Binh Dang
Juo-Hsin Laura Chen

Dope Ropes

Dope Ropes is a pair of interactive musical instruments that let the user create music by pulling on ropes.

Introduction to Physical Computing

Dope Ropes is a pair of interactive musical instruments. The user creates music by pulling down on its various hanging ropes. Two disc-like devices are hung on the ceiling six feet from one another. Each disk has six ropes hanging from its underside down to the floor. As the user approaches, they can hear a faint sound emitting from the instruments. When the user pulls down on one of the five perimeter ropes a unique sound clip plays. The harder the pulled, the louder the sound gets. Depending on each rope, a different distortion (tempo, pitch, etc.) will also be audible; the harder the pull, the more intense the distortion becomes. There’s a single smaller diameter rope hanging down from the center of the device. When pulled a red LED in the unit lights up, the device is now in recording mode. Pull on this smaller rope again and the LED color changes. The device will now play back the sound clip that was previously recorded. In the playback mode, the user can continue pulling on other ropes and hear more sounds. The user has total control over the complexity of any sound combinations and layering. Dope Ropes can be played simultaneously by many players. Alternatively, when there’s only one player, it encourages farther reaches and stronger pulls in order to operate both units.

Dope Ropes requires more gestural and aggressive movements in contrast to other physical inputs such as: touching, turning, and pressing. The act of pulling is rarely associated with electronic musical instruments; Dope Ropes invites the user to think differently about their daily physical interactions with electronic devices.