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  • iPhone Orchestra Readies for Debut


    There are plenty of things that we've seen, heard, and done with the iPhone. But an "iPhone orchestra" isn't one of them. Until now, that is.

    According to 9to5Mac:

    Students at the University of Michigan are learning to design, build and play instruments on their Apple smartphones as part of a course called "Building a Mobile Phone Ensemble". This course is taught by Georg Essl, a computer scientist and musician who has worked on developing mobile phones and musical instruments.
    The "iPhone concert," which will play out next Wednesday, December 9th at the University of Michigan, will stay true to its title. Not a single traditional instrument will be used. Every contributor will hit their high notes on the iPhone only. The concert comes as the crescendo to a semester-long course study aimed at helping students learn to program applications enabling them to utilize the iPhone's myriad input sensors in order to achieve a variety of sounds. These "sounds" will be the basis of next week's concert.

    The touch-screen, microphone, GPS, compass, wireless sensor, and accelerometer can all be transformed so that when a performer runs their finger across the display, blows air into the mic, tilts or shakes the phone, for example, different sounds emanate.
    Although the concert will likely appear to be a seamless effort, coordinating the diversity of students with the diversity of "instrument sounds" produced by each iPhone has reportedly proven a massive undertaking for the educators and students who have modified their iPhones into full-blown musical instruments.

    In the history of music, experimentation with electronic devices have led to the discovery and development of new instruments, like the synthesizer and theremin. Could the iPhone be the newest acquisition of the world's finest orchestras? From the looks of things pretty soon there could be an app for that.

    “The mobile phone is a very nice platform for exploring new forms of musical performance," Essl said. "We're not tethered to the physics of traditional instruments. We can do interesting, weird, unusual things. "This kind of technology is in its infancy, but it's a hot and growing area to use iPhones for artistic expression."
    Image from 9to5Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone Orchestra Readies for Debut started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. Home Skillet's Avatar
      Home Skillet -
      God that gave me a headache. I would hate to get a call in the middle of that.
    1. Chase817's Avatar
      Chase817 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Home Skillet View Post
      God that gave me a headache. I would hate to get a call in the middle of that.
      airplane mode
    1. Home Skillet's Avatar
      Home Skillet -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chase817 View Post
      airplane mode
      and this whole time I thought airplane mode was for getting better reception in the airplane.
    1. JAG2621's Avatar
      JAG2621 -
      From what i saw it did not impress me at all! Sounded like 1 note with varying tone. Maybe the actual concert will be better but as of now it needs a lot more work. But they did call it a practice!
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      dear god... its going to far... LOL
    1. LittleJob's Avatar
      LittleJob -
      Quote Originally Posted by Home Skillet View Post
      and this whole time I thought airplane mode was for getting better reception in the airplane.
      LMAO, i think you just made my day
    1. xwinger's Avatar
      xwinger -
      iphone orchestra, wow that's lame
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      ...Weird. Almost thought it might be a bunch of nerds doing this.
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      I work at U of M so I'll be checking it out next week for sure. Seems rather odd but I'm curious about the whole thing. It's free, so why not?
    1. cssoz's Avatar
      cssoz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Home Skillet View Post
      and this whole time I thought airplane mode was for getting better reception in the airplane.
      lol i knew the first time i read it. of course when you're on a plane you want to cut all communications on your phone to avoid any interference with the plane's control panels. :P
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      they get credit for this course? i guess you can major in anything these days
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      circuit bending the iphone in a more complex way. genious
    1. thevmax's Avatar
      thevmax -
      Have you ever heard an orchestra?
      An "IPhone Orchestra" is like "military intelligence".
      As Groucho Marx put it,"Military Intelligence is a contradiction in terms."
      AND so is an "IPhone Orchestra"!