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Ball Beats MIDI sequencer uses marbles to trigger sounds

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A physical (8 x 6) step sequencer that uses marbles to trigger samples.

Mode Machines Ball Beats
Mode Machines Ball Beats

Ball Beats: great little device, less than stellar name. In a nutshell, it's a physical step sequencer laid on an 8 x 6 grid. Each point on the grid contains a light sensor, so when you place a marble on a point, a sample is triggered. Alex from Mode Machines gave us a quick demonstration, in which he created a beat and then changed it up by moving the position of the marbles that signified kick, snare, and hi-hat hits. In addition to the steps on top of the device, there are light sensors on the sides that can be configured for different actions. It communicates via USB to a software interface, which can then send MIDI signals to your audio software of choice — in this case, Ableton Live. Available now for $199.