Wiihang

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A New Way to Make Music

Having introduced Infrared Music, the Wiihang is a particular type of prepared hang drum, firstly developed by luthier Roberto Regazzi in the summer 2009, which uses the Nintendo Wii remote controller, or wiimote, to pair a PanArt "integral" Hang with one or more midi sound modules running from a computer connected to an external audio.

The ability of the wiimote to track simultaneously in position up to 4 infrared dots, as seen by its built-in infrared camera, is used in this system by means of special reflective rings applied to the fingers of the player which -independently from their angles- reflect in the form of a single dot per ring the light emitted by infrared leds added roundly at the wiimote camera surrounding zone.

The hang drums sounding zones are mapped by a dedicated GlovePie script, which sends suitable midi commands to the connected synth(s).

Adapted timbres and tunings are used in the background for a simultanous performance in realtime while hands and fingers are playing the acoustical hang.

This is suitable for Ambient, Techno or New Age mostly improvised interactive music and music therapy.


Material Needed

The Hang made by PanArt in Bern
to keep the Hang in position
  • 3) a working Bluetooth dongle
  • 4) a stable Hang holder
to hold the Wiimote
  • 5) a stable wiimote holder (same used for microphones)
Wiimote with led ring
  • 6) a round infrared ring for infrared cameras (20-24 leds are sufficient for 2,5 W lighting - ebay stuff)
finger's reflective ring
  • 7) a pair of reflective rings (at least one for each hand) expecially made for fingers (you can work with the adhesive film used for traffic signs, such as Reflective 3M Scotchlite 3870)
  • 8) a PC running Bluetooth and GlovePie and suitable midi modules
  • 9) the correct MidiHang script for GlovePie (please ask directly to Roberto@Regazzi.net)
  • 10) a good final sound-equipment with an amplifier possibly pedal-volume controlled.

How to Build One in Few Steps

  • 1) Prepare the Wii remote controller with the built-in infrared camera steadly placed inside the infrared ring.
  • 2) The wiimote must be placed perpendicularily to the hang holder at 88 cm. from the central note Ding.
  • 3) After paired the Bluetooth with your computer run GlovePie with the MidiHang script and calibrate the hang drum position by using only one reflective ring and only the first synth.
  • 4) Begin to position the central note Ding, possibly with a lasting note. Note will drop OFF outside the "sounding zone", so the Ding will pe positioned exactly in the centre of these tries.
  • 5) Then you'll calibrate the other notes simply rotating the hang.
  • 6) Later you can further correct position until you'll reach an average of right notes ON in every sounding place.


Your computer should be fast enough to react in real time with your finger movements, but please keep in mind that particular timbres with long sustain and release are more suitable to complete the hang percussion when acted with infrared reflection.

Keep also always in mind that when you use 2 reflected infrared dots (with 2 finger's rings) they should be always visible by the wiimote. When one is not "seen", in fact, the first will be the only one tracked, even when it was intended to be number two.

The original GlovePie script can be obtained gift-or-freeware directly from Roberto@Regazzi.net.


External Links