The Typewriter

The Typewriter - Front View
The Typewriter is an OSC controller and software that allows to create performances generating or manipulating written texts, sounds and images within the same instrument and using the same gestures.
 
The hardware is build out of an old mechanical typewriter, equipped with contacts to recognize the different key strokes (including upper case and lower case characters, carriage return, space and backspace). The former ink tape reels are now continuous rotary controllers as well as the former color selection switch.
 
Further more it is expanded with two distance sensors (one on each side), that allow Theremin like gestures and 8 force sensitive resistors (4 on each side) to be played with the 4 fingers of a hand. Two foot pedals can be plugged to extend the controller.
 
The wooden body, crafted out of a single piece of raw lumber,  was built by Sis Enmarcador, Sabadell, Spain.
 
The Typewriter (hardware part) is a pure controller. It sends out all information as OSC data for further processing on external computers.
 
The software consists of two parts and is under ongoing development, depending on the need of a specific performance.
 
To create and manipulate sounds or music there is a set of MaxForLive devices.
A central device functions as the entry point for the data. It distributes them to other devices that can i.e. control Ableton Live parameters, translate the incoming data into MIDI notes or generate Morse Code MIDI-rhythm, out of incoming texts/characters.
 
The central input device collects all related devices controlling Live Parameters or having presets throughout the Live Set. It lists them in an overview window to allow a fast way of freeing a parameter or loading a specific preset.
 
On the visual site a  Max Project adds the ability to project the written texts as well as to control still images (i.e as a slideshow) or videos. Every functionality that can be controlled via the UI can be routed to a specific parameter coming in from the controller.
 
Current functions include:
 
  • Rendering incoming data as text to be projected (with some formatting options).
  • Some clear screen transitions.
  • Mixing and crossfading text, still images and videos.
  • Some basic image controls (such as adding overlaying masks, color, brightness, and contrast manipulation).
  • Crossfading videos.
  • Triggering slideshow.
The Typewriter - Rear View
A software created in Max to control visuals with The Typewriter. With this program text that is typed can be displayed and formatted. Further more is allows to manipulate videos and images and blend them together with the writer text. Every function of this program can be controlled by The Typewriter.
The main window with text, image, and video manipulation modules.
The settings window to route Typewriter controllers to functions.
The controller window to simulate Typewriter control input.