Playtronica is looking to put a physical spin on the concept of sequencing with Orbita, a new MIDI music-making device that looks like a vinyl turntable.
Currently in prototype, with a design by Axel Bluhme, instead of a stylus this has four colour sensors that can read the 12 coloured magnets as they whiz by. These come in 12 different shades and can be moved around the platter to trigger different MIDI notes.
As well as being able to create one track of music, you can also set the Orbita to output on four different MIDI channels (and therefore to trigger four different sounds).
Discussing the thinking behind Orbita, Playtronica says: “Sometimes, we feel that technology took physicality away from music-making and has made composing more intimidating. It doesn’t have to be this way. Technology can make music more accessible and tangible if we design interfaces that also activate the senses of sight, and touch. That is why we made Orbita.”
It sounds like a nice idea, and one that has the potential to yield quite a few happy musical accidents (as well, it has to be said, as some not so pleasant ones).
Orbita will be coming to Kickstarter soon, and you can also sign up for updates on its development on the Playtronica website.