What is that little rectangle thing?
That’s a Leap Motion controller, an ingenious and super-accurate hand tracking device by Ultraleap. It’s been around since 2013 and as far as I can tell has found a niche market with do-it-yourselfers and robot types vs blowing away the world as a touchless interface for your laptop. It’s now being firmly targeted towards Virtual Reality applications which makes a load of sense!
How much is a Leap Motion?
It’s quite inexpensive – about $90 US – cheaper than a little nano slider kind of MIDI control device!
Where can I buy a Leap Motion?
Why are you giving away your software?
I started writing it for my own use, and it turned out to work much better than I originally expected, so I thought other folks might enjoy it too. I’m happy for you to use MidiPaw for as long as you like, for free.
Some users have inquired about ways to say thanks or to support the project, so if you are interested in making a donation I would also happily accept! You can do so securely via this link to PayPal. Thank-you!
What else is out there like this?
Using a Leap Motion to incorporate gestures in to music making is a fairly obvious use of the technology once you start to think about how to apply it, and indeed there are plenty of Leap Motion based instruments and control software offerings out there – lots of it coming fairly quickly after the Leap Motion launch in 2013.
Probably the best known is Geco – first built out in the early days of Leap Motion and still in wide use today! It is a terrific, flexible implementation and supports Windows and Mac. MidiPaw is very similar in its objective – it’s just a different approach to the implementation that fits my personal way of thinking about music composition – which is how I use it!
Will there be a version of MidiPaw for Mac?
The current (heading in to Spring, 2021) answer is unfortunately that no such version is planned. There are two reasons for this.
Primarily it is because the Leap Motion drivers for Mac haven’t been updated past version 2.3, while the Windows drivers have undergone development and improvement to 4.x and now even 5.x is in Beta now. I see hints in the Leap Motion developer forums that this lack of Mac updates may change, but nothing concrete (yet!).
The other reason is that I don’t personally own any Apple equipment on which I might develop/test such a version and, as an unsurprising consequence, I have no expertise in the Appleverse either! I’m certainly open to changing this, so will see what happens if/when the Mac Leap Motion drivers are updated.
Interestingly, I’ve also seen suggestions online that GECO could be updated if Leap Motion drivers for Mac are updated, so that would be awesome for everyone!
I like your software, but I have an idea!
I am super happy to hear from folks using MidiPaw who may have developed opinions or ideas about how to make it more useful! Overall my objective is to keep it simple to use and understand, though having some drill-down for super-tweaker-types is also in play, so whatever your idea is I’d love to hear it! Please hit me up via the contact form or directly at
I’m a programmer – can I help? Is this open source?
MidiPaw is not currently open sourced. Not that I’m against the idea or anything, but just don’t have the cycles to manage the product evolution. However, if you have some related idea and want to get Leap Motion integrated yourself, I do have an open repository that shows how I integrated Leap Motion with C# in Windows.
I upgraded to Version 220.127.116.11, and it ain’t right!!
The MidiPaw upgrade process is normally seamless. However, with version 1.1.9 I included a significant change to make MidiPaw a 64-bit application. This was done in order to make use of Ultraleap’s latest Leap Motion drivers which have gone only 64-bit. This means that you’ll need to upgrade your drivers in order to use version 1.1.9.
There’s an additional impact of moving to 64-bit: Your presets from earlier versions like 1.1.8 will not be automatically migrated with your upgrade. This is because the 64 vs 32 bit versions of the app have different hash signatures, and the upgrade process doesn’t know how to find the earlier presets. They are still on your computer and you can follow this video for instructions on easily having the presets migrated over.
Apologies for this extra hurdle in upgrading – it was necessary to take the leap (get it?? ha!) in order to keep up with the evolution of the drivers in order to always support the latest and most stable and robust experience. If you have any difficulty upgrading and following the videos above, please feel free to reach out at the contact links above. I’m sure we can work through it together 🙂