Projects 2010 > AlphaSphere > Journal
The AlphaSphere is conceived as a musical instrument which is infinitely programmable by the user, in the Work in Progress meeting earlier today we discussed a "factory setting" a standard mapping of notes that will be ready for anyone to pick up and play. Based on the geometry of the sphere a logical way to map notes around the instrument would be based on the harmonic table.
This is an alternate note layout to the standard musical keyboard, and is especially interesting when utilised for composition.
Mapping a harmonic table round a 48 note AlphaSphere, four octaves can fit (represented above visually by blue, green, yellow and indigo). In this instance the harmonic table would function as described in the image below, however, based on the perpetual rise of the notes the pads to the immediate left, and above-left & right will not necessarily be part of the same octave, which should be exciting when it comes to making compositions.
For this prototype, we have made a decision to scale the size of the module-pads, which allows the pads to symmetrically fit around the sphere, without gaps, as in the previous prototype; also we feel it will open up a way for the user to navigate their way around the instrument, recognising what row they are on based on the size of the pads. On a user-experience level it lends the user the opportunity to program different kinds of sounds for different size pads; the size of the pads not affecting the acoustic properties directly, as the instrument is electronic.
I would imagine a hardcore AlphaSphere-user continually shuffling notes around to find their own optimum set-up and would hope that this is something which will also be useful in musical education.