Developer and musician Stephan Vankov has revealed his newest project: one that comprises of both software and a device which connects your computer to any surface which then acts as an instrument. Your computer reads impulses sent through the device which have come from your hands or whatever else happens to be hitting the surface the device is attached to, and instrument sounds are fed back. You can turn your desk into a piano, the hood of your car into a drum set, and more!
This setup is in its most basic form a reconfigurable MIDI controller. The entire system comprises of a Piezo microphone with integrated suction cup or velcro strips and a powerful software interface. This system is velocity-sensitive and highly responsive, complete with low-latency performance and the ability to work with all software that accepts MIDI Note messages. Some examples of software you can use with this setup if the included software is not to your liking are Cubase, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, VST plug-ins, and more. Have a peek at some hands-on action here:
At the moment this whole system works with Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7, while a M4L version is available for Windows and Ableton Live users on request. You can either set a series of notes in the Pulse Surface Controller System or grab a generated set of notes randomly along a scale. You'll be able to purchase the system at PulseController.com for $59.00 USD for the basic version (with $5 shipping) or there's a $64 USD version which includes an adapter so you can plug into a 1/8" audio input.
Both of those deals include the Piezo mic, software, and the ability to connect to 1/4" audio inputs. If you do plan on picking up a set, let us know how it goes!