In a surprise announcement at the AES Convention in LA - a show generally recognised as a platform for the release of high-end and professional music products - Alesis revealed the airFX, a 'musical device that processes incoming audio or generates sound FX in reaction to movement'. You know the D-Beam technology that Roland included on some of its MC products? Think like that, but better.
airFX features 50 preset programs that modify any signal from CDs to vinyl to live performance in realtime. It's designed to appeal to anyone - DJs, remixers and musicians yes, but also anyone who's ever fancied manipulating sound. The simple but ergonomic device (we'll have a pic up here soon) incorporates Alesis' patent-pending Axyz (say 'Ax-is') technology consisting of an infrared beam which can be manipulated in three planes. Up to five parameters can be controlled in each of the presets; in turn, these presets have evocative names such as Vinylizer, Ghost Flange, Phasors on Stun, Bow Wow and Percolator. You get the picture.
The airFX will retail for an impressive $249.99 - and rumour has it that the Corporation is looking to get it into toy shops as well as music stores.