OWOW’s MIDI controllers empower everyone to make digital music in a fun and intuitive way.
Dutch design company OWOW has developed what they describe as a new breed of five musical instruments, each of which come in two different versions: an affordable bare circuit board and another housed in a high-end aluminum case. Both will link to any software and function as MIDI controllers.
You may recall The Netherlands-based crew from their recent project dubbed Booty Drum. A collaboration with Danish audio studio AIAIA, the team employed an Arduino and a set of accelerometers to record the shaking of one’s derriere and translate it into some slick beats. Now, the crew has returned with another impressive musical marvel.
As eluded to above, the small MIDI controllers come in two forms. First, the CRD model is a credit card-sized, barebones circuit board without a protective shell, while its encased DVC sibling resembles that of a much more finished product. As one would imagine, the basic version is a bit cheaper than the latter but does include 3D files for a compatible case should a Maker want to craft their own.
“Many music producers make their sounds with just a mouse and keyboard. We believe music shouldn’t be like programming code where you drown in the endless possibilities of your software. We made instruments that allow you to play your music on the computer instead of coding it, bringing back that unique human touch in your sound,” the team explains.
And so, OWOW’s latest lineup of sensors perform music based on the motions and drawings of its user to create unique beats and sounds in a much more intuitive, natural manner. Each of the instruments are “smartly built, but stupidly simple,” appealing to everyone from beginners to well-seasoned professionals. The devices, which work as MIDI controllers and are driven by ATmega32U4 MCUs, are compatible with nearly every kind of software (like Ableton, Fruity Loops, Logic, GargeBand, Reason and countless others) and automatically link with a computer or tablet without the need for drivers.
As for the family of instruments, these include:
- Wob controls sounds and effects by moving the user’s hand closer or further away from the sensor, instantly creating sound through motion.
- Wiggle assigns effects to three rotational axes and gives the users fingertips total musical control.
- Drum triggers samples and sounds through air drumming, while sensitivity can be adjusted to match the strength of the beating.
- Pads are comprised of four pressure sensitive drum pads in a super portable form factor.
- Scan is a scanner that follows over a drawing and translates it into a unique piece of music.
“Our musical instruments empower you to create digital music with the same intuition, passion and fun as traditional instruments, but the benefits of working with your computer,” OWOW adds.
As the Maker Movement continues to take shape, a growing number of DIYers have creatively sought out new and exciting ways to produce music. Whether it’s tapping your upper thigh on the bus ride home from work, dipping some chicken nuggets into sauce during dinner or doing a little twerking in the club, the possibilities are truly endless. As to what’s next… your guess is as good as ours.
Want to become the next Timbaland and Pharrell? Head over to the project’s official Kickstarter page, where OWOW is currently seeking $55,568. Shipment is expected to get underway in February 2016.