From the site:



Sol is a musical interface that allows its user to sample audio from a microphone or another sound source and manipulate it through various types of effects and editing. For example, a sample of audio can be recorded, shortened, reversed or layered with other samples and then treated with audio effects such as reverb or delay.

The device was inspired by a desire to disengage the electronic musician from the screen and allow a more direct physical interaction with their sound. By replacing the screen found on most electronic music devices with a ring of sixty four bright LEDs, visual feedback from the device is reduced to low resolution animations that can be quickly recognised by the user and provide an intriguing visual display for an audience.

The controls have been reduced to very few buttons and a large rotating platter. The size of the platter allows the player to change parameters expressively and manipulate audio using big gestures, consequently communicating their musical intentions with the audience or other musicians that may also be playing. The effects and functions available have been designed to allow a seamless flow of synchronised audio from the device and permit the player to construct a whole song using short samples of audio. This style of musical creation lends itself quite well to any spontaneous musical situation.

I have to say, this is pretty hot, but if you're interested in building something similar yourself and are okay with it being tethered to a computer, I recommend looking into the open source project SooperLooper. Whether or not Sol requires a machine (I'll bet that it does).

I look forward to a future of more music hardware design initiatives like this.


08 October 2011

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