Mogees App: Rock the World and Get Rocked Back (analysis, video)

Written by Brant David

Check out Mogees — an app and device that’ll turn anything in the world into a musical instrument. Play the world and let the world play you. Here’s how it works. Analysis and commentary by Brant David. Videos inside. — Make everything in the world your instrument. So goes the Kickstarter pitch from coder, audiophile and inventor Bruno Zamborlin. He’s devised Mogees tech —  which combines an Apple iOS app with a special contact microphone — to do just that.

Mogees reads the vibrations of anything you stick the device to — and delivers music. All you need to do is provide the beep.

The effect is wild. Using Mogees, it’s possible to set up a bowl of pears to sound like a nylon string guitar — or even accompany yourself as you dance while the dancing in itself creates the music for your dancing. There’s a feedback loop you can rock to.

Check out the video below. It shows a Kathak dancer playing Mogees with her feet.

Video: Bruno Zamborlin YouTube Channel

Like a suction cup, the Mogees sensor can be stuck to just about any object, from a tree branch to a girder to a car to a windowpane. When you then tap or otherwise touch that object in any rhythmic pattern you choose, Mogees reads the vibrations that you create on that medium and sends them back to the app. The app translates them into musical tones which are then fed through headphones, a speaker system, an amplifier, recording software, or anything else that can translate or play them.

Check out the video below showing the musicians from Rodrigo y Gabriella playing with Mogees at a pub.

Video: Bruno Zamborlin YouTube Channel

The musical freedom Mogees tech brings has enormous potential. As an education tool, it can help teach children about music while keeping the whole process fun and game-like.

For serious musicians, it offers new fields of sonic creativity.

As for techies and music dabblers, it’s easy to imagine Mogees mobs and Mogees parties.

The Mogees app enables the use of different modes of sound production. If you choose Free Mode, for instance, you’re able to improvise and come up with whole new sounds. You’re able to use those for composing, recording or simply jamming. Song Mode allows you to take an existing piece of music and change it around rhythmically as you elicit the notes from any object around you, no matter how mundane. Your toaster as a musical instrument? Why not?

Now that Zamborlin has received his funding via Kickstarter, he is going to be collaborating with musicians to create more apps. These forthcoming apps are intended to be used by music students and anyone interested in learning more about the science behind acoustics and sound.

As Rush drummer Neil Peart once wrote, “One likes to believe in the freedom of music.”

I definitely do believe that.

Sure, there’s a danger that Mogees will enable, as synthesizers did, a wholesale dumbing-down of music. But I think it’s worth the risk to open up new sonic worlds for talented laymen, music students, and musicians alike.

Here’s an awesome talk by Bruno Zamborlin at a TedX Brussels conference. In it, he explains the motivation behind Mogees tech.

Video: TedX YouTube Channel

For, this is Brant David.

Based in New Jersey, Brant David is a senior writer for Follow him at +Brant David on Google+ and