The T-Stick

Participants: Joseph Malloch
D. Andrew Stewart (DCS)
Marcelo M. Wanderley (supervisor)

The first T-Stick prototype.
Funding: FQRSC (McGill Digital Orchestra project)
CIRMMT student awards: 2005-2006, 2006-2007

Project Type: Master's thesis (M.A. in Music Technology)
Ph.D. thesis since 2007

Time Period: 2005– Status: Ongoing


Project Description

The T-Sticks are a family of gestural musical controllers designed and built by Joseph Malloch. The first prototype (a tenor) was completed in 2006, a second (alto) T-Stick was completed in early 2007. The hardware is presently in its third revision and approximately twenty more T-Sticks have been built, including several prototypes integrating haptic feedback and additional sensing modalities.

The T-Stick grew out of a collaborative project undertaken by Joseph Malloch and composition student D. Andrew Stewart, partially funded by a CIRMMT student award, and also out of collaboration with performers as part of the McGill Digital Orchestra project. The T-Stick has been performed and demonstrated many times internationally, including appearances in Canada, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, and the USA.

The T-Stick can sense where and how much of it is touched, tapping, twisting, tilting, squeezing, and shaking. The output of the sensors is sent over USB to Max/MSP software, which processes the data and maps it to sound synthesis parameters.

The T-Stick is intended to be an “expert” musical interface: engaging to new users, allowing virtuosic playing, and “worth practicing” in that practice time results in increased skill.


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