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GPS-based music controller – make music by driving!

Submitted by on September 10, 2009 – 8:35 am No Comment

This is both crazy and completely awesome at the same time. A company called Face Removal Services has created a product called Beatmap. Beatmap is a musical instrument that transforms the entire face of the planet into one gigantic controller.

It works like this: Different loops are represented on a map as overlapping circular territories. When your location gets closer to the center of one of these circles, the volume of that loop increases. Where territories overlap, you get a very dynamic, evolving mix of synchronized musical phrases.

By exploring a very large area of a map, you end up with fairly complex, dynamic mixes.

You can travel by foot, plane, boat, train, automobile or any other way of getting around. In the video below, the map is explored by car on the Bonneville Salt Flats, allowing the user to freely accelerate, swerve, and slam to a stop to control the music.

The Beatmap can be positioned anywhere on Earth and expanded or contracted to any size by manipulating a continuous stream of GPS data. The Beatmap can thus be used to create drive-through mash-ups on any surface of any size, from a tennis court to the entire Atlantic Ocean.

Using the Beatmap controller is akin to exploring a new area while attached to a massive loop sequencer. Obscure landmarks begin to gain new significance by their association with unique musical juxtapositions. A pothole may invite multiple drive-bys simply because of its proximity to a particularly satisfying polyrhythm.

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