that is not typically possible in electronic sound synthesis and control systems.

Other Information:


    AIMI, R. 2006. Extending Physical Instruments Using Sampled Acoustics. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    HUNT, A., WANDERLEY, M., AND PARADIS, M. 2003. The importance of parameter mapping in electronic instrument design. Journal of New Music Research 32, 4, 429–440.

    OPPENHEIM, A., AND SCHAFER, R. 1989. Discrete-time signal processing. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA.

    ZHANG, J., HARBOTTLE, G., WANG, C., AND KONG, Z. 1999. Oldest playable musical instruments found at jiahu early neolithic site in china. Nature 401, 6751, 366–8.