Cutting Edge MIDI Tech Roundup: Midi Jacket, Beatsurfing App, PocoPoco Update

The past week and a half has been chockfull of artists and critics debating the importance of playing live and the state of dance music, washing out some cool smaller stories that went under the radar. We’re taking a few minutes today to highlight three interesting MIDI-based projects – a Mexican jacket that sends MIDI notes, an incredible controller design app, and an update to a Midi Fighter-like product that we highlighted nearly a year ago.


Why not wear your MIDI controller on you while you’re walking around? We can think of a few reasons, but it doesn’t make Mexico-based MACHINA‘s Midi Jacket any less of an interesting concept. With three touch strip sensors on the exterior of the jacket, as well as an accelerometer and “flex sensors” in the sleeve, we could easily see this project being complemented with an iOS application that allows the user to jam out while walking around town, manipulating beats and effects while staying warm. Check out the clothing design company’s promotional video for the jacket below, featuring performing musician Moi and a fair amount of anti-Internet censorship messages.

The jacket is “coming soon”, pricing unknown, – and the one featured in the video is supposedly one of five models. After watching the demo, we’re not sure that the accelerometer and bend detection actually offer any level of intuitive control yet- but often it’s hard to tell simply based on a short clip like this.


TouchOSC has been widely used as the basis for iOS DJ and performance controllers for years, and when Liine’s Lemur for iOS application came out earlier this year, it highlighted how unnecessarily difficult TouchOSC programming and template generation was. Beatsurfing puts both Lemur and TouchOSC to shame, allowing the user to make and edit controller templates from within the program, on the fly. The application also takes a unique approach to controls – instead of simply emulating analog controls, it has unique shapes and designs of controls that act differently and are capable of interacting with eachother.

We haven’t had a chance to put this app through the paces yet and see just how versatile it is, but simply based on the feature set and intelligent design, it’s a step in the right direction for touchscreen MIDI controllers. The app is $11.99 – learn more about it on the official Beatsurfing site.


It’s been nearly a year since we first covered the Midi Fighter-esque Pocopoco prototypes that were developed by the IDEEALab in Tokyo, and the team has been silent until earlier this month, when they released the above new performance video of the devices in use. It’s a much higher quality video, the units are a bit more polished than videos and photos in the past, and the performance itself is more exciting, with things really getting intense in the final minute (although the performers continue to look completely disconnected from the performance).

We’ve reached out to the IDEEALab team to see if the new video is a sign of things to come, like a potential production run, but at the time of publication they haven’t responded.

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