OWOW (the Omnipresent World Of Wizkids) are a new company based Eindhoven, Netherlands who are aiming to create affordable, portable music production tools with the help of a recently launched “Kickstarter” campaign.
OWOW have created 5 instruments all with their own unique method of control which can be mixed and matched however you want to create your own personal handheld MIDI controller.
They come in two forms: CRD – Bare bones circuit board (no shiny aluminium case) and DVC ( full finished product (shiny aluminium case). The CRD version is cheaper and is directed more to people who don’t care about looks but still want the functionality. Additionally, the CRD version does come with 3D files for 3D printing your own personal case if you wanted.
The names and sizes of the controllers could fool you into thinking they are just toys, but the technology in these little controllers is far from child’s play.
This little device measures the height of your hand and converts it to a midi signal, behaving like a fader.
Using smooth three axis control this device allows for effects triggering based on the orientation of your hand while holding it.
Another handheld device, this one uses velocity sensors to determine drum hits. The sensitivity can be changed using the knob to allow for drum rolls or big hits depending on your “airdrumming” capabilities. Additionally the option for up/down playing actions allows you to use it like a shaker with hits being triggered at the top and bottom of motion.
Possibly one of the most impressive instruments in the set, this credit card sized drum controller has 4 velocity sensitive drum pads. My only worry would be that, due to its size, you might have to blutac it to the table to stop it moving about too much when tapping out a rhythm.
This instrument is definitely the most unique of the set. It’s a line scanner that takes shapes/ lines drawn on a page and creates MIDI data as you scan the device over it. This could lead to some really creative uses, especially for mapping automation which can be really “fiddly” if you want to draw smooth automation curves.
The device was created to allow you to “draw your music”, writing melodies as dots and playing them by moving the scanner over your drawing. It’s capable of reading multiple notes at the same time meaning it can even play chords!
One of the interesting results of using drawings to generate the notes is that it introduces an element of human error (you’re handwriting probably isn’t perfect), which is so often missing in electronic music.
MIX AND MATCH
There is no limit to the number of devices you can use together, and some of the creative ways people are using the beta products are already surprising the developers.
Prices start at €49 for one bare circuit-board “CRD” model (no shiny aluminium case) or €99 for the DVC model (full aluminium case).
Head over to their Kickstarter page for more information and to check out the prices for multiple devices.