AirHarp For The Leap Motion

Developer Andy Somers let us know about his AirHarp app for the Leap Motion USB motion sensor:

AirHarp is the result of a weekend hacking session with a Leap Motion dev board. Leap Motion is a highly precise and responsive motion tracking device, making it a perfect tool for expressive musical interactions.

AirHarp is being developed in C++ using my audio processing toolkit, MusKit. The source code for both projects is available at

The Leap is a small iPod sized USB peripheral that creates a 3D interaction space of 8 cubic feet that lets you control software on your laptop or desktop computer. According to Leap Motion, it’s 200x more sensitive than existing devices. This allows for much more precise control, as demonstrated in the AirHarp video.

The Leap is under development and is available for pre-order for $70.

12 thoughts on “AirHarp For The Leap Motion

  1. This blows everything else out of the water. They should call this Virtual Harp, because this is the closest you can get to playing a real one. Kudos to Leap. We are now approaching artistic playing of digital instruments that one can actually practice and master over time, like the nuance and skill required for acoustic piano and guitar playing. This combo makes every other controller/ music app seem like a toy.

    The Holodeck is one step closer!

  2. After seeing this video and then visiting the Leap Motion website this looks like a no-brainer for $75.
    Even if I don’t use it to play an instrument Hands Free DAW usage here I come.

  3. Very interesting demo! This looks way more sophisticated than what people have been able to do with the Kinect.

    This has a ways to go before it’s a practical instrument – it looks like it would be hard to pluck specific notes in thin air, and there’s no provision for controlling volume.

    If those could be sorted out, this app would make the great MIDI controller!

    1. of course you can play melody, but definitely insanely difficult and not designed for that yet seems like. That’s why he didn’t even bother showing it. But just pluck one note, pull your hand back, and pluck another one.

      If the screen was 8 times bigger and the gaps between notes spread apart more it might be easier to play some simple melodies.

  4. Just ordered my Leap Motion pre-order unit! Can’t wait to get it and make some crazy multitouch Max Patches

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