Alphasphere May Be The Most Original New Instrument At Musikmesse 2012 – But It Still Does Dubstep

AlphasphereAt Musikmesse 2012, the most original new musical instrument may be the Alphasphere, a unique programmable spherical controller.

The AlphaSphere allows you to be expressive with music through a series of 48 tactile pressure sensors. You can load the Alphasphere with your own sounds, or connect to your existing digital audio workstation (DAW) with the intuitive software.

AlphaSphere Hardware

By itself, the AlphaSphere is a controller which communicates to a computer or synthesizer via USB. Though it has the ability to send MIDI messages, it is not strictly a MIDI controller and is more programmable than a standard MIDI controller.

The AlphaSphere offers full polyphonic aftertouch compatibility as standard, each of the pressure sensitive pads affecting the sound individually.

The AlphaSphere’s form is conceived as a departure from the western tradition of music. The combination of tactile pads in a playable form ‘unlocks a new experience of music making, a synergy of form and function’.

AlphaSphere Software

AlphaLive is a standalone application that enables the AlphaSphere to operate as a number of common devices found within electronic music production.

The software allows you to program the functionality of the AlphaSphere to a highly customized level.

The AlphaSphere may be a unique new instrument, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do dubstep, as the official intro video shows:

Pricing and availability for the AlphaSphere are to be announced. See the company’s site for more details.

Check out the intro video and let us know what you think about the AlphaSphere!

12 thoughts on “Alphasphere May Be The Most Original New Instrument At Musikmesse 2012 – But It Still Does Dubstep

  1. Wohoo! Cool concept! (nearly topples over)

    But… Clearly the pad surfaces are soft rubber. This has to be very very durable, I’d be quite suspicious without trustworthy, very positive reviews.

    Seems pressure sensitive. Not area/edge-center sensitive? That would be useful for drum control.

    Also they talk about connecting any sound to either of the pads – note the singulars…
    I’d be interested in controlling multisamples – this is also great for drum preformance (note the connection to edge-center sensitivity).

    Still, very cool concept, it can surely be developed to something great!

  2. That is so stupid. The amount of physical effort that will be required to make even basic musical patterns far outweighs the novelty of design. Yes, it looks cool, but if you can only play up to two notes per second because of a complete lack of ergonomics, then it’s useless as an instrument.

    On a side-note, it’s an appropriate instrument for dubstep…

    1. Well, the double-bass and -bassoon also require some effort, making them a bit slow to play.
      This is physically required for generating low pitches, but of course not for sample instruments which are completely decoupled from sound generation physics.

      But size also affects performer gesture, and viewer expectations, so one *could* argue that big is good for some purposes. Indeed appropriate for dubstep 🙂

      There’s no stopping them from making 2-3 sizes. (except it probably stays concept and maybe 10 are made)

      (Also nothing would prevent a less geeky promo video, but we’ll have to see past that…)

  3. I don’t see what the advantage is of this over an MPC style controller….seems kind of pointless to me. It looks kind of cool but, I couldn’t see sitting with this unwieldy sphere in front of me while working on a track.

  4. Looks great for interactive performance and a lot of fun for percussion.
    I would like to see the same tech applied to a flat version.
    I’d love a pad controller with some big pads and more small ones with poly aftertouch.
    Good luck, guys!

  5. I’m disappointed it’s as big as it is. If they made a smaller, wireless version, it would help compensate for it’s aforementioned poor ergonomics, as well as make playing it a bit more dynamic (you could throw it around, rather than have it stuck on a stick)

  6. So many of these new products seem to have marketing depts without a fucking clue. Can’t one sane person just step out of line pre-launch with a simple post-it that says “dubstep backlash in full effect, lose the wubs in the promo”?? The fact that no one does tells me that lots of expensive products are being developed for teenagers or rich clueless hobbyists only. Has no one got their fingers on the proverbial pulse anymore?! I hear wubs and it’s like finding out someone I’m talking to is a republican- I just sort of quit paying attention despite my best efforts.


  8. Again, this is NOTHING you can’t already do with current controller technology. It’s just shaped like a ball (which by the way makes at least half of the pads completely unreachable).

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