Sure, DJs could opt for products like Final Scratch that provide a traditional turntable interface for the computer, but why not . . . a punching bag? Version 2.0 of Max/MSP-powered
SoundSlam lets you punch to trigger audio and even has a virtual trainer that coaches you as you go. Add
a floor mat you can dance on, and you've got the ingredients for a
great interactive party. While you can't buy this at your local music
store, you can at least check out Disc-o-Slam's Web site. [via networked_performance]

Updated: Creator Roman Kirschner writes us from Köln, Germany
with the full scoop on how this device came to be, and the software
under the hood (hint: Max/MSP yes, but Ableton Live, too!). Read on for
the full story . . .

Roman writes us:

The history:
First there was Sound-Slam.
It was built in 2002 by Volker Morawe and already a big hit. The  
original version was shown at Ars Electronica in 2002 and at other  
Be hitting the bag you were able to trigger samples of "Eye of the  
Tiger" and the first Rocky Soundtrack. The software in use was  
Ableton's Live. The hardware was custom-made as you can imagine.
After some time we came up with the idea of involving the trainee a bit  
more. What we missed was a coach to give advise in how to hit combos  
and in how to move around. So in the second version the coach (voice  
only!) shows you some combos, tells you about your timing and treats  
you badly if your rythm is just wrong! But there is also compliments.  
Of course! And he guides you through a more diverse musical  
environment. "Eye of the tiger" appears again but also computer game  
classics, some more beat-based backgrounds and a lot of interesting  
samples.. The software is made in Live and Max/Msp.

In 2003 Andi Werner developped the Discomat, a 3×3 portable dancefloor.  
It's 16 pressure-sensitive pads react on any foot by sending out  

In his original setup he had not only sounds triggered by the music but  
also visuals projected on the white dancefloor that you can dance on.  
His software was also made in Max and for the music setup he used Live.  
Get a taste of his music here:

Disc-o-Slam was born at the occasion of a big festival for electronic  
music in Cologne. The idea was to have the Discomat and the SoundSlam  
in a combined setup to provide a musical stage for the martial sound  
artists. And it worked fine! Especially as the finest music was  
provided by the crew of hartchef records.

Thanks, Roman! Now wouldn't it be nice if M-Audio picked this up . . . the Discoxygen? -PK