By Evan Ackerman
Just over a month ago, we wrote about a homebuilt laser harp that you play by selectively blocking out laser beams to generate tones. It looked pretty complicated to construct, but now you can buy your own in a slick silvery finish that’s powered by USB. The device includes 30 songs in 19 musical genres to provide background tracks, and breaking the laser beams generates “pre-authored pulses, streams, riffs or loops of musical notes or sounds from an incredible variety of instruments from around the world — guitars, steel guitar, strings of all types, percussion, keyboards, winds, even cowbell.” Thankfully, the Beamz Music Performance System has some brains inside that do their best to prevent you from causing blood to pour out the ears of your audience:
The notes are timed to the beat of the rhythm accompaniment and that as you trigger each one, an appropriate musical sequence of notes is played depending upon the rhythm accompaniment’s current key. In short, you’re performing much like a music conductor: you’re calling upon each instrument and controlling the shape of the music, but the beamz software is taking care of making sure everything fits together seamlessly.
I just have two questions: does it have bagpipes, and can I get more cowbell with that? The Beamz Music Performance System will be available from Sharper Image for about $600 (!).