AlphaSphere Controller Available For Pre-Order

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2012 Summer NAMM Show: Nu Desine founder Adam Place offers an overview of the unique AlphaSphere music controller.

Features:

  • 48 pressure sensitive pads
  • Tap to trigger, or apply pressure to manipulate sound
  • Responsive LED lighting
  • USB connectivity
  • Robust and ergonomic shape

The AlphaSphere is available for pre-order for £1000.


14 thoughts on “AlphaSphere Controller Available For Pre-Order

  1. Why would any one actually be interested in this thing. Any one could easily make one for closer to $50 if there were even any reason to waste a couple of days to do it, but for $1000 I’d be shocked if they sell one single unit. I hope the software developer was paid in advance.

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    • First of all its £1000,- so that makes it closer to $1600,- than a ‘mere’ 1000.

      Its a lot of money, sure, but I think you’re ignoring a few things…

      There’s hardware, and there’s hardware. I get the impression that the quality of this thing is quite ok, as such it costs more. Also; its more than a mere controller; it also provides a show effect with its internal lighting (which you can even control using the software so it seems). Speaking of software; the included software is open sourced; so you get /everything/ (and no: ‘open source’ is /not/ the same as “free software”).

      Most of all; this is a totally unique design and provides a new workflow into creating music and sounds. If there’s one thing I learned in the past years its that different workflows most often open totally different possibilities. /Combine/ those workflows and you can really enhance your set.

      This device isn’t for me either, but considering its potential I also don’t think its heavily overpriced.

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  2. This seems like a fair price, given the craftsmanship that’s obviously gone into it.

    In response to the first comment – is there any controller that captures pressure or aftertouch polyphonically priced less than the £1000 this is priced at? It’s pretty hard to find. Animoog sort of does it, but is difficult to play expressively.

    I do question the idea of a spherical controller – because you always have to be holding the device somehow and that seems like it would take away from your ability to play notes.

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      • Thanks for weighing in on this, Geert.

        The Eigenharps are some of the only instruments that can currently do polyphonic aftertouch – and they’re available at several price levels.

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  3. the fact that its a round ball is the main thing I don’t like. Are we performing or are we playing basketball? It doesn’t make any sense. You either have to hold it with two hands, limiting what you can do with it or you can set it down and play it but that limits its functionality by covering up its pads. I just picture some poor guy trying to perform with it and it rolling off the stage and smashing at the same time as it triggers all samples at once at max velocity in an infinite sustaining loop as Live crashes the laptop. People laughing/artist crying. Nothing good comes to mind when I think of the uses of this thing.
    I am being silly, you are right there must be some demand for this type of thing.

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  4. This thing is great! Personally I couldn’t afford one at £1000 but it’s still a quarter of the price of any other poly aftertouch controller. For what it is it is actually really fairly priced, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the price came down after a while anyway. You can tell they’ve spent a while getting the design right, plus the software looks pretty interesting too. I’m going to keep my eye on this.

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  5. I think this will come and go, and be forgotten shortly after its release. That is my opinion.

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  6. The open source software and firmware aspect interests me the most. Being able to fully program the hardware will mean you can make it do pretty much exactly what you want. That kind of thing is pretty rare in these kind of products, so this could be a great platform for creating a truly customised and unique tool for music production.

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  7. I can see why this isn’t for everyone, but I do hope it takes off as most of the underlying technology and features (poly aftertouch, alternative layouts, fully programmable, open source) are often missing from the latest well-known controllers being released, so if anything it would be really good to see something like this help make those features more important in the industry.

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  8. Don’t mean to hijack this topic, but there are several statements there are no alternative controllers out there with poly aftertouch, alternative layouts, fully programmable, open source, … I already replied about the price above, but the Eigenharp Pico has all that going for it also. You can even find its software now on GitHub, it’s under the GPL: https://github.com/Eigenlabs/EigenD Everything can be programmed and customized.

    That’s not to say that the AlphaSphere isn’t interesting. I personally had a go with it at Musikmesse and I can see it being liked by some people. The spherical nature is indeed a problem since you have to make sure you don’t push it away. However, the pads are very nice to ‘dig into’. At the time they needed a bit too much initial travel to start reacting, but they said they were going to improve that. I did have a good time trying it out.

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