One Ring To Rule Them All: Hot Hand Wirelessly Controls MIDI

Source Audio have released the Hot Hand USB Wireless MIDI Controller, a wireless (duh) motion-sensing ring and USB stick receiver.

The Hot Hand USB is gives the musician a new method of dynamic control of DAWs or in live-performance software like Ableton Live, Traktor, Reason, Serato DJ, and Logic/MainStage. It bypasses the knobs and faders of the traditional controller, allowing users to manipulate software parameters, on three axes, with wireless motion control. The Hot Hand also integrates with DAW controllers like Ableton Push, Livid Instruments’ Base, or Native Instruments’ Traktor Kontrol S2/S4.

How does it work?

Hot_Hand_Wireless_USB_ringThe glowing blue ring contains a 3-axis accelerometer that detects the user’s hand movement, and translates it to MIDI control messages. Quick motions and gradual tilting create control signals that can be applied to any parameter to create effects like organic bass wobbles, filter sweeps, delay times, modulation, and beat repeats. The USB receiver resembles a Flash drive, and plugs directly into any Mac or Windows PC, installs without drivers, and appears to the computer as a MIDI device.

With the downloadable Hot Hand USB Editor software, users can assign the X, Y, or Z axes (side-to-side, up-and-down, in-and-out hand movements) to control multiple parameters as well as adjust the range and sensitivity of the incoming MIDI signal. Users can operate up to four rings simultaneously and maintain wireless connections for up to 100 feet (30.5 m).

In the demo video, above, the musician using the Hot Hand controller manipulates filter frequency on the bass along the X axis, controls filter frequency on the arpeggios on the Y axis, and controls octaves on the Z axis.  Stick around for the silly stuff in the last 30 seconds of the demo video.

Pricing and Availability. The Hot Hand USB Wireless MIDI Controller is available now, and is priced at $119 US. For product specs, more information and a list of authorized dealers, visit Source Audio’s website.

6 thoughts on “One Ring To Rule Them All: Hot Hand Wirelessly Controls MIDI

  1. Hm. Fair enough for the performance, considering it is built around a $6 chip (just guessing it’s the Analog Devices 6-axis sensor) + the WiFi and USB chips.
    Similar products have been around since (at least) the Wii Nunchuck, which now is around $15.
    There are some alternatives today, but the wireless part looks great for live work.

    This type of tool always nerf sensibility down to MIDI scale – the chip itself outputs 1000+ steps at 100Hz, so it can do a bit better. But perhaps the motion noise level makes higher resolution dubious.

  2. Looks interesting but I’m not sure I’m on board with the “wave your hands in the air” control paradigm. I used an Alesis AirFX (and at one point the AirSYNTH) for some time in my live setup but it always struck me as something more for the crowd – people would ooh and aah at how cool it looked when I used it but I never felt that comfortable with the range of control, not having some sort of tactile feedback to reinforce muscle memory. To a lesser extent, I find this to also be the challenge with touch controllers like the iPad and Lemur. In any case, I think this is all valuable development and surely could be perfect for some applications!

  3. The LEAP MOTION is a bit cheaper, and though it isn’t wireless, no ring is needed. Of course this has a longer range. I suspect the latency to be not insignificant.

  4. I’m on board of waving my hands and motion controls in general, but, I don’t want modulations go wild when I’m just playing keyboard, twisting knobs and scratching my ass. Is there a pause switch?

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