Creating Music With Your Cell Phone

New cell phone software puts composing music into the palm of your hand

If you own a cell phone, then new software created by Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology director Gil Weinberg and his students will allow you to be the next composer and performer of your own original music.

The new software, called ZooZ Beat, allows the user to play and record a variety of instrumental sounds by shaking and tilting the phone. It also allows entering and transforming voice recordings and sharing the music in a group. The software interprets the movements and manipulates the music accordingly.

Weinberg says he created the software after realizing how his previous research on musical expression and creativity for novices could be applied to cell phones, which have become much more ubiquitous and powerful than in years past.

"My research focuses on developing algorhythms that would allow musical instruments to analyze and interpret a player's intention," said Weinberg. "With this technology, you don't have to have a lot of skill or know a lot of music theory to become musically creative. You can just use your own expressive, intuitive gestures to create music that you can relate to."

The new software, called ZooZ Beat, allows the user to play and record a variety of instrumental sounds by shaking and tilting the phone. It also allows entering and transforming voice recordings and sharing the music in a group. The software interprets the movements and manipulates the music accordingly.

Weinberg says he created the software after realizing how his previous research on musical expression and creativity for novices could be applied to cell phones, which have become much more ubiquitous and powerful than in years past.

"My research focuses on developing algorhythms that would allow musical instruments to analyze and interpret a player's intention," said Weinberg. "With this technology, you don't have to have a lot of skill or know a lot of music theory to become musically creative. You can just use your own expressive, intuitive gestures to create music that you can relate to."

Weinberg says that he always wanted to put this technology into the hands of everyone, but his previous instruments were too expensive and difficult to maintain.

"Cell phones have become so powerful as far as their capabilities, which led me to think that I could bring some of my research ideas into this realm," says Weinberg. "I don't have to develop the hardware, and everyone already has a cell phone. By making the software easily accessible, people will be able to create, manipulate and share music in a very intuitive and expressive manner."

Weinberg has also applied the software technology to gaming by using the cell phone device as a game controller for PC games.

Georgia Tech Venture Lab has supported the commercialization of Weinberg's technology, and he has a number of patents pending. The software will be available to the general public at http://www.zoozmobile.com.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

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