The Humanthesizer: Bikini-clad midi controller
The Humanthesizer is a collaboration between Calvin Harris and masters students from the Royal College of Art’s Industrial Design Engineering programme. It uses bikini clad girls covered in special conductive paint to form a human synthesiser, complete with piano, drums, and bass sounds.
The girls are covered in Bare Conductive, a new skin safe ink which conducts electricity. When the performers touch each other, the connection completes a circuit, triggering a sound.
The instrument consists of 34 pads on the floor which have been painted with the conductive ink and connected to a computer via some clever custom electronics. The performers stand on the pads, and touch hands to complete a circuit and trigger a sound. Different combinations of pads trigger the different sounds needed to play the track.
The system uses two Arduinos and is programmed in Max MSP. The performers, floor pads, Arduinos and Max MSP combine to create a giant MIDI controller which is used to create music which is sequenced and quantized with Ableton Live.