Spoke is the new sound toy by The Strange Agency. Not your typical drum machine, Spoke is an easy drag and drop and arrange beats scratchpad. You place the beats along the cicrcular platter in the position that feels most right. Drag sounds off the platter to erase them, shake the phone to clear the platter, use the arrow buttons near the bottom to switch into SAVE, SWAP, or LOAD mode. Then click one of the circular slots to perform the action. You can use these slots to save your compositions. The default tempo is 120 bpm. Tap quarter notes in the center four times in a row to set a new tempo, anywhere from 60 to 240 bpm. See demo below.
Simple, stunning, should keep you entertained for hours.
The Strange Agency’s appÂ thesis:
The drum machine began with analog sounds, but its brain was always digital; the step-sequencer places voltage potentials on a grid.
Analog synthesis was, in truth, merely a convenience; it did the job adequately. Analog is great for warmth and richness, but analog is shit for timing. So-calledÂ analog sequencers are, at their best, digital with regard to the time axis. True analog was never feasible for timing.
Contemporary sequencers have extremely high resolution; Logic has a resolution of 960 ppqn. Theoretically, Spoke places beats at sampling resolution. At 120 bpm that is 22050 ppqn. A frequency of 22050 Hz is sufficient to reproduce audio at the threshold of our hearing range. What is the threshold of our timing range?
At 22050 ppqn we are surely beyond the limit of human timing sensitivity. At 22050 ppqn position becomes effectively analog.
This is what Spoke seeks: analog positioning on a digital platform.
Of course we are limited by resolution. Of course this limit is arbitrary. Of course this limit is transitory. Of course this limit need not go very high before we supercede human timing accuracy.
Nonetheless this is the spirit: do away with the position grid, do away with the quantize. Place the beats where they need to be. Place the beats where they sound most true.
Developer: The Strange Agency