What is it about wearable controllers that make the developers believe that no one has ever done this before? They say the Mictic is the “World’s first body instrument” when I received delivery of the Genki Instruments’ Wave ring controller yesterday, a year after it funded on Indiegogo. There are plenty of other rings and gloves and bits and pieces that you can wear or attach and start controlling things. Is Mictic any different?
Difficult to say because all you get in terms of information is cool looking people dancing about while apparently affecting music in some way or other. They call it an “audio augmented reality device that will allow you to immerse yourself in one of the most innovative experiences of our times.” What it looks like is a Fitbit that triggers notes and effects on an iPhone app.
Honestly, it feels like we’ve seen it all before. From Hari Karam Singh and his AC Sabre, the OTO polyhedric, the Oddball, Mi.Mu Gloves, and the Neova Ring to the Genki Wave I’m wearing right now. And the majority of them provide solid MIDI control into your DAW or software instruments for user-definable control. Mictic is all about the app. The Wave even has a companion Eurorack module so you can use sensor and gyroscopic control to generate CV.
Mictic works by Bluetooth to your iPhone with 24ms of latency. The FAQ gives you more information about the shipping than it does about what you can do with it. They have plenty of videos of musicians and artists making good use of the sensor. You appear to have movement, probably orientation and then impact sensors which can control different aspects of predetermined instruments.
Wearable controllers are a lot of fun and if you’re into movement and performance then these could be right up your street. But as for it being the world’s first anything or anywhere near approaching the most innovative experiences of our times then these people are kidding themselves.
It does look cool and is probably fun to play with – wearables are a lot of fun if you’re into that kind of thing. You also get 2 in a box for $99 if you preorder now and should receive them sometime in 2020. It’s the lack of proper explanation that annoys me the most coupled with all the claims about its uniqueness. Why do they do that?
But can it do this:
- Mictic website (you know you can trust a company who has “Test landing page” as their main website title. Perhaps they’re just not ready yet).