As direct beneficiaries of the rapid advances in technology that have progressed at an incredible rate over the years, the composers and music producers of today have access to an incredible variety of tools, applications, and programs that make music production nearly effortless and easily accessible for newcomers who don’t have access to professional studios.
Many music platforms and production solutions that have sprung up within the last decade have been developed for use both in the studio and onstage, and quite naturally, many accessory products and applications developed for leading music production platforms have been designed with a level of versatility and flexibility that bridges the ever-narrowing gap between the in-house producer and the onstage performer.
How Music Tools Have Changed
With the advent of music software, virtual synths, and various programs that transcend the limits of their prior hardware counterparts, what had been lost in the process, was the tactile immediacy and intuitive control that hardware users have always enjoyed with use of real, physical knobs, faders, jog wheels, mashable buttons, and sliders.
Of course, to resolve this lack of physical control, several hardware manufacturers and software developers have released MIDI controllers and keyboards that can be easily integrated into most contemporary DAWs, but the real contenders have gone the extra mile to bring you an especially exceptional level of control and precision that you’d be hard-pressed to find on any typical controller.
New Motion Sensitive Audio Tools
Percussa, a forward-thinking software company based out of Belgium, has made its groundbreaking debut with the revolutionary Audio Cubes, which are essentially motion-sensitive colored blocks that you can rearrange to trigger different patterns and randomize melodies, harmonies, effects, and just about anything that you can route a MIDI signal to.
Via a set of highly innovative software interfaces known as Improvisor, Evolver, Synthor, Modulor, LoopShaper, PluginWrapper, LoopShaper, and MIDIBridge, Audio Cube users will have tons of creative and unrestricted access to a massive plethora of opportunities that normally haven’t been possible or allowed for users of other audio interfaces.
Percussa is even generous enough to let developers freely access their source code, which will inevitably result in a vast library of programs and applications limited only by the imagination and given skill level of programming enthusiasts!
Alphasphere’s New MIDI Controller
Other impressive offerings that users may be interested in include Alphasphere, which is circular, padded MIDI controller that appears to be a slick-looking mutation of an MPC and a disco ball.
Features include 48 discrete, pressure-sensitive pads that can be assigned to and configured for just about any parameter of your choosing, thanks to built-in fully polyphonic aftertouch capability, and as the pads are struck or pressed, the sphere will light up and change colors accordingly depending on the velocity of each hit.
The Alphasphere comes with a comprehensive software interface that allows users to implement several modes and program them amongst the different rows of pressure pads available. For example, in the Looper Mode, Alphasphere to manipulate audio by assigning up to one audio file and one effect per pressure-pad, which then can be triggered and looped.
An additionally useful feature is also the ‘Playstates’ mode, in which drums can be assigned to pads in channels, and as one pad is depressed, the one prior to it will automatically stop playing the sample as the new sample kicks off.
As this device is fully compatible with just about every current DAW, It provides the perfect complement to just about any studio owner or producer who’s looking to make their sessions more entertaining and improve their chances of getting their ideas out all at once.
Are These New Tools For You?
Unlike software, these hardware controllers cannot be downloaded nor tried out, so usually the best thing to do in this case is to check out product reviews, watch as many demos and tutorials, and go with your gut instinct.
Nonetheless, the programs are so easy to use that a child could likely figure out with consistent practice.
Still not ready to take the plunge?
Percussa will guarantee you your money back within 30 days from the day of the purchase, which is not too schabby for a set of playing cubes that can transform your production or sound with a single flip of a cube.