The AlphaSphere me is a ball of synthesized sounds built just for you

atmosphere me synth midi controller indiegogo alphsphere
Got an aching affinity for music, but not much for keyboards? Maybe you’re looking for a creative outlet for your young child or teenager, or just a unique way to play with today’s ample assortment of synth samples. If any of these scenarios ring true, then you may want to check out a new bauble of sonic innovation currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, the AlphaSphere me.

A strange little contraption that looks something like an Ableton Push wrapped around a beach ball, the AlphaSphere me is the brainchild of Adam Place, who founded the company nu desine (yeah, very clever spelling). The company also makes other instruments in the family including the AlphaSphere nexus, and AlphaSphere elite.

This latest iteration is a more simplified version of nu desine’s previous efforts, designed to be a fun and affordable way for anyone to mess with samples, beats, and MIDI instruments in order to spawn creative new compositions. The 32 pads along the outside of the ball can be programmed to perform a variety of functions, from triggers for synth samples, faders and pitch wheels, controllers for multiple devices, and even sequencing, allowing for multiple methods to manipulate sound.

The system works with almost any audio software at your fingertips, including GarageBand, Logic, Ableton software suites, and others, as well as AlphaLive, the company’s free open-source software. A virtual layout of the AlphaSphere me is displayed on screen in the software, allowing a visual guide to change the functions of each pad. And of course, the fact that this strange ball of sound lights up from within as you play around with the keys makes it all the more enticing to explore.

The company is looking for a hefty sum to get the system up and running, aiming for $138,888. But the good news is, it doesn’t take much to be a part of this project — just $149 secures the device under the Early Bird special. Compare that to the Ableton Push, which costs upwards of $500-600 and the AlphaSphere me looks like a very affordable way to get into the burgeoning world of pad-based synth production.

If you want to be a part of bringing the AlphaSphere me to light, you can pledge at the nu desine Indigogo page, or you can simply pre-order a unit from the AlphaSphere website today. Units are expected to ship in the Spring.

Product Review

Sennheiser brings audio perfection to wireless earbuds like no one else can

Sennheiser took its time entering the true wireless earbud market, and the results are what you’d expect from the storied audio brand. The new Momentum offer seamless operation, best-in-class sound, and a high price tag to match.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Home Theater

Spotify Wrapped reveals rad facts about your musical tastes and habits

The website may be a bit tough to find at first, but Spotify Wrapped tells you awesome facts about your year in listening. From how many minutes you spent jamming out to your top artists, and beyond, there's a lot to dig into.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Music

Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple purchased London-based Platoon, which is a startup that helps independent musicians get discovered by major labels. The acquisition may help Apple Music sign up more exclusive artists.
Music

From Paul McCartney to Mariah Carey, this is the best holiday music

Whether you're a fan of classic jazz standards or modern R&B masterpieces, there's something for everyone on our playlist of the best holiday music. Pour some eggnog and curl up by the fire, this one is sure to get you in the holiday…
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Music

The best new music this week: Josh Homme, Domo Genesis, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: Josh Homme, Domo Genesis, Eddie Palmieri, and Jacob Collier.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Music

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ becomes the most-streamed 20th-century song

Queen's iconic Bohemian Rhapsody has become the most-streamed 20th-century song. Knocking Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit off the top spot, the British band's 1975 classic has now been streamed 1.6 billion times globally.
Music

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Music

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.