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Skoog 2.0, Edinburgh

Skoog 2.0, Edinburgh

The Skoog is a tactile high-tech musical cube created using software and the sounds are made by a processes called 'physical modelling' and 'subtractive' synthesis. Is this the beginning of futuristic music-making?

Skoog 2.0 works with the iPad connecting wirelessly via Bluetooth LE.

The Skoog 2.0 Education bundle is available to pre-order. The bundle includes software for PC/Mac and a range of teaching resources.

Skoog is an uber-cool, app-ready, hands-on musical cube that brings your creativity to life.  Skoog sets the standard for tactile control and redefines the musical landscape for novices and experts alike.

  • For aspiring musicians it is an easy to learn musical instrument that you can play within seconds.
  • For families it is a fun way to explore sound and music together with the kids and grandparents with no need to master complicated music theory or playing techniques.
  • For electronic musicianit is a hackable, real-time, multi-parameter expressive controller that can bring life to your compositions, live sets and synth jams.
  • For educators Skoog has a range of applications in Special Education and inclusive music provision. Designed with accessibility in mind, Skoog can be used by musicians of all abilities, making it the go-to instrument for music therapists and assistive technologists, too.

How does it work?

The Skoog is like a games controller for making music; it’s a squashy foam cube that acts as a controller for our bespoke software running on your iPad, Mac or PC.

The sensor living at the heart of the Skoog detects how you squeeze and deform the foam – its not just sensitive to how hard the Skoog is being touched, but where  and how it’s being touched.

This unparalleled sensitivity means that our sensor translates your actions – the things you do to and with the cube – into meaningful musical sounds. It is uniquely expressive.

When you are using it as an instrument, you choose a sound (guitar, say),  it has a different note on each side (giving you the option of 5 notes at a time), and when you touch a side you play the note. The expressive bit comes from how you touch it:  if you touch it gently, it will be a quiet, soft note, press hard and it will be loud and brash.

Whilst you can choose to aim for the buttons, when you’re playing the Skoog you don’t have to: the whole surface area of the cube is responsive.

When you are using it as a ‘controller’ you can assign different notes, effects and parameters to up to 17 different playable areas of the Skoog so that you can customise to your heart’s content.

Skoogmusic software’s sounds are made by a processes called ‘physical modelling’ and ‘subtractive’ synthesis. That’s not sampling, no sir.

Physical modelling captures the nuances of each particular instrument; play the Skoog as a flute and you’ll get the different notes, sounds, tones and timbres determined by “embouchure” and breath noise, depending on how you physically manipulate your Skoog.  Subtractive synthesis gives a classic analog synth sound with full on bass, crisp mids and highs.

Skoog can be used by everyone; young and old, from novices right through to music teachers and sound designers.   With a range of easy to use software/apps and a free developer kit in the pipeline, Skoog can be a fun introduction to music making; or it can be a serious piece of kit for on the fly-soundscaping.

Skoog removes the technical barriers to playing an instrument so that you can focus on your sound. You can be expressing yourself musically in less than a minute. With a different note on each side, Skoog knows its scales so you don’t have to – all you have to do is get in key and start jamming.

What can you play?

Skoog lets you play along with your favourite tunes and tracks; play bass lines and melodies; improvise and jam; create your own parts and your own sounds; set up loops and layer them; add and control effects on the fly; remix live; compose and record your own music.

You can take it to the next level by hooking it up to other music apps and software, like Ableton, Logic or Garageband, and using it as a uniquely tactile and flexible multi-touch, multi-dimensional controller.

For more information visit their Indiegogo page.

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Originally launched: 1999.

Relaunched: January 1st, 2016.

Contributors: 70 contributors including futurists, engineers, teachers, writers, 23 doctors and 7 professors.

Created by: Clifford White.

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