Rubik Music Machine
May 15, 2006 9:34 PM   Subscribe

The Rubik's Cube was of course primarily intended as a live music-making instrument. The whole 'solving it' craze was missing the point.
posted by signal (5 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I thought I was joyous and happy when I watched the video. When I realized you'd pointed us to a playable version I was filled with a soul-deep glee I can only hint at in this textfield.

Thank you for this, "Douglas Edric Stanley" and signal.
posted by freebird at 9:54 PM on May 15, 2006

wow. just messing with the controls on this thing makes music a hell of a lot more listenable than pretty flowers...
posted by ab3 at 10:41 PM on May 15, 2006

Wow. I'd love to see this in the hands of a really good improvising, live-sampling electronic person. (Mathew Herbert springs to mind.)
posted by jack_mo at 6:14 AM on May 16, 2006

Sweet. Such a familiar, friendly, inviting interface.

The Shockwave app sadly crashes my Safari, so I can't tell for sure - but based on the video, it seems like the music is affected only after you make a change to the cube, put it down, and let the software recognize the change in state?

He says "There’s also a performance aspect to 3. Music is a live medium, and has been modular and algorithmic for centuries; the digital field should reflect this and allow for musicians to perform digital algorithms with their hands, just as they do with the guitar." But it doesn't seem like you can improvise with it fluidly by rotating the sides with your hands quickly, say in time with a beat, if you have to keep putting it down like he does in the clip. That's very discrete + not very guitar-like.

Maybe you could do some quick-and-dirty video recognition, so that the software can watch the cube as you rotate it with your hands under the camera. You might need to initialize the cube by marking the corners of all 6 sides with specific colors, so that with an image of any one side, the software knows what the state of the cube is. So it'll know exactly the state of the cube at any given time as you keep changing it.
posted by shortfuse at 7:50 AM on May 16, 2006

Very cool idea, though the music he makes with it in the video is pretty repetetive and not that interesting. I don't know if that's a function of the fact that it's an early test, or reflects the need to put the cube down as shortfuse said, or is a limitation of the number of faces on the cube.

Still, I like it.
posted by pombe at 8:23 AM on May 16, 2006

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