Don Buchla - Lightning II
  Year :   1996
  Location :   USA
  Worktype :   Electronic musical instrument
  Materials:   -
  Info :   -

  Work Details  
  LIGHTNING II is a specialized MIDI controller that senses the position and movement of handheld wands and transforms this information to MIDI signals for expressive control of electronic musical instrumentation. In addition to functioning as a powerful MIDI controller, LIGHTNING II, with its self contained 32 voice synthesizer, comprises a complete, ready to play instrument. The bulk of LIGHTNING IIs electronics is housed in a half rack cabinet. (This pic is not to scale, and the actual unit is not this fuzzy) A remote head, designed to be mounted on a standard mike stand in front of a performer, contains optics and numeric displays. Based on principles of optical triangulation, LIGHTNING gathers its information by tracking tiny infrared transmitters that are built into baton-like wands. Unencumbered by wires, these wands provide complete freedom of movement within a performance space that can be as large as 12 feet high by 20 feet wide. Basically, LIGHTNING II senses the horizontal and vertical position of each hand, for a total of four independent coordinates. From this information, LIGHTNINGs digital signal processor computes instantaneous velocity and acceleration, and performs detailed analysis of gesture. An easily mastered, musically oriented interface language allows the user to define relationships between various gestures and potential musical responses. Accessed 31.05.2007 from