Kinect Hack Turns Your Body Into a Music-Making Machine
By Blair Hanley Frank
The Kinect is the hacking gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s recreating the Minority Report interface, generating holograms, or just making life a bit more comic, the Kinect has been hacked six ways from Sunday. And yet, the great hacks just keep rolling in. Ryan Challinor, a programmer at Harmonix Music Systems, has created Synapse, a toolkit that makes it easy for someone to control Ableton Live, Quartz Composer, and MaxMSP using a Kinect.
Inspired by YouTube videos of others using the Kinect to make music (especially Dubstep), Challinor decided to use the experience he had programming Dance Central for the XBox and create a way for people to easily connect the Kinect to tools already used by musicians. He created it as a performance tool for Burning Man, and has now released it as a free software package for other people to use.
If you’re interested in giving Synapse a try for yourself, all you need is a Kinect and a copy of one of the programs it works with. It’s compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows. For an example of what you can do with Synapse, Quartz Composer and Ableton Live, check out the video demo from Challinor below.