Rubato Productions latest product, the Concert Hands System
is featured in Tick Tock Books UK HI-Tech World book COOL STUFF
The web link to purchase the book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cool-Stuff-tech-World-Clash/dp/1848982178
Rubato Productions Haptic Piano Technology
Creates a New Category in the New Grove Dictionary of Musical
refers to new types of computer controlled instruments.
In particular, a haptic instrument consists of actuators that
exert forces on the musician, sensors that detect player gestures, an
algorithm that determines what forces to exert on the musician, and a
controller that runs the algorithm and interfaces with the sensors and
controlled acoustic musical instrument’ is a special case where an
acoustic instrument is augmented with sensors, actuators and a
is the acoustic instrument itself while the controller determines the
‘Augmented’ or ‘hyper’
instruments are haptic forms of traditional instruments with sensors to
enable the player to control augmentation of the existing sound, such as
for the “Overtone Violin.”
especially acoustic and electronic forms of the piano, organ and
carillon have received significant study. Piano and organ research is
Haptics is also used to
design electronic keyboards that feel more like acoustic pianos and
mechanical organs, as well as attempts towards programmable
touch-adjustable keyboards capable of mimicking different traditional
keyboards such as organ, harpsichord, piano, or clavichord.
For keyboards, the
haptic feedback event begins when the finger approaches the key and ends
with the final disconnect between the finger and key.
The player may sense forces caused by events such as flexing of
action parts such as keys, compression of materials, inertia due to mass
distribution in the action components, mechanical connections, relative
timing of events, lost motion and bouncing. Keyboard arrangement and
size affecting player inputs are considered haptic as well as ergonomic
issues. The clavichord provides a unique example amongst keyboards in
that the player is in direct control of string contact and sound
production as long as the note sounds.
Harpsichordist fingers are in key contact through the quill pluck
and initiation of the sound production. Pianists effectively throw the
hammer at the strings through the action mechanism.
Organs are discussed separately below.
circumstances of keyboard haptics study have practical difficulties.
Acoustic and mechanical response is difficult to measure meaningfully.
Keyboard actions are difficult to study accurately due to the
difficulty of isolating extraneous movement and because the actions are
enclosed within the instrument; therefore, effective computer models
have to be developed to supplement analysis. Realistic simulation of
acoustic keyboards remains a sought-after goal. Psychological factors
further complicate the pursuit of accurate objective results.
Piano pedagogues and performers have been discussing matters of touch,
tone, learning, and performance effects at least since the early 19th
century. Discussion of the effects of touch on tone was joined by
theories of the merits of rigidity vs. relaxation of the muscles of the
fingers, wrist, forearm, upper arm and shoulder.
Current areas of
study and application in piano haptics include: Physiology of the arm,
hands, finger and finger pads and what this implies for performance and
injury; pedagogical concerns of learning and motor performance;
analysis, efficiency and effectiveness of different types of touch and
movement for performance problems such as rapid octaves, rapid passages,
trills, leaps, repetitions and control of timing and volume; whether
different types of touch can affect the quality of sound produced for a
given type of action; psychological effects on perceptions of touch and
tone, performance or instrument quality; how pianists respond to subtle
action regulation and differing material factors; and differences
between player response and action capability for different types of
actions, including historic or experimental actions.
Several commercial products
employ piano haptic research and technology. Concert Hands™ by Rubato
Productions utilizes robotics and aspects of haptic technology to teach
piano playing by physically moving the student's wrists and cueing the
individual fingers along with visual guidance within a displayed music
Concert Hands On Japanese TV