A custom paper-based interface:
Freepad is a piece of software that enables anyone with a webcamera, paper and a pen, to draw their own MIDI interfaces. In three simple steps it allows the user to establish an interface which can send out MIDI notes or trigger keyboard commands for use with your preferred sampler or software of choice. The system operates by using computer vision techniques to interpret when a shape that you have drawn is struck. These same techniques are what enable Freepad to be a customizable and accessible MIDI or extended keyboard interface for those who require.
This website includes materials explaining and demonstrating Freepad's functions, and has links to where you can download the most recent version of Freepad.
Three setup steps:
1. SET - Set up a webcamera pointing at a piece of paper, and set the background from which Freepad subtracts the interface.
2. DRAW - Quite simply draw out the desired interface, and tell the system to set it.
3. PLAY - Once Freepad has parsed the interface, simply set up the MIDI or keyboard output, and then start playing your custom interface.
Try Freepad out:
- Regular play mode; for striking the pads
- Scrubbing mode; for a drum-roll type of effect
- MIDI event recording; record and save performance for playback
- Simulating streams of keystrokes hitting the pads
Freepad is free to use in non-commercial applications.
Tell us what you think:
We're looking to improve and make a better Freepad, so your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you find any issues with Freepad, we would like to know so we could fix it! Either way, thank-you for your interest.
Freepad was developed as a collaboration between Soongsil University's HCI Lab and Simon Fraser University's Metacreation, Agents and Multi-agent Systems Lab. Freepad is developed primarily by Sungkuk Chun and Matthieu Macret with support provided by Andrew Haw, Philippe Pasquier and Keechul Jung.
Freepad was first presented at the New Interfaces in Musical Expression Conference as a long paper presentation and demonstration in June 2010. A copy of the paper presented is available for download; Freepad (NIME 2010).pdf. Should you be interested in finding out more or have any questions, please do not hesitate to use the form above, or contact Matthieu (_ueihttammacretsfu.ca) or Andrew (05ahasfu.ca).