Human beings have been playing music for about as long as anyone can remember.
When you ask someone what music is, each person will probably have different associations. For some, “real” music is classical composition and classical instruments, things like pianos, violins, cellos, flutes and so on.
For other people, music is best defined as blues and rock and roll, things that rely on a guitar, drums, electric bass and maybe some other side instruments. Even so, music is always changing and adding in new technology to make new sounds.
And the video we’re talking about today is a great example.
For those who have never heard of him, Shawn Wasabi is an American record producer from Salinas, California.
Wasabi makes electronic music, but he does it by using technology in a very unusual way. In many modern pop music recordings, artists use what are known as Midi controllers to make music.
Typically, these are essentially electronic keyboards that can be played directly into a computer. They can also have effects put on the sounds and the keys can be “programmed” with musical samples, making it easier to cut songs up and re-use them in new ways.
Still, Wasabi wanted to take this Midi controller technology a step further.
Rather than use a standard keyboard to play his music, Wasabi designed his own controller called the Midi Fighter 64.
His “keyboard” is a large pad with 64 buttons designed like an arcade game. Just like a normal Midi keyboard, the pad can be programmed with all kinds of sounds.
What’s even cooler, however, is that when a certain number of keys are hit in the right order, the keyboard can also be programmed to make all kinds of different light displays and can switch between soundboards!
As such, the electronic pad becomes a part of the performance itself—and is a real instrument!
In his video posted in February 2017, Wasabi premiered an original song called “Spicy Boyfriend” that he made using his unique instrument.
As the clip starts, it seems pretty simple. As Wasabi hits the buttons, each one makes a distinct sound sample. It begins with a cute-sounding melodic drum sound before getting more complicated.
In this way, Wasabi can play a catchy electronic song “live” in the same way that a drummer would play drums. Still, as he plays more and more sounds, the lights on the pad start to do automated patterns and flash different colors.
Although the instrument is mostly unique to Wasabi, there’s no doubt this is going to get more and more use over the years!
Since he uploaded the video, it has been viewed nearly six million times!
Still, it isn’t the only song of its kind on his channel. His most popular video of all is a song called “Marble Soda,” which he calls a live mashup. In this video, it’s more clear just how interesting this instrument could be.
Although he’s playing tons of complicated samples to a beat and in time, his instrument is also lighting up and displaying all kinds of patterns at the same time! Needless to say, there’s some real potential here for other electronic musicians!
Thanks to Shawn Wasabi for these awesome performances! Be sure to watch the whole video in the link below:
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