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The AlphaSphere : Tactile Music Performance

The AlphaSphere : Tactile Music Performance

Is this the beginning of the futuristic music making innovation?

The AlphaSphere is a new musical instrument that opens up music making to a new generation of musicians. Designed for composition, production, performance and learning, each of the tactile pads are pressure sensitive and ergonomically mapped around the surface of sphere. Underlying the design is a geometric notational logic that allows the custom mappings to be created between different pads.

For example when a major scales are mapped around the rows of pads, perfect fifths can be played with opposing pads, resulting in circles of fifths spiraling around the AlphaSphere. Chords can also be mapped between different rows, and each pad, or set of pads, can have a custom mapping which means that as a user you can create your own perfectly mapped instrument.

As well as playing notes, the AlphaSphere is also able to trigger samples, sequences or other control data through the custom software AlphaLive. This allows you to control not only music production software but also Video Jockey software meaning that the AlphaSphere can be set up to control a full audio visual performance.

The AlphaSphere is used by musicians, composers, DJs, producers & VJs, and also has applications within education and music therapy. The AlphaSphere was invented by Adam Place who set-out to create an instrument that would be open to more musical styles and playing techniques than a keyboard, when he realised the possibilities of music production. After having the original idea and producing the first prototype Adam was awarded a scholarship to study at Nagoya University of Arts, in Japan, where he refined the concept. Returning to his home town of Bristol, UK, he was awarded seed funding and founded nu desine to take this innovation to the marketplace.

The AlphaSphere is now available worldwide, there are currently three different models; the AlphaSphere elite, designed for the studio, the AlphaSphere nexus, designed for the stage and the AlphaSphere me, designed to make music accessible for everyone.

For more information visit their website.

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21st Century Stats


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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