MIST: A Musical Interactive Space for Therapy

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The MIST project uses modern gestural technology to elicit musical feedback, and is intended for use in a clinical setting with children with moderate disabilities. The system is a software/hardware package that is designed to be an inexpensive, user-friendly, portable tool for music therapy. The microsoft Kinect, a commercial 3D motion capture gaming device released in late 2010, was chosen as the sensing device because of its low cost, small size, and simple interface, yet retaining superb sensing capabilities. The system uses open source code to gather data from the Kinect, and software written by the author in Max/MSP to parse movement data into sound. There are two modes of the system: the first sonifies specific movement tasks like kicking, reaching, and balancing, based on the theory of Patterned Sensory Enhancement (Michael Thaut, 2005) to motivate movement and retrain the brain; and the second is an interactive musical playspace that reacts to movement within the space in direct but not immediately obvious ways. The music occurs in response to various movements of the body, including location and amount of motion. The goal of the second mode is to encourage exploration of space and the body, musical expression, play, and social interaction.

MIST requires another (awesome!) free software called Synapse, which is the brain behind getting information from the Kinect. It is available to download here. Many thanks to Ryan Challinor, the developer of Synapse. See the Instruction Manual for more information.

 

Mist Screenshot

With great thanks to the following freesound.org users whose sounds are used in the application: Kijjaz, Inchadney, Digifish, CGEffecx, Krisboruff, Daveincamas, kwazi, sandyrb, and atomwrath.

 

*Important info; please read before downloading*

  • Currently MIST is only available for Mac OSX (10.7+ supported, 10.6 and older may work but are untested). A Windows version is in development but a release date is unknown.
  • MIST requires another (awesome!) free software called Synapse, which is the brain behind getting information from the Kinect. It is available to download here. Many thanks to Ryan Challinor, the developer of Synapse.
  • For installation instructions and more : MIST Instruction Manual
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