Introducing the KBow

On Thursday, Sept. 11th I will be giving a presentation at the Bay Area Music Technology Group MeetUp on the KBow, a new sensor bow for string instruments from us at the BEAM Foundation.

Combined with a standard violin, bass, cello, or viola the K-Bow allows traditional instrumentalists to seamlessly access the unlimited sound world that a computer provides, while utilizing the virtuosity built from years of practice.

The K-Bow is completely wireless over bluetooth, and gathers information about a performance through several sensors including an X Y and Z axis accelerometer, grip sensor, tilt sensor, playing pressure, distance from the instrument and gesture recognition. Connected to a computer this allows the meta-information from a performance to control DSP parameters, progress through a composition, or control recording software, all seamlessly from the instrument.

We are working on a suite of software that lets a musician control the sound of the instrument, record with herself, or send the information to other standard music software. The information could also be used to control video, or literally anything else you can think of.

The really exciting part though, is when you get several performers with the KBow together. Then you can really enable rich interactive music performance in an ensemble setting. With a little software work you can let instrumentalists control each OTHERS musical parameters, and then you really have another layer of musical language above a traditional ensemble.

The presentation is going to be at The Bubble, a brand new R&D media facility located in in the Soma district. The main feature is a 32 speaker 3D sound array built specifically to create new and affordable audio software and hardware applications for Ambisonics and related technologies. They also have a wide range of music production gear. Anyone that knows my work with Recombinant Media Labs knows I have a soft spot for surround and spatialization, so I am really excited about presenting in this space. Perhaps I can get some bow controlled surround processing running by next Thursday.

Come out and join us.

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