Tim Exile is a mad, Reaktor-patching genius. What I love about his instruments is the emphasis on performance. THE FINGER put you at the helm of wild, keyboard-based effects. THE MOUTH continues the MIDI keyboard triggering, but focuses, as the name implies, on using your voice and microphone as the main input. See some of the effects in the goofy video below, but know this: a wide range of sonic mayhem is possible with this instrument.

I got to spend some time with Tim in Berlin early in the summer as he was still building The Mouth, and it was great to watch his process. The patching interface in tools like Reaktor encourages experimentation, mashing together sonic bits Frankenstein-style, and he was still discovering new sounds. In its final form, the tool does tonal and rhythmic processing of audio materials, with harmonization, separate “synth,” bass,” and “vocoder” sections, effects, matrices, editing, and performance controls. You can think of it as a way of playing a synth with a mic, as a vocoder, as a mouth-manipulated timbral generator – whatever you like.

I also admire that Tim is merging interactive musical objects and performance tools, that he can build a tool to use himself onstage that also works as a way of delivering his musical ideas to others or could be a serious tool for someone else.

Cost: US$79, and thanks to the new Reaktor platform, you don’t even need a copy of Reaktor to use it. You can run it in the full Reaktor 5.5, or you can run with the free player.

I’m playing more with The Mouth today, and hope to talk to Tim this week. Got some questions you’d like answered? Fire away.

The Mouth product page

Tim is also getting ready for a TED talk: