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The classic game of Go (jap. 囲碁 /igo/) is turned into a musical instrument that can be played like a step-sequencer.

An industrial camera and computer-vision algorithms are used to detect unmodified go-stones on the go-board.The position and color of the stones on the board is analyzed in software and used to control the Native Instruments MASCHINE software as a sound generator. Sounds and effect parameters can be temporarily muted and unmuted by covering parts of the board during live performances.

Different areas on the go-board control different aspects of the sound:

- A 16×16 grid (top left) can be used to create drum patterns (black stones) or play notes on a synthesizer (white stones). The horizontal axis represents time (16th notes), the vertical axis is associated to musical notes on a japanese scale for the white stones, or to a set of drum-sounds for the black stones.

- The 16×3 grid below (bottom left) is used to trigger notes on a bass-synthesizer.

- Two 3×8 grids (top and middle right) enable control over six parameters such as the length of the synthesizer notes, audio effects and filters.

- A 3×3 grid (bottom right) is used to play additional percussion loops.

Go 囲碁 Maschine

The Team:
Kristian Gohlke, Bauhaus-University, Weimar, Germany.
Michael Hlatky, Native Instruments GmbH, Berlin, Germany.

Presented during the opening celebrations of the Red Bull Studios Tokyo, Japan.
February 26-28th, 2015.

February 2015
Red Bull Studios, Tokyo, Japan
Article in the german Make: Magazine
Article on Engadget Japan