Sensel Morph Update Adds Integration With Pure Data, Purr Data

Sensel has announced API integration with the open source Pure Data visual programming environment for its Morph MIDI/MPE controller.

The Sensel Morph is a unique multi-function MIDI controller

The Morph is a unique multi-function MIDI controller that pairs a sensitive base sensor with a variety of overlays, allowing the system to be adapted to a variety of uses. The Morph also is very sensitive, allowing for a wide variety of performance techniques, and support MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE).

Pure Data is an open source visual programming language. Extensible with libraries of “objects”, it is available in the basic “vanilla” and the expanded “Purr-Data” version that offers additional, beginner-friendly features and a more sophisticated GUI. It can be embedded and has been used in many hardware projects, iOS apps, and multimedia performances and installations.

Sensel partnered on the update with Virginia Tech’s Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork), founded and directed by Dr. Ivica Ico Bukvic.

The new Morph software provides easy access to all of the multi-touch pressure data from the Sensel Morph. With up to 16 contacts and 20 parameters per contact, there is a rich data set for researchers, artists, and developers to create interfaces for sound, lighting, video, and 3D environments.

Developer Rachel Hachem, a student at Virginia Tech, led development of the Pure Data integration.

The programming for the integration was led by the undergraduate student Rachel Hachem, a major in their Creative Technologies in Music (CTM) program.

“The Linux Laptop Orchestra is continually exploring new interfaces for our ensemble, and for the research projects within the Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio. The Sensel Morph’s ability to implement any type of tap, stroke, press or punch into our rich programming environment is going to be a game changer,” says Dr. Bukvic. “This opportunity is exactly what we had in mind when developing the CTM program: student work focused on applied, industry-relevant projects. Rachel’s work will serve as an important contribution to the Pure Data community, and a powerful inspiration for her peers.”

Student lead Rachel Hachem adds, “In L2Ork, I am constantly seeing new ways to integrate music with technology through Purr Data. The Morph’s touch surface gives you an insane amount of data for every touch you make, so the opportunity to contribute to something new was an eye-opening experience.”

The project was initially conceived at the 2018 New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) international conference , hosted by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT).

“Their commitment to extending and improving Pure Data made it really attractive to work with Ico and Rachel on this,” notes Peter Nyboer, Product Strategist for the Morph. “Because it’s open source in an active community, we look forward to seeing how developers extend and implement new interfaces with the Morph and Pure Data.”

Details on the Morph are available at the Sensel site. The Pure Data / Sensel Morph integration, with build instructions, is available on Github.

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