AudioCubes'' smooth symmetry makes them sleek and futuristic, but it also makes it tough to remember what each face is programmed to do. For example, with two cubes in send/receive mode (the receiver connected to the computer by USB and the sender orbiting that), you can produce 16 trigger events—4 transmitters on the sender multiplied by 4 detectors on the receiver. Figuring out which side is which is especially tough under the dark performance settings that bring out the drama of the LEDs.
Percussa''s NAMM demonstrator cleverly labeled each side of his cubes with a pen and a piece of tape, mixing-engineer-style. I jokingly suggested to inventor Bert Schiettecatte that he take that a step further and sell kits to anthropomorphize the cubes. After all, great instruments have personality, and I''m sure a big reason the Bleep Labs Thingamagoop synthesizer took off is because of its grinning face. Schiettecatte told me he''d already been approached by a customer about doing just that.