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FreePlayer Express, motion effect controller now available

Related: , , , , , , , , Posted in news on Nov 08, 2010 - comment 0 comments
FreePlayer Express

FreePlayer has announced the availability of FreePlayer Express, a universal kit that attaches to most guitars or basses with a simple adhesive pad.

FreePlayer allows you to control effects by the motion of the guitar itself – fluidly and in real time, and it’s available now! The first FreePlayer product – FreePlayer Express – allows you to control any MIDI-capable effect directly, or VSTs via the supplied software. Just attach the FreePlayer to your guitar and connect via USB – it’s as simple as that!

Since FreePlayer Ltd. announced earlier in the year that they would be launching their motion-based guitar effects controller, it’s been a busy time: “We’ve been busy with fielding all the enquiries that have come in, helping and supporting our Beta users – and of course, developing hardware and software!” says a slightly frazzled Stuart Smith, Managing Director of FreePlayer Ltd.

The result is a brilliantly simple idea: one slimline box – the FreePlayer Express – can be attached to pretty much any guitar or bass, and connects to the outside world via USB (a wireless add-on is on the way). The Express contains a highly sensitive motion sensor which – as the demo clips on YouTube show – can be used to control pretty much any kind of effect, from simply merging in a delay or reverb through to ‘3-D – Wah’ filter effects, or even the kind of wild pitch-based effects that are possible with Saltline Audio Solutions’ ‘Son of a Pitch’ (bundled with FreePlayer). As they say on their website – ‘Move it, Shake it – it’s all possible!’. The Express hardware is rounded off with a tactile button array and a set of status LEDs.

Best of all, a planned firmware upgrade means that FreePlayer will be directly MIDI-capable – just plug it in to your audio workstation (PC, Mac or Linux), digital Amp, MIDI effects box or what have you, and you’ve got immediate control of your effects by movement – it’s as simple as that!

To capitalize on current success, the Express is available at a reduced price of EUR149 (GBP120, approx), while FreePlayer also boasts a dedicated LesPaul version built into a custom pickguard, with a Strat version and others planned in future.

More information: FreePlayer

FreePlayer Ltd. announces FreePlayer Pre-order

FreePlayer Pro

FreePlayer Ltd. has announced that FreePlayer is now available to pre-order.

FreePlayer, which allows guitarists to control effects by motion and touch, consists of a hardware attachment for the guitar and a software application that hosts VST plug-ins and controls MIDI devices. A Windows version is offered initially, with other operating systems to follow.

The first models to be made available are:

  • FreePlayer Pro for Les Paul guitars – pre-order price €299 (normal price €399) – contains a complete set of FreePlayer sensors in an ‘easy-fit-kit’ pickguard:
    • 38x48mm Touchpad (responds smoothly to a pick or a fingernail)
    • 3-Axis Motion Sensor (Responds to motion up to 3G – Shock-proof to 10,000G!)
    • Flexible Light Sensor (Detects light changes in 1000 smooth increments)
    • Tactile button array (Five buttons individually shaped for recognition by touch.
  • FreePlayer Express – pre-order price €149 (normal price €199) – a universal kit that attaches to most guitars or basses with a simple adhesive pad (included). With a 3-axis Motion Sensor and Tactile Button array, it’s all you need to get up and running!
  • FreePlayer Express Plus – pre-order price €199 (normal price €249) – all the benefits of FreePlayer Express, with an additional Flexible Light Sensor.

Each FreePlayer unit comes with a USB cable, the FreePlayer software, and is bundled with these VST plug-ins:

  • Saltline Audio Solutions: Bachelard, ‘Son of a Pitch’ and Cadence.
  • Voxengo: Voxengo Boogex.
  • MeldaProduction MFreeVSTBundle: includes MCompressor, MEqualiser, MPhaser, MRingModulator, MFlanger, MTremolo, MVibrato, and many others.
  • NDC’s Open source VST plugins: Fragmental, and the wonderfully named Reversinator.
  • FrettedSynthAudio: FreeAmp3.

Users will be able to download more VSTs and sounds from the FreePlayer SoundStore, including Saltline Audio Solution’s previously announced range of plug-ins developed specifically for FreePlayer.

Customers Pre-ordering FreePlayer between now and the product release (expected end of July) receive a discount of up to €100 – with deposit of just €50.

More information: FreePlayer

FreePlayer announced

Related: , , , , , , , Posted in news on May 17, 2010 - comment 0 comments

Stuart Smith has announced FreePlayer, an expression module which allows guitarists to control VST and MIDI effects dynamically, by motion and touch, as part of their performance.

It sounds like science fiction – a guitar that knows where it is, and responds to the motion as you play it. Or a guitar that knows where you are and responds to the motion of your hands near the strings? But with FreePlayer it’s a reality, and what’s more it’s not just a computer boffin’s plaything, but a real musician’s tool – built from the ground up with the player in mind.

“The problem with effects is still that you control them with foot pedals – and how expressive is your ankle?!” says Stuart Smith, Director of FreePlayer Ltd. “Have you ever wanted to reach down to your effects pedals and turn the knobs while playing? Well, with FreePlayer, you can do just that. Slide your pick across the touchpad to perform a full octave pitch bend. Shake the neck slightly, and a cloud of brilliant reverb appears. Move your hand near the strings, and you’re controlling a wah-effect. You can control everything, switch presets, directly from the guitar itself. And that’s just the beginning. By allowing the player dynamic control of multiple effects, FreePlayer opens up all sorts of new sound possibilities.”

FreePlayer consists of a hardware attachment for the guitar and a software application that hosts VST plugins and controls MIDI devices. A Windows version is offered initially, with other operating systems to follow. An on-line community (the SoundStore – ) will allow users to share their sounds.

The FreePlayer hardware is an ‘easy-fit-kit’ for Strat or Les Paul-style guitars (with other models to follow) that contains various motion sensors, a touchpad (or joystick option) and buttons, which allows the player to manipulate multiple effects smoothly and dynamically, in real time. The software offers a musician-friendly editor, plus a stripped-down play-only version, ideal for live work.

FreePlayer is expected to be for pre-order within the next month, with an estimated price of 400 EUR.

More information: FreePlayer