More Visual Music

Based on the popularity my post, The Future of Music is Visual, I decided to share with you more companies that exemplify the marriage of visuals and audio.


iKaossilator for iPhoneFirst up is an iPhone app from Korg. If you recall popularity of the Kaossilators, it will come as no surprise that Korg has created an iOS version of the Kaossilator called (drumroll please…) iKaossilator. OK, so it doesn’t score points for originality in the naming department, but as an instrument, this is one of the most time-sucking apps I own. I downloaded it for my iPad without realizing it’s not a native app, so you’ll have to hit the 2X button to fill the screen. Don’t worry; it looks and plays fine on the iPad.

There’s a ton of control on this baby and for each track, you can assign up to five different sounds or beats (from a bank of 150 sounds). In no time, I had some interesting glitch-pop tracks going that had my wife tapping her toes to. Minutes later, she was hooked as well. The light display is impressive and reacts to your finger movement. Can gestures be considered polyphonic if they don’t use a keyboard? If so, iKaossilator is polyphonic, but I’m not quite sure how many gestures it can handle simultaneously. Even if the sound you’ve assigned is playing, you can play over without cutting out or clipping the notes or beats.

Bleep Labs

Bleep Labs
Bleep Labs are a small collective of sound creators who typify the concept of visual music in almost everything they build.

Bit Blob
Bit Blob and Bit Blob Jr. look and act like science experiments. From their site: “By connecting their pins together, you are able to explore a huge range of evolving drones and noise loops.”

The Hard Soft Synth 3i is, “an indescribable audio/video generator by noisemaker extraordinaire, Gieskes.” Like most devices from Bleep Labs, this is a DIY, so expect some soldering and a basic knowledge of electronics before getting one. The video effects have sort of an early Atari feel to them and I mean that positively. I don’t expect big acts would use this, but smaller bands? Definitely.

Seen any new instruments I missed? Let me know by leaving a comment.