These are an early attempt at musical, orchestral blocks. If anyone has a more elegant solution to some of the technicals I'm all ears.
These blocks consist of a 'brain block,' which housed several speakers, a headphone / output jack, CPU, memory, MIDI interface, batteries and input / display screen
with visual / audible metronome. Alternatively a computer peripheral could suffice.
The blocks interconnect in a construction toy manner. Each block has an instrument sound, (or group of instruments in the case of some percussion accessories), which can be sampled by mashing a button, sending a short range rf code to the brain block, which plays it through its synth-quality speaker set.
Each block has 2 colored LED's, a big button and detent wheel with preset rhythm and tone settings, each sending a different transponder code to the central block, which plays each individual block's sequence in their respective instrument.
Connecting blocks together and to the central block, interlinks their electronics such that they play, timed, together, each in their respective instrumental sounds, in the style chosen by the detent wheel or similar selection scheme.
The blocks have several modes of play:
Freeform instrument sampling.
Composition recording mode.
Musical coordination mode: each block plays its own selection of notes upon plugging in. You must choose which to add to the construct, and where. Can you put a harmonious song together or will it fall apart in cacophony?
A puzzle mode is included with varying degrees of difficulty. Can you recreate this tune / sonata / symphony and corresponding block puzzle? Basic levels start with nursury rhymes, broken into 2-bar segments. Intermediate levels play only a few notes per block, or only one selected note per block at its corresponding time intervals.
The set is expandable with more instruments and musical styles. Each expansion series centers around a musical style theme, but always includes a piece or two from another, entirely different style and locality. Imagine a 'sounds of India' expansion, a 'Jugband and Bluegrass' expansion, or an 'Oceana Adventure' set.
MIDI songs may be downloaded for musical expansion.
I can imagine a blocky bust of Bach's head slowly forming, while little fingers pound out the rhythm of millions of synapses firing off their own symphony...
included in the basic set:
the 'brain block'
2 bass drums
3 snare drums
4 crash cymbal
5 ride cymbals
2 high hats
1 triangle / go-go bell / keys
4 tenor saxophones
2 soprano saxophones
1 baritone saxophone
1 bass guitar
4 french horns
2 English horns
10 'mystery pieces' which are silent themselves but which modify the sounds of those pieces they connect to.
in expansion sets:
trash can lids
pots and pans