The Xth Sense (2010-14) is a free and open biophysical technology. With it you can produce music with the sound of your body. The Xth Sense captures sounds from heart, blood and muscles and uses them to integrate the human body with a digital interactive system for sound and video production. In 2012, it was named the “world’s most innovative new musical instrument” and awarded the first prize in the Margaret Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition by the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology (US). Today, the Xth Sense is used by a steadily growing community of creatives, ranging from performing artists and musicians, to researchers in physiotherapy and prosthetics, and universities and students in diverse fields.
Check the video below to see what the Xth Sense can do!
And by the way, its name is spelled ecsth sense, not tenth sense… 😛
You can build an Xth Sense and learn how to use it either on your own by checking the documentation here, or by taking part in one of the regular workshops taught wordlwide by the Xth Sense, creator Marco Donnarumma. If you wish are an organisation and wish to host a workshop, please get in touch.
The XS amplifies the muscle sounds of the human body, and use them as control data and musical material.
When a performer contracts any muscle, low frequency sound are produced (technically called mechanomyogram or MMG). By capturing these sounds with a microphone sensor embedded in the XS armband, and live sampling them with a computer you get music in real time. It’s like connecting a guitar to an effect pedal; in this case you connect your body to a computer. You have complete control over the shape of the sounds by simply contracting your muscles in different ways. For the tech-savy out there, more detailed information can be found in this list of publications.
The software driving the system is written in Pure Data aka Pd. It comes with a user-friendly interface, features extraction, global preset saving, and many other features. The software can be used as a stand-alone Pd patch, or it can communicate with other software, robot or light system via the MIDI or OSC protocols. The code is open source (released under a GPL v3.0 license).
The XS biosensor is designed to be built by anyone. It can be built manually from scratch. The design is documented and freely available under a Creative Commons Share-Alike license.