Update: See the video on the official Beamz by Flo Rida site, as apparently the creators don’t believe the old adage “no press is bad press.” (The Internet: Making Fun of Beamz Videos since 2008. See the earlier video below.)
I am regularly asked if technology in music eliminates the human element – if, indeed, there is any need for music lessons, musical training, musical background, or musical content in the musical creation of music with music technology. Computers are like electronic robots, people think, and so who really knows if someone is just checking their email? Or looking at porn? Are they in their motorcycle helmets in their electric pyramid looking at porn while the robot computer does the music for them?
In the past, my answer was no, that thousands of years of music history would probably survive technologies like a) the ability to quantize MIDI notes or b) mixing two songs together without physically moving a record platter. (Be warned, though: MIDI may be sexist. Misogynistic Instrument Digital Interface?)
Now, I must backpedal from previous theories and admit, here, today on CDM:
You don’t need skill to play music any more. You’ll have the skills instantly! Play hundreds of sound effects! (Hundreds of them!)
Damn son, where’d you find this laser harp? And now the real trap s*** and EDM and some country and western if you’re too old and all without any skills or age. (You don’t have to be really old to make electronic music! Not now!)
If you’re a white redneck (like me, born in Kentucky), you can even cover music inspired by Taylor Swift. When I get older, maybe Jimmy Buffet. (But not really actually Taylor Swift music, but you’ll have the skills instantly, so Taylor, I’m really happy for you, but Beamz. And probably the actual real original Flo Rida songs; bet those are the real ones.)
If you’re overweight, people will like you, briefly, at least while you’re playing Beamz before another moderately hot person comes to play. Look, even kind of hot girls can play it. It must be totally easy. Not just Flo Rida can operate the professional sound equipment, but also girls. It’s probably hard to learn music technology when you’re busy being a somewhat hot girl – I use suspenders to keep my pants up and eyeglasses to stare at the professional music user interfaces, and I’m also a (nerdy) man guy, which used to be fairly essential because of MIDI, but more on that in a moment and how that won’t be true any more.
Now, all that changes. It’s a paradigm shift, a disruptive technology. It’s all in the magic of using lasers, or not really lasers but range-finding sensors. It’s a new and patented idea: waving your hands around to make music. Never seen before.
Even more terrifying but also awesome, if you wear glasses and suspenders, you will instantly turn into a bro when you touch the Beamz, a bit like when Jeff Bridges is sucked into the world of Tron. If one of these is let loose in Solid Sound Festival, it could instantly turn Wilco fans into a giant frat party. Very useful and worth a 30-day trial (plus US$19.95 postage and processing and weaponized light beam export clearance).
Also, through the Vimeo recommendation engine, I also want to say Hot Pockets. (See below.) They’re a delicious meal. You can hold one Hot Pocket in one hand while playing Beamz with the other, and eliminate the need for costly professional chefs or fresh produce or nutritional supplements. It’s a sandwich in a pocket that’s hot.
I’m sorry – I have to stop the snark now. It’s my job, but it’s embarrassing. I can add nothing.
Savor this moment, because there won’t be a promotional video this good for a very long time to come.
A long time to come. These moments are special and should be treasured. Maybe with a Hot Pocket. (I am now, not being snarky, also hungry, weirdly. And crying with joy. Flo Rida – cheers.)
This is a real promo video. The editorial copy has been warped by … watching the promotional video. Language skills will hopefully return to CDM later today.
This is a real product. If you haven’t seen it before, this is the latest iteration of a $200 variation on the laser harp that works via USB or (for iOS) Bluetooth, and acts as a standard MIDI controller. And that’s actually kind of cool. (In fact, it has both HID and MIDI modes – attention, hackers, though you could probably rig your own laser harp for roughly the same price.)
It one-ups normal MIDI controllers by getting to include this FAQ:
Are the laser beams safe?
Yes, Beamz uses class 2 laser beams, which are not harmful to your eyes or to touch. Just like any other products that use low level laser beams, it is never recommended to look directly and/or to stare into a laser beam source.
And that video lives!