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Glowing orbs

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Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:22 pm
by BJG145
The quest for the strangest MIDI controllers continues...

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Probably the best performance on the Alphasphere Nexus is this one by Jason Hou.

("Jason Hou?")

One of these surfaced on eBay the other day and I couldn't resist. It's great! I love instruments that allow me to approach music-making in a new way.

(...sure haven't got anywhere with any of the ways I tried so far... :tongue: )

I also put in an offer on another glowing blue MIDI orb; the Naonext Crystal Ball...and that's turning up next week.

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This thing is based on a set of light sensors; it's like D-Beam for octopuses. I'm going to be pretty much all orbed up with these.

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:27 pm
by blinddrew
Need some videos of you 'playing' these! :)

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:36 pm
by BJG145
Haha, only plugged it in this evening, but here ya go... ;)

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:12 am
by ManFromGlass
super cool!!

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:21 pm
by Martin Walker
BJG145 wrote:Haha, only plugged it in this evening, but here ya go... ;)

Oooh!! 8-) :thumbup: :o

Bet it was a lot cheaper than a Hang Drum as well :beamup:


Martin

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:55 pm
by Folderol
Interesting. I get the idea that it's something that just about impossible to play 'wrong' :lol:

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:05 pm
by blinddrew
Looks very funky. I assume it's just a midi generator and could be mapped to anything?

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:47 pm
by ConcertinaChap
Martin Walker wrote:Bet it was a lot cheaper than a Hang Drum as well :beamup:

Made me think of a Hang too. Nice either way.

CC

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:27 pm
by Richie Royale
Designed in Bristol. I asked to be a tester on these when they were being developed, but alas my cred wasn't high enough :)

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:27 pm
by BJG145
If I got a Hang, it would have to be an Oval...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G905Bb6mQe4

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:39 pm
by Martin Walker
BJG145 wrote:If I got a Hang, it would have to be an Oval...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G905Bb6mQe4

That does sound lovely, is far more versatile as an instrument, and probably doesn't have the several year waiting list that an acoustic Hang does :beamup:


Martin

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:31 pm
by ConcertinaChap
Since Oval went bankrupt you'd probably have an even longer delay :(

CC

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:42 pm
by BJG145
...oh, really...? I'll have to add that to the list of desirable-but-unobtainable, along with the Buchla Lightning and the S-Wave concertina.

(On the plus side, I'm currently using the Alphasphere to play a Sitar sample for Blancmange's Living on the Ceiling, and they're loving it...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im3saZsxvqY

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:47 pm
by BJG145
I just got round to trying out the Crystall Ball (sic), so here's an equally short, grainy clip of that.

https://youtu.be/lgG7jhWV6kA

The editor and manual are slightly cryptic, but so far I've got it triggering a note from each of the different sensors. Next step is to try and figure out how to trigger different notes for different ranges...

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:37 pm
by Martin Walker
Nice! 8-)

I can just see Mr. Spock playing one of these :beamup:


Martin

Re: Glowing orbs

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:56 pm
by BJG145
That was the world's worst demo. But it's potentially quite an interesting piece of gear, despite the lack of YouTube videos showing anything more than people waving their hands around to apply random FX.

I've found that the software provided does in fact only allow you to trigger a single note per sensor, or send MIDI CC. So I've been wondering if I can use something like Bome MIDI Translator Pro to take the CC data and turn it into a set of Note On / Note Off commands, to allow a set of notes for each sensor depending on hand position. (I've no doubt Bome or Max can do it, but I'm not sure I'm smart enough to figure it out.)

It reminds me of a rare instrument called the Air Piano; I think only a handful were made, and I can't seem to access its website any more, but it's still visible on the Wayback machine:

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https://web.archive.org/web/20180506150 ... rpiano.de/

Here's a video:

https://youtu.be/DTp5MFgzqZk?t=130

This, I believe, worked on the same principle, but with a lot more sensors.

The only other similar device I've come across is the equally obscure "Light Harp" concept by Peter DeSimone:



He's not building these commercially however; the only device he currently has on the market is the Air Harp.

http://www.airharp.com/