Abstract

Our project is a pair of gloves that can emulate the playing of a woodwind instrument. Woodwinds can be quite expensive, with a single instrument costing thousands of dollars, and no cheap alternative exists. This makes it near impossible for somebody interested in learning an instrument casually to do so, and also makes music education not feasible with restricted school budgets. Alternatively, Virtual Woodwind will allow the player to touch their fingers to their palm to mimic the closing of a valve, and a foot pedal as a substitute for blowing into the instrument. Microcontrollers on the back of each glove process the data from the fingertips and foot pedal, transform it into a pitch corresponding to whatever instrument the user selected, and play the sound via a speaker.

How to Use

With one glove on each hand, simply touch a fingertip to your palm to mimic closing the associated valve on a real wind instrument. The location of each valve with respect to each finger is exactly identical between VirtuWind and real instruments, meaning the mechanics are almost identical. To stop the sound from playing, simply touch your right thumb to your index finger.

Technical Description

Hardware: Copper strips on each finger tip, the pointer finger ring, and across the palm act as contacts for switches, with the palm and ring on the pointer finger acting as the positive terminal. The contacts were then wired to the arduino using the standard technique involving a 10KOhm pulldown resistor. The right hand arduino communicates the contacts made to the left hand via arduino. The left hand takes in all contacts made and then uses PWM to oscillate a MOSFET which drives a speaker powered by a 9V battery. In practice, the two hands can each be run off of a 9V battery, with the left hand 9V battery also powering the speaker.

Software: The Arduino on the right hand keeps track of what combination of buttons is currently being pressed, and stores that specific combination as an integer. It parses the integer to a string and sends it via bluetooth to the Arduino on the left hand, where it is parsed back to an integer. The value passed in from the right hand is then mixed with the combination created by the left hand, producing a single integer that is mapped to a frequency and played using a sound library. Each switch on the breadboard adds or subtracts a constant to the integer associated with the note, matching that instrument's key.

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