The Mune: A Digital Instrument Played Like an Acoustic

There are plenty of different ways to create music digitally, but if you want a device where the audience can see what you’re doing, is as sensitive and playable as an acoustic instrument, and isn’t too difficult to play, you should check out the Mune.

According to New Atlas, the Mune is “a wooden-framed digital instrument that’s designed as a simple pickup and play kind of device which can be played facing fans in front of the stage”. Created by composer and music professor Andrew Staniland to solve some problems he had so that electronic music could be played in a way similar to how performers play acoustic instruments. Staniland also wanted his audiences to actually see him creating his music.

From New Atlas:

“As such, core drivers for the project were to develop an interface that could face the audience and make the player’s interactions visible, and to try and match the expressiveness and sensitivity of acoustic instruments. Four prototypes later and the Mune was the result”.

With a shaped wooden frame, a player interface that has 24 touch-sensors on the upper face, 16 force-sensitive button controls, and eight ribbon sensors, it’s not that difficult to play. The instrument also has a built-in three-axis accelerometer for movement-driven effects.

The Mune connects to a computer or laptop with Bluetooth through an open-source software called Symphony and gives up to 50 metres (or 164 feet) of wireless freedom. This means that during performances, the musician doesn’t have to stand right next to their laptop while they create their music. Additionally, the battery gives up to six hours of playtime.

“An almost infinite pool of digital sounds – from familiar piano sounds to wacky, out of this world synth tones to percussive beats and beyond – is made available via a library of Mune apps. The instrument can also be used to control music production software and hardware over USB-MIDI, and can be laid flat on a table, sat on your lap, mounted on an included stand or hung from your shoulder”.

It sounds like an awesome idea for musicians and composers creating digital music. There’s a Kickstarter to help bring the Mune into production and if everything goes to plan, they should be starting to ship next year.

 

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