MUBOP • Electronic Music interface • May 2005

What is it?

This is a light weight electronic musical interface that has the shape of a small board composed of two main wooden parts articulated together. Sensors at the reach of both hands send, as they are pressed, signals through a MIDI OUT plug to a laptop. The movement of the articulated element is also converted into an outgoing signal.

And how do you play it?

The musician controls the MUBOP by pressing on three pressure sensors on the main body, and on three touch sensors, which are mounted on a pivoting element that rotates on a potentiometer. Additionally there is a fourth touch sensor on the main body. As any possible combination of sensors is pressed, the pivoting arm can be used simultaneously to add further expression.

Is it comfortable to play?

Pretty much. The MUBOP can be played both in a standing or seating position, (or even kneeling if the audience is excited enough) which gives room to a great deal of body movement and gesture. I personally tested it in front of a fantastic NYU - ITP crowd, it feels quite light and comfortable, and the house was rocking. It resembles in many ways the performing freedom that a traditional guitar allows for.

How does it work?

The MUPOB has a MIDI OUT that connects to a laptop, sending signals that are processed in real time by the music software. Each delivered signal to the computer can be assigned to infinity of functions on the software side. The microchip is programmed to send MIDI signals (Note on, Continuous Controller, Pitch Bend, etc.) on different channels allowing channel mapping to one or different targets. For instance, some channels might be sent to a laptop and some to a sound module.