During one of our lazier evenings on the sofa, we came across a video on Facebook which showed a new instrument being played. The instrument in question was the GRIDI, a midi sequencer which features embedded LEDs to create probably the largest and coolest physical midi controller in the world.

Meet GRIDI - The Coolest Music Table In the World

Measuring in at 2.80m x 1.65m, the GRIDI isn’t the type of thing you can play around the campfire, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive. The grid format of GRIDI mimics the layout of a digital music sequencer, but the transparent balls make it much more tactile and intuitive to use than a regular computer-generated sound machine.

GRIDI is all about being interactive. Designed to be used by multiple users (though one person can still do the job), viewers can easily interact and collaborate with each other by placing the balls onto different divots in order to create musical compositions in real time.

The music table was created by music producer Yuval Gerstein with the simple aim of getting users to create a musical compositions in an accessible and intuitive way. Creating music through computer software can often be a very insular process – GRIDI aims to take that experience into an interactive, physical environment.

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The structure of GRIDI is far more complex than it first appears, however. It consists of four wooden plates, where a sixteen by sixteen grid of circular divots has been cut. Each divot has an LED and a button in its centre, which are hooked up to the instrument’s computers. When a transparent ball is placed in a divot, the button is triggered, the LED lights up, and the sound corresponding to that particular divot is played in the musical sequence. Simple, right?

Gerstein hopes his GRIDI machine will come part of an art exhibition or event, or become a permanent installation somewhere. It’s also not hard to see GRIDI playing a significant role in musical education either. Watch the video to see how it works and head over to the GRIDI Website for more details.

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