Every so often, I’m reminded of a simple fact: the greatest machine on the planet remains the human machine. So, yes, it may seem strange to one of the uninitiated to imagine strapping an iPhone to your wrist. And yes, musicianship in the digital age is partly about triggering, not just playing (though Onyx can really blow on his Akai wind controller.) But the bottom line is, the precision of movement and the genius of human musical creativity wins out. However unusual the technological solution, it can still tap into that power.

In the video above, our friend Onyx Ashanti shows off his proof-of-concept work-in-progress as he assembles a new musical rig. Open source patching software Pure Data (Mac/Windows/Linux) is the sound source, proof that you can substitute free software at the center. The controller is an iPhone running TouchOSC (though this makes me want to revisit ultra-portable, open, embedded hardware with sensors). And yes, that’s a Yamaha WX5 wind controller, a digital input tool of choice for those with a wind background. Onyx says this is only to be one of two iPhones.

Expect craziness to come, but I like watching things in progress, too – so I couldn’t resist sharing.


Correction: Instead of looking closely at what Onyx was playing, I relied on my memory, and egregiously called the WX5 an Akai EWI. Thanks to commenters for spotting that.