So, last week was a really busy week for me, but one of the highlights for me was on Wednesday when we ran the first SoundLab session of this year. This was quite a different from the sessions we run before as we’re taking a different approach and one that we hope will be really useful to the music technology as a whole.
Since the SoundLab project started we’ve utilised a wide variety of digital technology for creating music. The first part of the project was all about understanding issues around accessibility in digital music technology, and that’s still a very big part of what we’re about. But now we’re adding something new, and this is what we were piloting with Blocs Wave, MiMu and AlphaSphere on Wednesday.
The latest iteration of SoundLab is about inviting in new and existing music technologies and working with those companies alongside our artists and participants so that we can provide useful feedback on how those technologies and products can either be improved to make them more accessible or can be presented in such a way that they become more accessible.
At SoundLab we have a unique perspective on music technology. Our artists and participants love making music and love trying out new technology. So we’re very able to provide good feedback. Whilst information and feedback on accessibility is important it actually has real commercial benefits, because when you can make music technology more accessible you can get to a wider audience, and that means selling more, which is really important if you want to keep you business going.
At SoundLab we want to provide real actionable and commercial feedback to developers and music technology companies, and that’s what we’re planning to do this year.
In this session we worked with some amazing companies, Blocs Wave, AlphaSphere, and MiMu, and they were all really interesting to work with.
MiMu Gloves ….
I’ve been interested in the MiMu gloves for a long time now and we were really lucky to be able to have Kris Halpin with us for the day to demo the gloves and work with us to show how they can be used.
I have to say that since I’ve seen these gloves for real I am just so impressed with how they can be used and how expressive they are. But the gloves are real instruments, not just a gestural toy. To learn to use them takes time and care. The gloves can deliver some amazing expression to an artist and we were only able to scratch the surface of their potential last week.
Blocs Wave …
When Novation announced their new Blocs brand and the Blocs Wave app I knew that this was going to be important for mobile music. I’m a huge fan of apps that democratise music making and Blocs Wave does just that.
So it was great to have Toby from Blocs with us for the day.
Blocs is such an immediate app for creating sound and enjoying it so it was really good to work with them for the day, and especially it being only a day or so after Blocs Wave added Ableton Link integration, which is excellent in itself.
Lastly we worked with something new from AlphaSphere ….
We’ve been using an AlphaSphere at SoundLab for quite some time now. Last week we were working with something quite new from them. In fact so new that I can’t even tell you about it at all! Even so, it was great to be able to work with AlphaSphere at SoundLab.
It was a great day and we made a lot of sound!
Bit it wasn’t just about those technologies. On top of all of that we had an amazing jam session using Link.
Link has been a massive step forward for SoundLab. It’s allowed us to integrate apps and hardware so easily now. In this session we used these apps:
As you can see above we also used a lot of hardware and Ableton to drive the MIDI out to all of the hardware. As jams go, this one was really awesome!
So that was last Wednesday and SoundLab. You’ll be hearing a lot more about what we do there over the coming months, and if it’s something of interest to you then please do get in touch.