Beardyman and the Beardytron
Famously talented beatboxer Beardyman has a new toy. He calls it the Beardytron 5000 mkII, and it is one of the most amazing musical instruments ever created, although it’s hardly a musical instrument at all in the traditional sense. What the Beardytron does is provide its bearded pilot with a plethora of ways to manipulate his already impressive range of vocal sounds. Further than that it defies description, so take a look at it in action at TED 2013:
Beardyman has been accumulating inspiration for the past six years, and now after a year and a half of development he has, in his own words, “the most complex and fully featured live-production system ever devised.” To create this immense machine he enlisted the help of Sebastian Lexer, a computer programmer, musician, and lecturer on the Max/MSP platform at Goldsmiths College, University of London, along with several seasoned developers of digital audio software. Here they are talking about the project:
With so much development time having gone into creating this groundbreaking piece of kit, the team are understandably reluctant to roll out their blueprints, and indeed plans are already afoot for a commercial version of the equipment. But what we know is that it is controlled by three iPads, an NI Massive midi controller (as demonstrated by Jeremy Ellis here) and multiple keyboards. Underlying all that are not one, not two, but EIGHT looper channels, and 15 instances of Sugar Bytes Turnado live effects plugin. And this is how it all works together:
Beardyman has already taken the amazing Beardytron on tour around the world. Sit back, marvel and be reduced to tears of laughter at this live performance from India:
The good news for anyone visiting the veritable hive of amazing stuff that is the Edinburgh Festival is that Beardyman will be performing there every day from 15th-21st August. Each day Beardyman will take audience suggestions and create a unique hour-long album live before their eyes. I actually can’t think of a better possible show.
Get tickets for Beardyman’s Edinburgh Festival show here