5 Crazy MIDI controllers for 2015

Posted: July 14, 2015 in Music production, Random
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ah crowdfunding has brought us a a great many awesome things,  awesome music videos, insane gadgets and reboots of long dead media franchises (even an attempt to rescue the ailing Greek economy). However one of the things that I love the most are the crazy music controllers that people are coming up with. Often looking and behaving completely unlike anything remotely musical before, these could really represent the vanguard of future music production and performance. Or a hiliarious looking desk ornament that will serve mainly as a dust magnet once the novelty has worn off. I’ll let you decide for yourself which these beauties are

Expressiv MIDI guitar

 

 

OK, this is not the first time that someone has made a hybrid electric guitar and MIDI controller but this rocks some features that are truly unique. Firstly it will detect  notes just from your left hands position on the fretboard effectively freeing up your strumming hand to operate the modulation controls, a mouse or perhaps a beer. Secondly, on the subject of the modulation controls, it has a playstation style analog stick instead of the normal modwheels, ribbons etc, so you can add a shinku-hadoken to your shredding (It also has buttons and a touchpad for crazy control schemes). Most importantly, perhaps is the fact they’ve built a light tunnel into the body! Anyone who knows my natural affinity towards glowing objects will appreciate how exciting that is for me.  It also plugs into an amp and operates as a regular electric guitar. They’re in production at the moment. Expect to pay $500 on kickstarter to preorder yours

Drumpants

 

Hey if you’ve never slapped your thighs in time to a song, you probably have a terminal lack of joie de vivre. I mean isn’t the lap natures drumkit? Likewise the impulse to tap one’s foot in time to a tune is pretty much obligatory for listening to music. Some smart guys and gals have decided to harness this into a a collection of smart sensors that attach to your thighs and feet to convert your leg drumming into legendary drumming. They’re even making a version to help people with ALS and other movement disorders communicate more effectively, which definitely ups the awesomeness of this project. They’re actually being released very soon, with an estimated shipping date of September. You can preorder the basic set on indiegogo for $159

MIDI sprout

 

I know many exponents of the theory that talking to plants helps them grow, what if your plants could sing back though. Wouldn’t that make the world a better place? Quite possibly, or it could be one step closer to unleashing the Triffids, who knows? What I do know is that this black box (or white box in this case) translates the galvanic response of plants into MIDI signals that can be used to control your favourite music software. According to their campaign page it will also work with objects other than plants, including humans, pets and ice creams. Its apparently being tested at the moment and is available to preorder for $95 on Kickstarter

Spaceharp

 

On of the first performances of electronic music that I remember was Jean Michel Jarre taking over several city blocks playing his iconic laser harp. The Spaceharp takes things, umm a little further. Not content with just lasers that you break with your hand, this thing has Sonar, Shadow sensors and a whole range of buttons and other controls to create some crazy laser harp/kinect/theramin hybrid. And boy, does it have a price tag to match… $1900! You could set up a pretty decent starter studio for that. Still it looks amazing and is probably a very cool way of really using your body to play, available to preorder on indiegogo (it also comes in a 2-pack for $3700, you know, so you could get one for yourself and one for me to test out. Just saying)

RemoFinger

 

Anyone who has used a tablet for music production will usually tell the same story: multitouch = amazing, lack of tactile feedback = a right pain in the derriere. In order to counteract this there are a number of controllers available for iPad but they all have the same Achilles heel, software support. This can be a real pain if you’ve found a real gem of an app but the only way you can control it is by tapping the screen. The Remofinger niftily skirts this problem by actually having attachments that stick on you screen and replicate the touch of a human finger. As the pedal set implies, this is squarely aimed at guitarists aiming to change effects. However I see a whole range of control possibilities (and no not playing flappy bird with your foot). This has (at the time of writing) not reached its target of funding yet, although it is doing pretty well. I really want to see this happen, if you do too show your support on Kickstarter

Well there you go, there’s your 5. Perhaps once they’re all released someone could combine the lot into the maddest looking one man band ever (especially with the potplant you’d need to strap to your back to operate the MIDI sprout).

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect,

Dataphiles

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