David Merrill

the Sound of Touch:
The Sound of Touch is a new instrument for real-time capture and sensitive physical stimulation of sound samples using digital convolution. The hand-held wand can be used to (1) record sound, then (2) brush, scrape, strike or otherwise physically manipulate this sound against physical objects. These actions produce sound in a manner that leverages peoples existing intuitions about sonic properties of physical materials. The Sound of Touch permits real-time exploitation of the sonic properties of a physical environment, to achieve a rich and expressive control of digital sound that is not typically possible in electronic sound synthesis and control systems.

The Sound of Touch is a collaboration with Hayes Raffle and Roberto Aimi, and is based on Aimi's methods for realtime percussion instruments.


D. Merrill, H. Raffle, R. Aimi. The Sound of Touch: Physical Manipulation of Digital Sound. In the Proceedings the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI'08). Florence, Italy. 2008.

D. Merrill and H. Raffle. The Sound of Touch. In the Extended Abstracts of CHI 2007. April 28 - May 3 2007, in San Jose, CA.

The Sound of Touch will also be featured in the Emerging Technologies track of SIGGRAPH 2007. [SIGGRAPH sketches 1-page overview])


3/2008: Pop Sign article reviews Sound of Touch in SIGGRAPH 2007 review. [scan of the article]

8/15/2007: PC Magazine Future Watch article on the Sound of Touch.

8/6/2007: EETimes describes Sound of Touch in an article about the Siggraph conference. [scan of the article]

7/26/2007: EETimes online Consumer Blog reports on the Sound of Touch.

7/24/2007: Networked Music Review writes about the Sound of Touch.

7/17/2007: Mumbai Mirror article.

07/10/2007: The Sound of Touch was featured in an article on Discovery News.

bloggings, etc..

8/9/2007: E-tech Photo Gallery on digitalcontentproducer.com.

Please see the Sound of Touch exhibitions and perfomrances page...