New Musical Instruments: Audiopad

Comments: 3 Comments
Published on: 11 June 2006


Audiopad has been developed by two MIT graduate students (James Patten and Ben Recht). It is one of the most interesting and futuristic musical controller ever seen in action.
Audiopad itself has its sound sample library and can play music and apply digital processing at the same time but can also control a real time synthesis software like MAX/MSP running on external computer or even a set of MIDI synthesizers.
Basically Audiopad is composed by a tabletop surface (a sort of big horizontal screen) on which different symbols and musical data are displayed. On the tabletop there are objects the performer can move. Audiopad generate music looking at the motion of that objects and their position with respect to the displayed symbols.
Depending on the software, the symbols type and their meaning can be different and so is the interaction with objects. Example: symbols can represent instruments and an object can be a melody. Moving the object on a symbol means that the performer assign that melody to that instrument. Another object can be a microphone, so moving the microphone near/far a melody or instrument raise/lower it’s volume.
Moreover the tabletop display is not static but can change when the performer moves the object on certain symbols opening new ways to the performer action.
Audiopad is very different from traditional computer interaction (the desk, monitor, keyboard and mouse model). The best way to understand it’s nature is seeing in action. You can find a good video here (quicktime mov format), other videos and info on Patten’s page.
Unfortunately Audiopad is not currently for sale. The only musical interface that moves in that direction is Lemur (we’ll speak about later), but it’s only a programming touch-screen, a single step with respect to Audiopad complexity.

  1. Fede says:

    mal che vada ci si può giocare a GO, immagino 😛

  2. Corrado Fiore says:

    Mi ricorda molto la Atari Hotz Box (qualcuno se ne ricorda? Uscì nei primi anni ’90 e c’era un bell’articolo su Atari&Musica). Comunque, per gli smemorati, ecco qualche link:

    Dal che la domanda: quanto c’è di nuovo nell’Audiopad? Penso che approfondirò…

    Ciao a tutti,

  3. Mauro says:

    Se guardi il video vedi le differenze…

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