Mogees is great news for all the air guitarists out there. This tiny device, built by Bruno Zamborlin for his Arts and Computational Technologies PhD project*, offers a whole new way of expressing yourself musically, even if you don't have the slightest idea how to play an instrument. Mogees, or a "Mosaicing Gestural Surface," is based on a simple contact microphone that turns any hard surface into a musical interface for triggering audio samples. What sets Mogees apart from other interfaces of this kind is that different types of touch stimuli generate different output. Simple gestures like scratching, rubbing or tapping can produce a surprising array of sounds worthy of a serious experimental music set up.
As you interact with the rigid surface, the contact microphone attached to it picks up the resultant vibrations, which are then either converted directly into audible sound or used as input for selecting a matching audio sample from a database. The selected sample is of course instantly played, so the aspiring musician is treated to a real time experience.
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Each kind of touch gesture has a recognizable sound signature. Identifying this signature enables Mogees to serve up a different audio sample in response to a different kind of touch stimulus. What's more, you are not limited to touching the playing surface with your own hands, since the device can pick up vibrations generated by just about anything. You also aren't constrained to perfectly smooth surfaces (e.g. you can play a tree, as shown in the video below).
Take all the above into account, and suddenly the whole world becomes a huge DJ deck. It looks like we're set for another year of crazy musical innovation.
* Bruno Zambrolin created Mogees in collaboration with Norbert Schnell and Frederic Bevilacqua as part of his joint PhD in Arts and Computational Technologies between IRCAM/Centre Pompidou in Paris and Goldsmiths, University of London.