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The AlphaSphere is a new electronic musical instrument and controller which reinterprets the way we interact with sound. Its distinct design is made up of 48 pressure sensitive pads which form a modular spherical structure. Sound is triggered when you tap the pad, apply more pressure and you can start to mould and manipulate the sound further. Apply parameters to the pad-depth such as MIDI CC data, aftertouch, and pitch-bend to make your music truly expressive. AlphaLive, the software provided, makes loading up the AlphaSphere with your sounds an intuitive experience, or use it to interface with your own Digital Audio Workstation. Bringing together the realms of traditional instruments and computer produced music, the AlphaSphere is built to be an instrument you can play. The unique shape and integration with responsive LED lighting open up the experience of electronic music. The firmware and software is open sourced under the GNU General Public License, allowing users to modify the controller to fit their desired application.
By itself the AlphaSphere is a controller which communicates to a computer or synthesizer via USB. Though it has the ability to send MIDI messages, it is not strictly a MIDI controller and is more programmable than a standard MIDI controller. Crucially the AlphaSphere offers full polyphonic aftertouch compatibility as standard, each of the pressure sensitive pads affecting the sound individually. The form itself is conceived as a departure from the western tradition of music, incorporating both the modern advances in music technology, and advances in the way we understand music. The combination of tactile pads in a playable form unlocks a new experience of music making, a synergy of form and function, add a player and we have a brand new musical instrument.
Combining cutting edge design with high-quality engineering, the AlphaSphere is a world apart from any other instrument or controller. The self-supporting spherical structure creates an intriguing and robust build which is a natural shape for interaction. The matrix of circles form a hexagonal lattice which tessellates around the sphere to create a balance of design complexity and simplicity enhanced by the depth of the supporting structure. The spherical form has always represented the limitless and the infinite and we hope that these characteristics of the design will inspire musicians to creatively explore and develop the boundaries of musical expression.
USB Connectivity and Power
Connects to your computer via a USB lead which also powers the instrument.
Play the AlphaSphere percussively or apply more pressure to unlock another dimension of sound control. The elastic surface provides a haptic feedback that allows you to sculpt and affect the sound, adding a new element to your compositions, productions and performances. While the keyboard has offered a solution for electronic music so far, keys were designed for the mechanism of a piano, felt hammers on steel strings. The AlphaSphere is conceived and designed for electronic music production, composition and performance.
An integrated colour changing lighting system responds when you strike or massage the individual pads. Cycle through colours, from blue to green to red, as you apply more pressure to individual pads, or play multiple pads at the same time, offering stunning visuals and feedback. The AlphaSphere firmware is open source under the GNU General Public License version 3.0 that can be accessed on GitHub here, allowing you to customise the inner workings of the sphere. Conceive your own original applications for the interaction of light and sound.
Consisting of 6 rows of 8 pads, the layout unlocks the potential for you to explore a whole world of new notational structures. Four chromatic scales can be entwined around the sphere or individual scales could be mapped around each row. The possibilities are endless. For example, a major scale wrapped around one row will produce a circle of perfect fifths, while mapping the Harmonic table around the whole ‘sphere allows a whole new dimension for the exploration of notational divisions. Be original with the spherical form, invent a new musical language.