Ready to play musical cubes? If there was ever any doubt that 2008 could be the technological “future” we’ve been anticipating for decades, here’s one instrument that will get your head spinning. Belgian music technology company Percussa will debut new software for its AudioCubes hardware platform this January, at the winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.
By moving one or more of these colorfully lit cubes in various directions, a musician can trigger loops or play sounds in programs such as Ableton Live, Reason, Max/MSP, or any MIDI-assignable music software program. For instance, if you moved a cube 90-degrees clockwise, you might trigger a drum loop; move it another 30-degrees and a guitar loop fires off as the Cube lights up in a brilliant color.
Although AudioCubes have existed for about three years, the software update makes the devices more accessible than ever. Now, as many as 4 receiver cubes can be directly connected per computer, allowing users the ability to create with two hands or interact with a partner. As musicians twist or move each cube, real-time changes appear as different colors in the Cubes.
Other improvements will include:
-Visual display of MIDI note triggers and manual triggering with a mouse.
-The working range of controllers can be adjusted and scaled using sliders.
-Every connected cube now has individual color control through three MIDI In controllers (red/green/blue channels).
-Windows Vista and Mac OSX Leopard ready.
In addition, AudioCubes is bundled with a 400 MB Loopmasters sounds library and a template with pre-assigned controllers for Ableton Live 6 or 7, as well as increased compatibilities for Reason 4 devices and Max/MSP.
Percussa will also release a new sound generator software that allows the cubes to be used without a computer. This will be available as a free download for all AudioCubes users after the NAMM show.