This iPhone Case Lets You Create Music Through Motion

 

This is the AUUG Motion Synth. It’s an iPhone case, but it acts as a controller that plays notes through motion.

AT this point it’s a Kickstarter project, and it has yet to meet the funding. Still, it looks pretty cool. If they can get this thing off the ground, it could make it do some cool things. Very awesome is how you can actually use it to control video while changing the pitch in real time. Honestly, we can’t do it justice by talking about it. You have to watch the video above to see it in action.

Here’s some more info from the press release:

San Francisco – November 19, 2013 – The AUUG Motion Synth, an expressive controller that plays musical notes and alters their sound through motion, debuts today. The Motion Synth gives electronic musicians the freedom step out from behind their hardware to creatively perform music in a new way. Made with aircraft grade aluminum, the AUUG grip attaches to your iPhone or iPod touch, and the AUUG app directs sound creation by tracking your movement and touch. The app translates this information to manipulate the sounds played by compatible iOS music apps running in the background, giving you access to a vast array of sounds and effects that can be played through your device’s speakers or an auxiliary amplification system. You can configure and save your favorite motion and sound settings as presets and share them via the AUUG cloud with the AUUG user community. The Motion Synth starts at $68 on Kickstarter.com and includes the corresponding AUUG grip, AUUG app and access to the AUUG cloud.

Watch AUUG in action here.

The AUUG Motion Synth consists of three components: the AUUG grip, the AUUG app and the AUUG cloud. The lightweight AUUG grip quickly attaches to your iPhone or iPod Touch to perfectly position your screen for playing, eliminating the need to grip your device. The hinged overlay features button windows that accelerate learning by providing the tactile feedback essential for accurate note playing while your arm and device are in motion. The AUUG grip is designed to be durable enough for touring musicians and its frame is made from a single sheet of aircraft grade aluminum that is laser-cut, cold CNC-bent and given a tumble-smoothed, clear-anodized finish.

As you move, the AUUG app converts your iOS device’s motion sensor data into signals that shape sound.  It then transfers these signals to other iOS sound apps or external devices. The app can work with external devices like hardware synths or vocal harmonizers as well as control audio or visual software on a laptop. It also lets you design and save your own ways of controlling sound through motion as collections of settings, referred to as presets. With the AUUG cloud, you can easily download these presets directly to your iOS device or upload your own to share with the AUUG user community. As the community grows, the AUUG cloud’s online forum will be a place for AUUG musicians to share and discuss their latest ideas for controlling sounds and visuals through motion.

Prior to establishing AUUG, founder Joshua Young’s neuroscience research led him to Berlin. His love of acoustic music, which is rooted in the very immediate connection between musicians and their instrument, led to frustration when he came into contact with Berlin’s electronic music scene. Because the physical relationship between these electronic musicians and their sounds was so indirect, he couldn’t tell if they were performing live or checking their email. This inspired him to start tearing apart old music hardware to build interfaces that would give electronic musicians a more physical and expressive way of shaping their sounds that would be more compelling for both them and their audience. After many prototypes and design dead-ends, his work led to the easy-to-learn AUUG Motion Synth that allows beginners to rapidly engage in intuitive music making and professionals to exert greater control over their sounds and hardware.

“The Motion Synth lets people find a connection to music they may have previously found difficult to make,” says Young. “In addition to being intuitive and fun, accessible musical instruments like the AUUG Motion Synth can open a door to the neurological and physical benefits that musical engagement can provide.”

Specs:

  • Compatible with iPhone 4S, 5, 5s, 5c or the 5th generation iPod
  • Weight: 1.6 oz (45 grams).
  • Multiple front sections available to precisely fit different iOS device sizes
  • Compatible with iOS apps such as GarageBand, Animoog and Magellan Jnr; full list can be found here
  • Sends musical control signals (coreMIDI protocol) to MacBooks over Wi-FI (and to PCs if additional freeware installed)
  • Compatible with any software that has MIDI functionality
  • Connects to amplification systems via a standard 3.5mm TRS audio cable
  • Compatible with iRig MIDI for sending cabled MIDI

AUUG is seeking early user feedback on Kickstarter to ensure the Motion Synth is meeting the needs of musicians. Funding will be used to execute production and planned improvements including refinement of the AUUG grip aesthetics and comfort, extending the AUUG app’s interface to include an easy to use menu system, and implementation of the AUUG cloud.

[Via Kickstarter]

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