=Molding Sound=

Xander Kent

     To digitally manipulate sound becomes more interesting with each passing technological advance. A plethora of programs inhabit cyberspace with all sorts of bells and whistles that will transform any sound into whatever the user wants. One of the key aspects of technology and our interaction with it is constantly overlooked: our hands. Of course plenty of objects and peripherals exist that require the use of our hands such as mouses (mice?), keyboards, styluses (styli?), joysticks, etc., but such human-to-digital interfaces rarely utilize our sense of touch to their advantage. Only recently has technology begun to use our tactile sensors as a means of interaction and it keeps getting better all the time.


The SoundSphere:

    This device is meant to give users the feeling that they are manipulating sound with their very own hands. Rather than flicking a mouse or typing in keystrokes, here a person uses much tactile sensation to create sounds and use them in conjunction with other sounds. This is one of a trio of identical objects, each governing a specific musical instrument: drums, guitar or bass. The prongs on the back end  are to be plugged into a "pedestal" that will allow users to rotate the sphere via the handle on the bottom 90 degrees. They also serve as the power input and the sound output to the surrounding speakers.

How it Works:

          Like the iPod click wheel, one can rotate their fingers in a circular motion on the sides to turn the volume of the sound up or down.

The overall effect of this work is to create the illusion that one is truly MOLDING the sound by manipulating this object on the screen with one's hands. Once the user has finished creating the desired beat, pitch and volume they can move to one of the other two identical spheres and "mold" the sound from their respective instruments, or work together with other users to create a mutually appealing audio experience. The target result is to mold a song complete with drums, bass and guitar created by the user's creativity and prowess with technological interfaces.