Russell F. Pinkston
Dept. of Music, Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712
A prototype MIDI Dance Surface has been developed which is capable of transmitting precise position coordinates, velocity, and pressure information in the form of standard MIDI messages. The surface consists of a large number of force sensing resistors (FSRs) which are attached to heavy duty plastic sheeting and covered with polyethylene foam. The sheets may either be placed on top of or beneath a standard Marley Dance floor. The FSRs are typically arranged in a grid with 16 columns (left to right) and 4 rows (front to back), which results in a 16 ft. square dance surface with 64 1x4 ft. velocity and pressure sensitive regions, each of which is assigned a separate input channel of a Voltage to MIDI Interface Box which has 64 analog inputs, plus MIDI Out. The MIDI Box incorporates a Motorola MC68HC11 microprocessor and can be programmed to convert input/output analog signals to/from any desired MIDI messages, on multiple MIDI channels. Hence, used in conjunction with an ``intelligent'' external MIDI processing system, it is ideal for use in interactive dance compositions in which one or more dancers can affect both the music and lighting by the nature of their movements and by their precise position(s) on the surface.