Interested in using webcams to translate on-screen motion to MIDI? Want x, y, and z 3D tracking? Ben Tan writes to let us know about his in-development software project called Peripheral MIDI Controller (pmidic) which does just that. The current build is still a work in progress, but has added enough stability and features that it should be worth a look.

Peripheral MIDI Controller

Grab your pen light and start waving it around for filter cutoff and resonance — whoo!

Right now, it’s Windows-only, but the libraries on which it’s built are cross-platform and could be ported to both Linux and Mac. (He’s using Intel’s OpenCV, which is the most popular, open platform for computer vision — odds are if you’ve seen slick webcam tricks, OpenCV was involved, because writing these algorithms from scratch requires a heavy-duty math and computer science background. And the app itself is built with the superb super-cross-platform wxWidgets library.)

If you’ve been looking to experiment with webcam control, this could be a good start — practicing interpreting the control data, experimenting with lighting, and experimenting with inputs all take time. And if you’re a coder, the project is open, so all of us C++ beginners can slog a little collectively.