Music Tech To Puzzle Over

Douglas Edric Stanley is professor of digital arts at Aix-en-Provence school of art, and he has created a music sequencer controller that’s based on the infamous Rubik Cube…

The premise of Stanley’s invention is simple – he is essentially inverting the standard usability model for music tech interfaces. Usually, a new controller looks very complicated, with lots of knobs, sliders and buttons – but once you familiarise yourself with what they do, then you realise that it’s not that complicated after all, and may actually be quite limiting. However, with the Rubik Cube controller, the interface seems quite simple, but is actually fiendishly complex and almost impossible to play in any sort of coherent manner.

Music Tech Cubed

Music Tech Cubed

So how does it actually work? Well, according to its inventor:

Each face of the cube uses a different instrument to play notes generated according to the colors on that face. Each face is played in a loop, as if it were a single “track” on a basic electronic music sequencer. Therefore by manipulating the colors on the cube, users generate different sound algorithms within the sequencer.

Just what you’ve always wanted in a music controller, right? Well, if you feel you can handle some very early-home-computer-era psychedelic wallpaper, the you can play an online version of the controller over at the Abstract Machine Blog.


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