Sunday, November 02, 2008

Microsoft Surface - SurfaceDJ 1.0

For all you techno-loving wannabe DJ’s out there, SurfaceDJ 1.0 is the killer app to get your groove on. I had the idea of creating a Mixer-type application for the Microsoft Surface shortly after creating VectorDrums. I brought this idea up to Joe who loved the concept. After some long hours during the day, we opened up a bottle of our favorite drink (gotta love a glass of… coke) and sat down and began prototyping. Within an hour, we had a simple app that played some sounds when objects were placed in a specific area of the Microsoft Surface. As fun as that sounds, we needed something more.

As an amateur music producer, I was struggling to figure out a way to incorporate music into this app. A mixer is great and all, but it isn’t really creative. It’s just a playlist with cross fades… meh. So we had an app that plays sounds and a new innovate device with a completely new interface to computing. Where could we go with this? Then it hit me.

I went home and started writing musical loops that would sound well when layered on top of one another. The idea was to create an application that allowed multiple users to work together to create a song that sounded good without any musical experience. Heh, yeah it’s not that easy. I brought in the loops the next day and added them to the app and invited people to mess around and see what they thought. The response was overwhelming. I had almost everyone in the office hovered around my Microsoft Surface waiting for their chance to collaborate and develop their own song. The app was very simple, which allowed anyone to use it, but provided a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else on any device.

As with the VectorDrums, we invited James Ryan, an executive from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, to check out and play with our new creation. He immediately began to sequence his own song, starting with a simple kick drum and eventually layering more complex melodies on top of it. His performance was taped for your viewing pleasure.

Since the initial prototype, SurfaceDJ has been re-skinned and shown to Microsoft who praised the application and will demo it at their upcoming Surface Release Party. Who knew that having the ability to touch their music would be so fun?


When money attacks... DJs!!!

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