Monday, November 26, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Now that the holiday gift buying season is upon us, I thought I'd go ahead and point out three machines that we all should put on our wishlists:

1. Tenori-On
These are still only available in a limited run in the UK, and will probably undergo a revision or two before they hit The States, but I don't care. I want one now. It's got the immediacy of the also-tough-to-get Kaossilator (literally, turn it on and start making music with no learning curve), but with the ability to import samples into a 16x16 step sequencer/lightshow. The Sonic State review is worth checking out if the machine is new to you, but this video of Jim O'Rourke goofing around on one in a hotel room sums the whole experience up nicely:

2. Monome
My favorite of the "alternate" Ableton Live controllers, the Monome is a minimalist, hand built, reasonably priced backlit trigger grid for live, sample-based music making. There are no dials on the unit-- no controls whatsoever other than the buttons-- and no internal synth engine to speak of. Sounds are mapped to it via USB and controlled using one of a growing number of user-generated open source sequencer programs, many of which come complete with demo videos. It comes in three sizes and is almost always out of stock.

3. Kaoss Pad 3
Kaoss Pads have been around for a while now, but this is the first one that actually seems like it might be worth buying. It comes bundled with a gaggle of effects and you can load sounds into it with removable SD cards, manipulating them on what looks like the dance floor of the damned. And, for reasons I'm still researching, you can have the tiny screen horizontally scroll large-font text across it, which seems to have all the old timey efficiency of a dot matrix printer.

What's on your wishlist this year?



Blogger AudioNewsRoom said...

It's just a rumor, but it seems that the Tenori-on could be out in the States in April 2008, not so far then :-)

And, if you're interested in Monome, they will have new models on sale in december/january.

Merry xmas :-)

6:06 PM  
Blogger Jess Shambler said...

I wonder if I could work this into my presentation on information visualization...That would mean that I'm actually doing homework right now!

10:49 PM  

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