Gestural Orchestration With Leap Motion, GECO & Albion I

Film composer Hagai Davidoff has created a unique system for ‘gestural orchestration’, based around the Leap Motion controller and GECO, Geert Bevin’s gestural MIDI app.

The combination allows Davidoff to use his left hand to interactively orchestrate the notes played with his right hand on a standard keyboard controller.

In the first half of the video, Davidoff discusses his custom setup. The performance demo starts at about 6 min into the video. 

Davidoff is using the Leap Motion controller with GECO to control Albion I – a cinematic orchestral library for Kontakt. He set up a Kontakt multi instrument with string, woodwinds and percussion. With this setup, he can play the score with his right hand and use his left hand to bring in various instruments, articulations and expression.

Check out the video demo and let us know what you think of this approach to gestural orchestration!


10 thoughts on “Gestural Orchestration With Leap Motion, GECO & Albion I

  1. Deeply impressive! My only creative question concerns the “muscle memory” you have to develop to really exploit such tools. Its clearly not at all like bowing a cello, for example, so it’ll take time to absorb the range of gestural moves in a manner that’ll gradually become more performance-worthy. I think the cost/benefit analysis will be different from person to person, but its easy to like a tool that can get you to the Mth degree, just a step shy of the Nth.

    The CPU issue is still a PITA, even these days. There’s a cutoff point to how far you can take it. I play MOTU’s Symphonic Instrument, so the greatly enhanced capabilities of this setup are clear to me. It requires added work to build “combis” and sub-groups that don’t hit the memory wall, but if you build a basic section with 4 or 5 articulations to carry a big brass section and then devote 7 or 8 to a solo string, you can readily peg the Fullness meter in a great way. Its funny to see how clunky it can be to get such good results, but they speak well once you get them built. If you want those shoes, you have to wrestle that gator.

  2. That is was a lovely improvisation and demo. And even just the simple effect of balancing sections gave it a nice sense of emotional depth. I especially love how his ultimate goal is inspiration. That is often lost in the world of dizzying possibilities.

    With the LEAP, something about moving the hand in space (like the touch-screen, in some respects) lacks a sense of sensory feedback. Perhaps I’ll need to blow a fan on my hands.

    I think my ultimate controller set up will feature a 61-key Note (from NDVR), a CC foot pedal, a breath controller, and both hands on the keyboard.

    I can see the LEAP being useful for recording, composition, and tooling around the OS. I know that’s not especially arty, but right now, I’d rather have my hands on the keys. Still, I’m brain-storming about this all the time.

  3. Does anyone know how he took that panel from the maudio keystation and made it work with the casio privia?? Nice impovisation by the way!!

    1. In a way, there is no less sensory feedback than with a Theremin but, as long as the leap can identify your fingers, there should be a possibility to use a contraption on which to lay your fingers.
      Maybe the leap will trigger a keytar revival 😉

  4. Impressive and look like a lot of fun. Never thought about this.

    Get a maestro on the Leap Motion and two or three keyboard players and the result should be impressive.

    Me, I think I’ll just use it to control a bunch of softsynths and have fun.

  5. Hagai

    Seeing you work like this makes me imagine that you could conjure symphonies out of the air. I would love to see you share a video that’s a performance of one of your works or an improvisation of something new.

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