This gigantic MIDI sequencer turns a virtual music making grid into a supersized reality.
Music producer Yuval Gerstein wanted to find a way to let people create music in a way that was both intuitive and accessible, even for the musically uninitiated. In the process, he may have just created the world’s biggest MIDI sequencer.
Clocking in at a massive 2.80 x 1.65 meters, “Gridi” is a 16×16 grid of holes embedded with LEDs in which you place different balls. A row of LEDs light up in sync with the desired tempo of the track, which both illuminates any ball in that column and triggers a button that lies behind the hole, sending MIDI information to your instrument of choice.
As Synthtopia details, “At the same time the signal reaches the computer and tells it to write a MIDI note in that particular place in the grid. When the beat reaches the ball, a sound will come from Ableton’s sequencer, which was preprogrammed to make a certain sound.” If this all feels unnecessary, think of it as the musical equivalent of those human-sized chess sets—they’re a heap of fun, right?
Check out an app that uses light to control MIDI here, and a McDonald’s placemat that works as a MIDI controllers here.