Since the multi-use controller Monome first came out a few years back, it's slowly gained a cult following thanks to its attractive and flexible design. If you're unfamiliar with the device, the Monome is an ultra-tactile, interactive and adaptable MIDI interface that takes advantage of open-source software to manipulate any number of musical parameters.
With a pleasing grid-based design, the programmable buttons function as a drum machine, looper, slider or pretty much anything else you'd want to configure. In fact, the Monome's multi-touch interface was around long before the iPhone and some versions even have a built-in accelerometer, adding a whole new dimension to music-making capabilities.
For either Strat-lovers who dabble with electronics or strictly laptop rockers, it's become an asset in the digital music world. Because it requires a bit of athleticism on the part of the musician, it livens up otherwise uneventful electronic performances where artists just press play. The recent release of experimental glitch-popper Daedelus' all-Monome album on 22 January 2008 proves there's plenty of untapped potential. Check it out and purchase it at Alpha Pup or U.K. iTunes for £8.
Like any instrument, the Monome takes practice but there's now a slew of software that's been written for it out there and some musicians have really been cleaning up their chops. Enough of the boring words, it's something best appreciated live—have a look at another video. Purchase the two fifty six (16×16 buttons) for $1,400, one twenty eight (16×8 buttons) for $800 and sixty four (8×8 buttons) for $400 at Monome.