How do I make music with mi.mu gloves?
Our easy-to-use custom software Glover allows you to map a large range of postures and gestures to MIDI or OSC messages which can be listened to by major music software like Ableton Live or Logic. This allows you to control pretty much any parameter you want. We will deliver the gloves with a bunch of cool Ableton Live presets so you can start making music right away! The flexibility of our software means you can create your own musical identity, mapping your gloves to your music software in your own way.
Can I connect the gloves to my Looper/Harmonizer/Granular Synth/Drum Machine?
Yes (if it listens to MIDI or OSC). Cool idea BTW.
Can I hook up the gloves to visual/VJ software?
Yes (if it listens to MIDI or OSC). Let us know when the show is and we’ll try and come along.
What do I need to make the gloves work?
You need a Mac or Windows computer with an ethernet port (or a ethernet-thunderbolt adapter) and some kind of music software such as Ableton Live or Logic.
There is a huge amount of R&D required to make the mi.mu gloves. To fund the project we use a combination of research grants (for R&D) and glove sales so we can make gloves for you lovely people out there. Your money literally funds the making of the gloves, so that is why we are having a pre-order.
Our company is a small and independent team of 8 technologists, designers and musicians. For now, we want to keep it that way so we can open source the glove software, making the code free for you to hack for other uses, and support you in building, modifying and developing gloves of your own, based on our work.
Why do they cost this much?
We're aware that not everyone who would like a pair of gloves has £5k lying around. We want to make sure you know where your money is going. The cost is in each complex element - the hardware, software, textiles and user support. Every penny of your money goes back into developing and testing the physical gloves, supporting the Glover software, adding features and making this technology more accessible. You are not only investing in your own pair of amazing gloves, you are making sure that you will be able to use them for many years to come, along with all the knowledge and support that comes with our growing community.
We also believe in quality. The textiles need to be robust, comfortable, cool looking and - most importantly - accurate. Our carefully chosen fabrics are manufactured in the EU from environmentally responsible and high quality sources. The glove textiles are developed and sewn in the UK. Our bespoke electronics are designed, assembled and manufactured in the UK and to the best of our ability we source components here too. This is something we are really proud of, and we will continue to work towards making all of our components 100% accountable and traceable. We believe sustainability, responsibility and open access is the future of tech. We want you to buy our gloves because they are the best (hint: they are). So far
we've not had a single defective glove.
So this is about ethics?
It is about our approach to business. It's also about the future. We want you to have high performance gloves, not a cheap version which will fall apart. The only quick way to make the gloves substantially cheaper is to make a LOT, somewhere far away, and it would be almost impossible for us to ensure this didn't involve exploitation of people or resources. Even as the design develops, we want the gloves to have longevity, not to be obsolete in a year. The downside of this approach is our gloves are not super cheap to produce and we’re not making lots of £$€¥. Luckily we are more interested in music, technology and art, so that's ok.
What are mi.mu's plans for the future?
Our glove project started with our founder Imogen Heap in 2010 and has been growing ever since. For us, mi.mu is an ever evolving project with inspiring, fascinating, talented people who each bring a new dimension to the glove community. We think the gloves are brilliant and we will continue to work towards getting as many pairs out there as we can. We want to encourage people to get involved, share ideas and come join the exciting world the gloves have opened up for us. In addition, we will continue to support all our users, and ensure that new features added to the software are compatible with all designs of our gloves.
Are the gloves only for music?
Mi.mu gloves are designed by musicians for musicians, but have the potential to be used for anything which can listen to MIDI or OSC. In addition this round of gloves will allow us to open source our code so we can all get about creating software for visualisations, robotics and anything else you can dream up.
When will they be open source?
After this round of glove sales! There is still work to do to clean up the code, do all the paperwork and intellectual property stuff and make it ready for open sourcing. This is high on the list of priorities!
Will there be a cheaper glove?
We want to reduce the cost of the gloves, but it will happen slowly. We want to focus on quality and make durable, ethically produced gloves. We also want to see as many people as possible use them to make and perform music, but this will involve significant research to make the gloves easier and cheaper to manufacture. We are working on it.