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After months of research, we've found a new direction for the future: motion controlled music!
When Cycling'74 discontinued VST support in favor of Ableton Live! integration, we realized we'd have to find a new avenue for development. We looked through thousands of sensor control systems. We were swamped. Then we were delighted to discover Yann Seznec, the Amazing Rolo, who has developed a Wii-based remote control for music looping. Here he is, showing the remote control unit:
Oh sure, there are lots of breadboard remote-control gizmos around for music synthesis. Very few make it to stage. They fall apart. They break. They are difficult to calibrate. They are not simple. They require geeky programming with computers. And often, all told, they cost many hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
But the Wii remote control provides buttons and motion control in a standard consumer device costing $60. Programmers have developed demonstration interfaces for multiple Wii controllers working in tandem. A whole dance troop could control an orchestra, each moving in different ways to control different instruments!
Towards this end we are planning to integrate Yann's Wii-Looper software with my Husserl metasequencer. With Wii Husserl, dancers will be able to play music by motion! Here is a screenshot of Husserl's professional interface in its premiere version, Husserl Sapphire Edition:
Husserl is the most sophisticated, integrated step sequencer ever made. Not only does it step through loops, but also plays layers, and fugues multiple patterns, all of which can trigger and modulate each other. It supports up to 16 independent input channels and can play 512-note polyphony on up to 20 different instruments. It can filter, transpose, scale, invert, and flip rhythms and melodies. It can remap any note to any other note across all 16 channels, or separately for each channel.
Husserl has now been available from Heavens*onEarth (http://heavensonearth.com) for almost a year. Heavens*onEarth clients include professional musicians performing for bands such as Shpongle and Younger Brother, Movie Studios including Sony Classics, and TV serials including Kings and 30 Rock.
Now with the Amazing Rolo's contributions, it will also be possible to play Husserl when dancing! Yann has already created software for controlling sound loops. You can see Yann in a movie clip demonstrating the Wii Looper here:
We are also looking towards some stage performances in Sacramento. Please let us know at Heavens*onEarth if you are a dancer interested in controlling music by your movements too.