Create an optical theremin using AudioCubes!

AudioCubes are intelligent light-emitting blocks that have 4 onboard high speed and high sensitivity infrared sensors and work as a 4 dimensional optical theremin.

The infrared sensors can sense your hands and fingers, and measure the distance from your hands/fingers to the sensor.

When moving your hands and fingers in front of the infrared sensors, the AudioCube sends a MIDI control change to your DAW, such as Ableton Live or any other midi compatible software or hardware.

You can assign each sensor to a specific effect or an instrument in your DAW. This means you can control up to 4 effects or instruments per AudioCube!

How a single AudioCube acts as an Optical Theremin

A traditional theremin consists of two antennas which measure the distance between a player’s hand and the antennas. Players of a theremin control frequency and volume by moving their hands closer and further away from the antenna, and this generates analog sounds.

When replacing the antennas by infrared sensors you can create an optical theremin.

An AudioCube is an example of an optical theremin with 4 dimensions. Every AudioCube has 4 infrared sensors, one on each side of the cube, that can sense distances from your hand and fingers to the sensor.

Instead of transmitting analog signals, the AudioCube is transmitting MIDI data which can be sent to any midi compatible software or hardware.

Whereas a theremin allows its players to control frequency and volume by moving their hands, you can control up to 4 effects or instruments in your DAW using a single AudioCube. You can easily manipulate and create totally new sounds, because the 4 infrared sensors give you access to 4 dimensions of sound control.

Compared to a theremin, color plays an important role when using the AudioCubes. You can control the colours of the AudioCube when moving your hands, and fingers closer our further from the sensors. It gives that magical touch when shaping sounds using your hands.

How to setup an AudioCube as an optical Theremin?

To use an AudioCube as an optical theremin, you need to configure your AudioCube as a sensor cube in MIDIBridge, a free app that comes with the AudioCubes.

MIDIBridge sends MIDI Continuous control changes to your DAW such as Apple Logic, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Image Line FL Studio, Propellerhead Reason and Record, Apple Garageband, ...

The AudioCubes come with special sound packs for Ableton Live which you can use a starting point for shaping sounds with your AudioCube.

You can link each of the 4 high speed infrared sensors to a color, so the color changes each time you come closer to a cube, or simply control the colours from your MIDI compatible software or hardware using MIDI Continuous control changes.