Publication or Conference Title:M.A. Thesis, McGill University
This thesis contributes to the field of instrument augmentation, with a focus on trumpet augmentation. Augmented instruments are acoustic instruments onto which electronics (such as sensors) have been mounted for the purpose of controlling digital sounds. Trumpets make ideal candidates for augmentation. They have both spare performer “bandwidth”, conducive to interaction, and spare physical space, affording augmentation.
The underlying concepts of augmented instrument design are explored, followed by a review and discussion of existing augmented trumpets. There are common aspects to many of these examples, such as the use of buttons placed at or near the left-hand playing position and the focus on measuring or mimicking trumpet valves. To investigate the common focus on valve position measurement, three valve position sensing technologies based on historical precedents as well as a fourth technology identified by the author are compared using a specially constructed sensor chassis.
Finally, a modular augmented trumpet design platform is proposed as an alternative to entirely custom-built projects. The prototype implementation of this system is presented and evaluated. The results of the prototype evaluation point towards future improvements and research directions towards standardizing elements of augmented trumpet design.