Adam Place had an idea while studying in Japan. He thought that electronic musicians were spending too much time in front of computer screens and that what they were missing was performance. So, he started working on an idea to put touch sensitive pads around a sphere. The idea was so well received that he took it back to Bristol, England to work on it. And with the help of iShed and Media Sandbox, his crew of designers and engineers came together forming nu-desine. Nu-desine’s first product is now in alpha testing and it’s called AlphaSphere.
The AlphaSphere uses 48 pressure pads to control a variety of programmable sounds. What makes it really interesting is the pressure control. By pressing a pad, you might trigger a drumbeat, but by pressing harder, you could have the drumbeat get more complex or have it speed up. Nu-desine is working on a computer interface that will allow for programming of all of the pads which will really bring this instrument to life.
Adam has high hopes for the new musical instrument. In a recent interview with Music Radar he said, "I think there are a number of people who are going to be interested in using the AlphaSphere, developers, musicians who want to get involved in the programming of synthesisers and sound design. But I also think it's going to bring musicians who are more classically instrumentalists towards electronic sounds and electronic music and I think that's really exciting. We'll see what happens, but I see the AlphaSphere as something that could unite the two.”
The nu-desine crew is working on a soft launch this summer and they are looking for alpha testers now. For information on how you can become an alpha tester, visit the nu-desine website. And for some more juicy details, check out their early development video.