PENNYWILD, also known as Melanie Wildman, is utilizing her love of dance and experiences as a theater student to take the next steps in MIDI controller evolution. After trying out some drum pads and other, more movement oriented equipment, the Los Angeles-based artist had an idea: The Penny Pad, a dance pad MIDI controller.
Creative MIDI controller creations are nothing new in dance music. But, that doesn’t mean new heights aren’t reachable. A Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, triggers sounds or beats by an artist in a specific interface. The most common type of MIDI controller is a keyboard, but artists are going far beyond the basic parameters we’ve become accustomed to.
From booty and album covers, to guitars and more, the creation of new and interesting ways to make music is a never-ending process. That process is continuing into the new year, thanks to Producer/DJ/Dancer PENNYWILD.
To put that idea into action, PENNYWILD reached out to producer and finger drummer Coby Ashpis. From there, Wildman and Ashpis worked together to translate the “video game language into MIDI” in order for it to process correctly in audio software.
While far from perfect, the duo created a prototype. The next step is developing and creating a beta version of the Penny Pad. They also plan on sharing their creation with other artists, in order to get their input on the latest in MIDI controller technology. PENNYWILD will also be releasing an EP in March, with tunes created with the Penny Pad. She also plans on incorporating it into her live shows as much as possible.
“It’s been really cathartic for me to use, because my dance training is so accessible for me. I can freestyle (movement) at the drop of a hat, but playing the keyboard with my hands still isn’t fluid. Its been a lot easier for me to plunk out these tracks with my feet. It’s more natural to me.” – PENNYWILD via Billboard
Let us know what you think of the latest creative MIDI controller creation, and if you’d want to give the Penny Pad a try! Comment below, on Facebook, or reply on Twitter!