Abstract

The innovation in the new musical interfaces is largely driven by the ground up endeavors that introduce a level of redundancy. Inspired by the successes of iPhone and other industry innovations that were driven by iteration, consolidation, and scalability, we present a new interface for musical expression and discuss key elements of its implementation and integration into an existing and established laptop ensemble. In 2019, the Linux Laptop Orchestra of Virginia Tech (L2Ork) introduced the L2Orkmote, a custom reverse engineered variant of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller that reorganizes sensors and buttons using an additively manufactured housing. The goal was to equip each orchestra member with two of the newly designed L2Orkmotes, which resulted to the production of 40 L2Orkmotes. This large-scale production mandated software improvements, including the development of a robust API that can support such a large number of concurrently connected Bluetooth devices. Considering that new musical interfaces for musical expression (NIMEs) are rarely designed to scale, we report on the design. Additionally, we share the large-scale real-world deployment concurrently utilizing 28 L2Orkmotes, the supporting usability evaluation, and discuss the impact of scaling NIME production on its design.