Student majoring in creative technologies in music develops software for tech company
A Virginia Tech undergraduate helped build software capable of communicating with a device that can translate finger pressure into sound and light.
Rachel Hachem, a senior majoring in creative technologies in music in the School of Performing Arts, served as a leader in a collaborative project between Virginia Tech’s Linux Laptop Orchestra and Sensel Inc., a tech company specializing in computer interaction.
The new software is an extension of a programming environment that provides easy access to the multitouch pressure data from the Sensel Morph, a multitouch controller that recognizes user input through a variety of methods.
Hachem used Purr-Data, an open-source visual programming language that was developed in part at Virginia Tech, in conjunction with the Linux Laptop Orchestra, known as L2Ork (pronounced lork). She wrote code and led the development of the software under the mentorship of Ivica Ico Bukvic, director of L2Ork and a professor of creative technologies in music in the School of Performing Arts.
“To break it down simply, Purr-Data is a blank canvas with a multitude of tools to construct audio creatively,” Hachem said. “It has objects, which can be anything from an oscillator to a mathematical operation to a digital-to-analog converter that can be ‘patched’ together. The result can range from simple synthesis to insanely creative and computationally intense works of art.”
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