surgical gloves, lots of cables and tons of special buttons. building a custom instrument not only gives you the ultimate control on your music, it also makes you look like a mad scientist.
i created midimasa (miditable) in 2006, to present as a showcase at the first difuzyon 400saniye (400seconds).
the initiative for this platform comes from a group enthusiasts that has emerges from the taşkişla community (students or professionals) in istanbul. taşkisla is a focal point for many young creatives in the field of architecture and design in general.
i was one of the lucky presenters of the first 400seconds and had a chance to present this instrument.
in 2006 the musical controllers weren’t that accessible and one would actually have to learn to build one if they needed something specific. at the time my performances were mainly based on looping my virtual instruments and vocals live and then creating a composition on the fly by changing parts of the arrangement.
for this purpose i used the midibox platform to build the instrument. i decided to keep the midi keyboard to play melodies and chords, but have an extra interface to start/stop looping, changing loop points, creating and modifying new loops. i also needed arm/solo buttons as well as send/return buttons to appy effects on the fly to a section.
since pad based midi controllers hadn’t been widely used yet, i had a section for playing and recording live drums on miditable. it was a simpler but more sensitive way to play drums at the time.
finally midimasa had a mixer section for adding and removing loops on the composition, thus creating a live arrangement. it also had a section to control the live vocals by controlling the loop creation/deletion as well as mixer effect controls.
the software side was made with max/msp and the max application connected the midi device and translated the functions to ableton live.
since there was a deadline to showcase the instrument, i didn’t have time to make it look pretty, but that gave me the chance to further improve the instrument and create a v2 of it in the following months.