The Tron Beat Jazz Controller – Onyx Ashanti Steps Away From The Computer

This video is a introduction to the Tron Beatjazz Controller system by Onyx Ashanti.

Ashanti is on a ‘quest to create the most amazing live performance instrument EVER! A Revolution in the way of making music!’

He wants to leave boring laptop DJ performances behind:

I’ve been playing around with this whole “perform from the dance floor” thing for the last few shows, since doing it for the first time atARENA in Berlin a few weeks ago.  The stage is increasingly becoming the place where i leave my gear when i play, rather than where i play.
The effect is much more visceral, which is useful, because the first thing people think is that I’m a dancer with lights on my hands. From the floor, up close, they can see that i am making the music.
I feel that the effect owes something to close up magic.  Besides that, it just feels “natural”.  Like you are where you are supposed to be but haven’t been able to be, for various technical reasons.  I know that i can’t do it for every show, but whenever i can, that’s where i will be.

Ashanti’s work is interesting on many levels: for the way he makes use of technology; his ‘visceral’ approach to performance; and his exploration of this within a jazz context.

‘Beatjazz is what you get when you cross a sci-fi obsessed electronic jazz artist with a futurologist instrument inventor,’ notes Ashanti.

You can find out more about Ashanti & BeatJazz at his site.

Check the video out and let me know what you think of it!


4 thoughts on “The Tron Beat Jazz Controller – Onyx Ashanti Steps Away From The Computer

  1. Props to him for both leaving the laptop, and for making a wireless controller that doesn't make you look to dick-ish (other than the moth controller it's pretty cool)

  2. That's pretty rad. It looks like one of those future concept instruments from a 70's or 80's movie.

    Plus it looks very playable. Easily one of the better customer alternative controllers i've seen out there. Plus it's one of the only alternative controllers that actually looks cool. Though I know that's a subjective thing, and it might only be Ashanti that can make it look cool.

  3. big up! that's a bad ass system.
    Although I think look-wise it still needs work. That mouth controller is not so hot

  4. Wow! Best homebuilt controller nerdy-haxx-job here so far: it actually allows him to make music with some expressivity.
    Can we have a vote on this sometime?

    Is there any decent competition? The robotics drumset guy today was good too tho but sacrificed expression to gain polyphony, That's his choice, so it's hard to pick a straight winner here…

    First thought was that the handles should be much smaller – but there is a point in actually having some heft in the objects used to manipulate. So, a little bit smaller would be good.

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