I love this controller, but I think we should keep it Platonic. Solid.

Sorry, geometry humor. See, the controller in question is constructed as a convex regular polyhedron, such that all its faces are themselves congruent regular polygons meeting at each vertex, and … uh, never mind.

Above, a stunningly gorgeous video from Polish media art group panGenerator, with some lovely chiming music following by the evidently-now-requisite dubstep demo. (Tip all of us could use, guys and gals – makeup. Styling. Now, they just need some post-production so you can’t see the IR sensors or the wires.)

Hedoco, also based in Poland, is the manufacturing and distribution partner, and donated this prototype. I love their stated philsoophy: “a unique brand that connects two trends: open source design and fashion.”

No, seriously. And, seriously, why not?

The controller itself looks actually quite lovely – and it’s open source hardware, too, from top to bottom. MIT license for the source, Creative Commons for everything else. (One trick: by choosing “Non-Commercial,” they don’t technically qualify under the Open Sound Hardware Definition. I’d suggest keeping the ShareAlike, since any commercial user would have to share modifications. I know not all designers are comfortable with that, though.)

Designer Jakub Ko┼║niewski and whole team of panGenerator, seen in these parts building a kinetic sound organ out of cans, is behind this project, too. Ingredients:

  • Bluetooth. (The revolution will not have wires.)
  • Infrared distance sensors. (Though if you know what those are, you already knew that.)
  • Arduino, the open source hardware prototyping platform.
  • Processing. (Whatever. No one cool uses that any more.)
  • OpenSoundControl.

Source code is available now on GitHub, with hardware schematics coming soon. And that could lead to an all dodecahedronal music festival. You may recall the work of Ted Hayes, whose Neurohedron has the same shape. Ted’s work, by contrast, works with a drum sequencer — meaning these two could even play onstage together. Ted and Jakub each tell us that’s coincidence, and when Jakub did realize the form had been taken, the two connected. Now I say we just need more. Dodecahedronstock. Polyhedrapolaooza. Platonaroo. Euclid Fair. Let’s make it happen.

On Ted’s Neurohedron side, he tells us that his work, featured at a Handmade Music event I produced in New York as well as at NIME, has gotten significant updates, so we look forward to seeing that. Previously:

Pretty, Nodal, Non-Linear Music, on iPad + iPhone and Big Dodecahedrons

Handmade Music NY 8/29: Meet the Musical Inventors, Pong to Dodecahedrons