Controllerism Gone Wrong: Intel CES 2016 Keynote

There’s not too much professional music gear at the CES show in Las Vegas, and the big news for DJs already came on Tuesday when Panasonic announced that they’re bringing back Technics SL-1200s. But at Wednesday’s Intel keynote presentation, there was a focus on the future in a wealth of different areas, including musical performance.

Controllerism Performance From Intel’s CES 2016 Keynote

(editor’s note: if the above video doesn’t skip forward automatically, go to 1:40:30 to see the performance)

The video starts with a woman playing a set of marching band drums. You know, a physical instrument that’s reliable. She messes up slightly, starts to take off the drums, and a Alesis keytar-welding band leader tells her that she won’t need those real drums anymore. What happens next is the most embarrassing controllerism performance we’ve ever seen.

Alesis MIDI keytar aside, all the drumming and performance elements are being triggered by gesture control – and it’s not pretty. We’re not trying to say that Intel isn’t capable of building great technologies – but this is pretty embarrassing. Gestural control in wireless devices has been around for years (remember when everyone was modifying Wiimotes to use as MIDI controllers?), and to see a performance like this is mind-boggling.

Why didn’t Intel get together with Tim Exile and Imogen Heap and make a reliable gestural performance? Why is the most reliable piece of gear onstage not an Intel product? What even is happening in this video? Here’s hoping that NAMM will be free of similarly cringe-worthy performances.

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Comments (25)
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  • Jim

    There is 6 minutes of my life I will never get back.

  • GizmoAndEanSittingInaTree

    This vid is a top-representation of the cunTROLLERist-movement.

  • Will Kirby

    I think I cringed my spleen out

  • Dimitri Fields

    Didn’t they test this to make sure it would actually work?

  • Controllerism - Back To The Drawing Board | MMP BLog

    […] But probably the CES bit that is most interesting to us is the Controllerism performance. This Intel keynote featured an extensive musical performance where individuals play drums using gesture control. The general consensus is that this performance is an absolute fail. What do you think? Check it out here. […]

  • Martin Wilson

    So. So bad.

  • Rick

    I kept noticing latency (or they were not in the right place required to properly trigger?)

  • ?The Other Denzel?

    Top 5 Moments In Durag History

  • Flo

    It sounds like one of those “shreds” videos, but it isn’t, which makes it indefinitely more painful.

    • Martin Wilson


  • No Qualms

    Were they the IT department of Intel, because no musician is that bad. It was almost comical, I couldn’t watch it all. Fail!

    • Oddie O'Phyle


  • Mark Smith

    Oh my God that was horrendous.

  • Kelsey B

    I watched about 30 seconds and that was enough!

  • Marco Hooghuis

    This was so cringeworthy I couldn’t even get myself to watch the entire performance.

    What were they thinking? I mean, Intel wasn’t founded yesterday, they know what’s going on in the world. Or at least, that’s what I thought…

    • Dan White

      Yeah, even i didn’t make it to the very end of the video. It doesn’t really get any better as it goes on.

  • Ali

    damn this is so painful to watch

  • asd

    grandmaster jay should do a performance

    • here_comes_the_sheik

      Flo Rida should so a performance:

      • mczanetti

        maaan, i remeber that, wat a piece of crap

      • max

        Incredible. I can’t believe this is a real thing. I’m getting one.

    • here_comes_the_sheik

      Lol… now I just realize that this grandmaster jay dude did promo for the exact same shit! 😀

      • Mark Smith

        What was he or they thinking with this???

        • sucker dj