From live virtual orchestras to distorted pianos, we’ve seen lots of musicians reimagine how they create sounds with the Leap Motion Controller. Recently, Long Beach musician Rahfee Zahkee incorporated our 3D interactive technology alongside an unusual mashup of devices, including customized video game controllers, dance pads, and wireless joysticks.
Based in Long Beach, California, Zahkee is a controllerist – a musician who creates and remixes music using his own custom musical rig. His shows feature a blend of trip hop, dubstep, house, and experimental electronica. Here’s a video of Zahkee in action earlier this year:
At his recent shows, Zahkee has been using the Leap Motion Controller as a virtual theremin and effects machine. In this next video, you can see him playing an invisible hand-activated turntable:
Since then, with the music apps GecoMIDI and AirMIDI, he’s configured the Leap Motion Controller to convert gestures into MIDI signals, which can be mapped to various triggers and knobs. Now he has a touchless turntable with the power to trigger filters and effects, scroll through libraries, and select songs without breaking his flow.
Instead of replacing devices that he can touch, Zahkee says, the Leap Motion Controller lets him explore other possibilities – and surprise his audience with something they’ve never seen before.
The ability to control music within the air can be very expressive in comparison to traditional, tactile-based controls, while saving precious DJ table real-estate space. Its ability to control with very accurate gestures can be useful as a production tool, and its novel performance approach can be entertaining for any crowd.People react to new DJ technology in many different ways, mostly positive. When I use the Leap Motion Controller, I always get some weird looks when I first start to use it. But as people start figuring it out in relation to the sound, they get up close and love to watch. Sometimes they even try it themselves.