I love this controller, but I think we should keep it Platonic. Solid.

Sorry, geometry humor. See, the controller in question is constructed as a convex regular polyhedron, such that all its faces are themselves congruent regular polygons meeting at each vertex, and … uh, never mind.

Above, a stunningly gorgeous video from Polish media art group panGenerator, with some lovely chiming music following by the evidently-now-requisite dubstep demo. (Tip all of us could use, guys and gals – makeup. Styling. Now, they just need some post-production so you can’t see the IR sensors or the wires.)

Hedoco, also based in Poland, is the manufacturing and distribution partner, and donated this prototype. I love their stated philsoophy: “a unique brand that connects two trends: open source design and fashion.”

No, seriously. And, seriously, why not?

The controller itself looks actually quite lovely – and it’s open source hardware, too, from top to bottom. MIT license for the source, Creative Commons for everything else. (One trick: by choosing “Non-Commercial,” they don’t technically qualify under the Open Sound Hardware Definition. I’d suggest keeping the ShareAlike, since any commercial user would have to share modifications. I know not all designers are comfortable with that, though.)

Designer Jakub Koźniewski and whole team of panGenerator, seen in these parts building a kinetic sound organ out of cans, is behind this project, too. Ingredients:

  • Bluetooth. (The revolution will not have wires.)
  • Infrared distance sensors. (Though if you know what those are, you already knew that.)
  • Arduino, the open source hardware prototyping platform.
  • Processing. (Whatever. No one cool uses that any more.)
  • OpenSoundControl.

Source code is available now on GitHub, with hardware schematics coming soon. And that could lead to an all dodecahedronal music festival. You may recall the work of Ted Hayes, whose Neurohedron has the same shape. Ted’s work, by contrast, works with a drum sequencer — meaning these two could even play onstage together. Ted and Jakub each tell us that’s coincidence, and when Jakub did realize the form had been taken, the two connected. Now I say we just need more. Dodecahedronstock. Polyhedrapolaooza. Platonaroo. Euclid Fair. Let’s make it happen.

On Ted’s Neurohedron side, he tells us that his work, featured at a Handmade Music event I produced in New York as well as at NIME, has gotten significant updates, so we look forward to seeing that. Previously:

Pretty, Nodal, Non-Linear Music, on iPad + iPhone and Big Dodecahedrons

Handmade Music NY 8/29: Meet the Musical Inventors, Pong to Dodecahedrons

More:

http://www.pangenerator.com/

http://www.hedoco.com/

  • http://www.distantdrummers.com Robin Koek

    I wonder why innovative, forwardlooking technological approaches to the body have be to be sonicly drenched in these rather conservative dubstep aethetics these days (of course you could program any sonic behaviour it is just a collection of sensors but in regard to how it is presented) I can think of a lot more expressive, more musical applications for this interface. Of course the whole movie looks really slick, but I'm also wondering if they reach a valuable target audience in this way, one that might extend the artistic potential of the controller for instance. For me the current soundtrack removes the instrumental capacities and replaces it with something I would rather think of as a gadget, which is not really reflecting the essence I hope.

  • Peter Kirn

    @Robin: good question. I mean, not everything needs to be undanceable to be adventurous. But maybe we need more adventurous musical content, musical style, even in dance genres. Hint. Hint. Challenge to self. Challenge to others. Call for music tips. Etc.

  • http://www.jhhl.net/iPhone jhhl

    RPI's EMPAC is modeling ambisonic sound in a kind of dodecahedronical configuration of speakers.&nbsp ;http://empac.rpi.edu/media/auralization/ambisonics.html . Makes you think of using a dodecahedron controller in a dodecahedron acoustic space. 

  • http://www.hicox.com plurgid

    well, that's neat and all, but I have a hard time thinking of that as an instrument. It's more of a simon says … if it were designed by apple … in the late 90's … LOL.

  • http://www.kirstybeilharz.com.au Kirsty Beilharz

    Perhaps you have been inspired by our Polymedia Pixel, a dodecahedron lighting and sounding wireless, autonomous structure that can be organised as individuals or ararys. It was exhibited at the Vienna Media Architecture Biennale in October 2010 http://www.sense-aware.com/2010/10/polymedia-pixe… is documented on our research blog. See the video:&nbsp ;http://www.sense-aware.com/2011/05/by-kirsty-beilharz-matthias-haeusler.html

    This was developed by Prof. Kirsty Beilharz, Prof. Tom Barker, Dr. Hank Haeusler, and Dr. Sam Ferguson at UTS in Australia.

  • s

    Sadlly there is a flaw in any globe-ish shape as a controller. As the user's arms reach round to activate the sensors on the far side(s) she will trigger the sensors on the near side(s). So, is there video of anyone ~actually~ playing this?

  • bliss

    I'm sold — on the woman, at least. Not that she's for sale, but she's far more interesting to me than the controller. Just sayin…

  • http://pangenerator.com Piotr

    @S: Video of a live performance featuring Dodecaudion is now online at http://blip.tv/hackdays/dodecaudion-koncert-55568

  • http://www.avachorda.de Lind Bohm

    @ Kirsty. Great work. Respect.

  • Hedoco

    I am happy to inform that Hedoco
    site and online shop were both launched in February 2012 and Dodecaudion
    can be ordered through our website. http://www.hedoco.com/en/Design/Dodecaudion

     As a special offer,
    our first 100 customers will receive a 10% discount on their orders!