If you’ve been following Thud Rumble’s Facebook and Instagram, you’ll have seen that they’re immersing themselves in all manner of technology. From the Kickstartered MIDI enabled LP cover to the recent courting of Intel, it’s clear that QBert and Yogafrog have their eyes on something more than is currently on offer.
The core of this is the Intel Edison board, essentially a complete PC in a stamp-sized package, designed to be at the centre of technology. Imagine embedding a computer into a piece of DJ or audio gear — the Edison can do that, and is the thrust of Thud Rumble’s thinking.
I’ve got a little more detail from Yogafrog himself about what they’re working on:
“We’re coming up with 2 things:
- A laptop-less mixer or turntable or drum machine or key/synth or modulars. So imagine a Z2 mixer without laptop anymore and we attached a multitouch screen to it to do your selections PLUS without plugged in laptop, the latency is super diminished now, Traktor is more accurate than ever.
- Sensor Activated Turntable – sensors underneath lining the magnet to track rotation coordinates, optical sensor on top of the platter to recognize record movement and another optical sensor to track tonearm movement, all collecting DATA. I’m sure you know with this data it can do everything timecode can do with super accuracy, and you can translate this data to “see” the scratches transcribed too allowing so much more. And this data can be assigned to lighting, to video, sky’s the limit!”
It seems that Thud Rumble is tired of the reliance of laptops and wish to have this kind of functionality built right in — embedded as it were. And with the help of a connected touch screen, they were able to drag and drop tracks without the need of a laptop. Yes that word again. For me, this is a response to the many calls for independence from the laptop. If I understand rightly, it’ll just be a matter of turning up to clubs armed only with USB drives, and the booth will already be equipped with everything else that you need.
There’s a lot of reliance on customised hardware, open circuit boards, and stray wires, and is very much in the realm of homebrew right now. But as a proof of concept it’s very interesting. It’s funny to me that we started life back in the 90s with a heap of laptop-free ideas, which turned into laptop based products, and now we’re wanting to be free of the very thing that freed us in the first place. Oh the irony.
More info here. And we’ll be keeping a very close eye on developments.