Playtronica aims to bring all sorts of interactivity to electronic music by letting everything become a controller. From your hands and fingers to fruit and vegetables, furniture and toys.
Anything that can complete the circuit can trigger the sound. At the centre is the Playtron. It’s a wonderfully odd shaped PCB with 16 nodes that can turn any object into a musical instrument. Anything conductive attached to a node can start playing your computer, phone, synthesizer or whatever it’s connected to. It has no sounds of its own, it simply sets up the control and you direct it to what MIDI device you want to play.
Along with the Playtron is the Touch Me strip that responds to the difference in current between two or more people. But you can use all sorts of sensors with the Playtron. Conductivity is the one where you touch. Capacity is about proximity detection. Piezo uses a sensitive microphone to detect touches or tapping. Motion sensors take your body movement and turn it into music.
It’s a wonderfully playful device with lots of performance possibilities. They also use it for educational purposes running workshops and experiences to give kids and adults a chance to interact with music in new and different ways.
The Playtron and Touch Me are both $78 each.
- Playtronica website.