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Music at Your Fingertips: An Electrotactile Fader

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Tactile sensations can be invoked by applying short high-voltage low-current electrical pulses to the skin. This phenomenon has been researched into extensively to support visually or hearing impaired persons. However, it can also be applied to operate audio production tools in eyes-free mode and without acoustical interferences. The electrotactile fader presented in this paper is used to indicate markers or to "display" a track's short-time spectrum using five electrodes mounted on the lever. As opposed to mechanical solutions, which may for instance involve the fader's motor, the electrotactile display neither causes acoustic noise nor reduces the fader's input precision due to vibration.

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