We know that MIDI controllers can come in all manner of different shapes and sizes but, if Novalia is to be believed, its Printed MIDI technology will enable them to be created out of just about any kind of flat or curved surface, including paper.
Based on "a combination of printed capacitive touch, MIDI processing and Bluetooth Smart," Printed MIDI works wirelessly with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, and is already being used by Swedish artist Cornelia, who's worked with Novalia to create a paper MIDI controller.
Explaining the technology, she says: "Printed MIDI helps to add interactivity to everyday objects. We do this by combining printed conductive ink on paper, plastic or card and a silicon chip attached somewhere discreetly. The printed conductive ink creates very simple capacitive touch sensors (similar to a smartphone) anywhere on the surface; the silicon chip detects where has been touched, converts that into a MIDI command and sends it via Bluetooth to an iPhone or MacBook.
"We run the Apple BLE MIDI profile, so our Printed MIDI controllers just appear as regular MIDI devices, working with any software such as GarageBand, Ableton etc. We can print these controllers in any size from postcard size to over two metres."
It remains to be seen how responsive and durable these Printed MIDI controllers are but, as Cornelia says, there are some obvious advantages: "What drives me to participate in this project is the possibility to design and build my very own MIDI controller in a material that is extremely light and hopefully relatively low cost."
You can find out more on the Novalia website. We're told that various Printed MIDI controllers will go on sale soon.
Cornelia's new album Balun is available now. In addition to the standard digital release, you can also purchase it as an audio poster (this includes a digital download of the album). Head to the Cornelia Bandcamp page to find out more.