Posted on Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by Will Hagle
808 Cube is a Chrome experiment that combines the Roland TR-808 drum machine with the Rubik’s Cube.
The Roland TR-808 has become nearly ubiquitous across all audio creation programs. Software like Logic Pro, Pro Tools and Ableton all feature some version of the 808, the programmable drum machine that became popular through electronic music and hip-hop beats. While the TR-808 started as an analog instrument, the way its sounds have adapted to different software online demonstrates the power and versatility of creating music digitally. Despite the potential for innovation, even programs like the aforementioned Logic mimic traditional methods of recording (although they do so extremely well). The 808 Cube, however, offers a new, fun way to create music online. The site is a Chrome experiment, so you shouldn’t expect DAW capabilities, but it does offer a unique way to make music that you can easily share with your friends.
The 808 cube combines TR-808 sounds with your computer microphone, and designates a particular sound to each square of a digital Rubik’s cube. As you click on a particular box of the digital Rubik’s cube, a certain sound (like a bass drum, snare drum or cymbal) plays in a continuous loop (which it creates by using the Rubik’s Cube’s 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 combinations of randomization). You can also tap to set the tempo, slide a tempo marker and/or choose between two variations of progressions. You can also shuffle rows of the cube just like you could with a real Rubik’s cube. The coolest aspect of the site is its ability to record sounds from your own microphone and then assign that recording to a particular box on the cube. All you have to do is click on a box, press the “8” key on your keyboard, speak into the microphone or record your surroundings, then press the “8” key again to end the recording. After that, you can incorporate your own voice into the loop and make something cool and unique. As mentioned earlier, sharing via social media platforms is incredibly easy, and the tool is well designed and fun to mess around with.