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April 20, 2008



It's a nice "on the fly" programmable sequencer. I would think all the lighting effects would tend to distract/make difficult playing it. What we really need though is not another sequencer, but an actual instrument, something that can achieve the rich organic sounds of the 70's era analog synths with the ease and programibility of the modern digital designs. You'll know when you find it when you can sit down and perform a track from Eno's "On Land".

Filthy dylan

To respond, I really want to hear what one of these babies sounds like:

I think one of the next steps in music will be more innovative, interactive, modular use of samples and it seems like this thing does that. I've never actually heard one, and I think they've only been used for movie sound fx so far, but it sounds awesome.


Intriguing. That's half the battle right there, a truly better interface than the keyboard. The continuum looks like a good candidate. Now, what to connect it to? Most devices that use samples seem to leave my ears flat. I've always dreamed of building digital controllers for analog circuits, for musical application as well as artificial intelligence. Some kind of hybrid that can tame those massive knob boxes that were so popular 40 years ago.


funny, whats so good about an "instrument" that you dont really play. it seems to have everything pre programmed,,it seems as futuristic as the one touch on an old organ. buy the chaos pad, its cheaper and you can actually manipulate it


K: The lighting effects are all a part of the instrument, of course they're designed to look pretty but they're also kind of a nice way to see what's going on. Robert Lippok mentioned that it's interesting sometimes to see what a triangle sounds like, so it lets him experiment visually as well as aurally.

Charlie: you can manipulate the sounds. It uses an internal sample playback mechanism but you can load your own sounds into it via SD card, and it also has MIDI out so you can use its sequencing parts to trigger your own sounds. It doesn't model but that's what big knobby synths are for.


Trent: Yeah, I got that from the demo. It's just too much though, like having a light show playing on your keyboard. A more subtle design is in order, one that preserves the beneficial effect of having a visual interpretation of the sequence without distracting the player. If you're sold on this idea, why not go the whole hog and make the keypad a touch display? One could really combine visualization and playing with such an interface.

I think the device is a nice sequencer, I just wish there was a demand for soloing instruments in modern electronic music.


Reminds me of the Korg "Kaosillator" but with better sounds and a built-in light show. However the Kaosilator is very small and also very cheap, so marketing-wise it is the exact opposite.


Robert Lippok's set was fantastic. I'd come to think that the Tenori-On was somehow limited to producing the cute bleeps and bloops its YouTube clips tend to feature. Not the case. Lippok's performance was melody-free-- limited to static bursts, pink noise and sub-bass.

As for the lighting effects, they may seem a bit gimmicky on paper, but at least they're entertaining to look at. Watching someone "play" on a laptop just makes me feel like I'm spying on them at work.


If you don't have $1200 to blow but do have a Nintendo DS, I highly, highly recommend Iwai's non-game Elektroplankton. It's 10 different touch-screen interface musical environments, and while it's more of a pure novelty, it's also 1/40th the price.


Yes, Elektroplankton is amazing too. A lot of the Tenori-on sounds seemed to have been plucked straight from the game. One of the press guys there asked if his daughter liked EP or Tenori-on more, and he kind of laughed.

Peter - good point, I totally agree. Normally I think the thing that keeps me from enjoying noise concerts even though I know they're good (i.e. Merzbow) is that I don't know what's going on. Seeing R Lippok do his thing made it more accessible I think, which is important in a way.


What does it sound like someone asked?
Anything from something the dance oriented beat created in 10 min and played basically on the fly at this url (all sounds coming from the tenori-on):

to anything like the user submitted music in the flash player on the homepage of the US site

despite its limitations it seems to produce a wide range of sound, as well as being good for controlling other synthesizers - analog or otherwise

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