Gary Kellum an Alain Crevoisier have created a cheap process for turning physical objects into musical instruments and other multi-touch controllers.
Can you imagine printing out a music sequencer? Or printing out a photo of a Roland TB-303 and then being able to play it?
Here’s a summary of how it works:
The system makes it possible to turn any flat surface, such as walls, wood boards, etc, into a musical controller by using computer vision technologies to track the interactions made by the musician, with hands, mallets or sticks.
These new musical interfaces can be used to control standard sound modules or effects processors, by defining zones on their surfaces and then assigning them musical commands, such as the triggering of notes or modulation of parameters.
It’s not difficult to extrapolate on this and imagine PDF files that are musical instruments! You’d download them, print them out and be able to play them.
Here’s a link to a PDF that documents their research: Transforming Ordinary Surfaces Into Multi-Touch Controllers.