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.