I decided to combine the fluid tangible spatial control of Percussa AudioCubes with the some droning patches I made from INIT with Madrona Labs wonderful Aalto synth.
Aalto has an awesome gate feature which allows you to create interesting drones leaving your hands free to modulate the hell out of parameters to create expressive and unique performances. You can also modulate the gate. Two AudioCubes in Sensor mode allow you to modulate with 8 MIDI CC’s with two hands.
AudioCubes Makes Virtual Synths Tangible
Watch the video above first with annotations on, then a second time with annotations off. On the second pass through watch how fluid the control is and how many parameters I’m managing at the same time. You’ll also see I’m getting visual feedback in the form of light intensity and color. After you perform with AudioCubes for a while your brain starts to fool you into thinking that there are pressure bubbles around the sensors. In other words, even though the throw is about three inches when using your fingers with cubes, you can become quite accurate with control – especially when you combine visual feedback and audio feedback.
Because you can configure and map cube function differently with each patch, set and instrument, you start also thinking of each combination as an instrument on to itself. Once I set something like this up, I find myself coming back to it again and again getting a little better with the “instrument” with each use. This often results in me wanting to push things further and I learn the synth better plus creating more expressive performances.
I used the configure button on the Ableton Device holding the Aalto synthesizer select a set of parameters that I then map to faces of two Percussa AudioCubes in sensor mode. I did a video on the this Ableton mapping process a few years back with different devices, but the premise is the same. These cubes were configured via Percussa’s free MIDIBridge app. I then use spatial movement of my fingers modulate parameters in Aalto. In same cases cubes modulate each other if sensors are facing each other.
- Aalto Synth: http://madronalabs.com | More Modulate This! posts on Aalto
- AudioCubes: http://www.percussa.com | More Modulate This! posts on AudioCubes
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer
Composer, Synthesist, Electronic Musician & Multimedia Artist | Sr. Systems Analyst | Founder of the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup