LAZER is a unique laser-based music controller.
Thanks to its rich set of outputs, it can control external MIDI instruments and effects, analog synthesizers and virtual instruments in a DAW such as Ableton Live, Cubase or Logic. It also has an on-board lo-fi oscillator that can drive headphones (for live tracking) or be used as an audio source.
LAZER is completely standalone and does not require a computer. It is ideal for live jams!
The sensor measures the distance from the hand and transforms it into MIDI, analog and audio signals, according to user settings. Its 1mm (circa) resolution and the configurable range up to 50cm allow for precise control of sensitive parameters such as pitch and filter frequency.
LAZER does not require wearing any wearables and can be used in most light conditions with bare hands. It should however be avoided to point strong light sources directly to the sensor. Multiple LAZERs can be used simultaneously without interfering with each other.
Most importantly, it is a LOT of fun to use it, and it’s pretty cool too!
The OLED display allows to adjust the MIDI parameters to be controlled, their range, their direction and many other settings. The same MIDI messages are sent to the classic 5-poles DIN MIDI port (using the included adapter) and to the USB port. Analog signals are sent to the CV and gate outputs. For certain configurations, the analog ports are used as analog sync transmitters. There is also an audio output that produces a signal whose pitch varies with the hand distance. Parameters can be (soft) quantized.
There are 5 example presets included and 5 user-presets which make it very fast to recall a certain configuration..
User manual and technical specifications
|Configurations||Note on + continuous pitch|
Sequencer start/stop + CC74
Sequencer start/stop + pitchbend
Sequencer start/stop + analog clock
Sequencer start/stop/tempo control + analog clock
|MIDI outputs||TRS and USB-MIDI|
A TRS-to-DIN 5 poles adapter is included.
|Analog outputs||CV 0-5V|
In some configurations the GATE out provides an analog SYNC signal
|Audio output||“Lo-fi” reference tone, up to 5Vpp|
Can be used directly with phones or as audio source.
|Sensor range||User configurable, up to 50cm (19.7″)|
|Presets||5 ROM, 5 user defined|
4x 3.15mm jack outputs
|Power||5V via USB, typical 100mA (1A capable supply recommended)|
|Dimensions||80mm x 80mm x 20mm|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
|Is LAZER a Theremin?||The short answer is NO, LAZER is not a Theremin. A Theremin exploits electromagnetic principles, while LAZER measures the time it takes for a light pulse to reach your hand and bounce back. Because of this, the physical experience is somewhat different.|
Nevertheless, you may use LAZER in a similar way as a Theremin, controlling the pitch (or the amplitude, or any other parameter) of an external instrument. Actually, LAZER also includes an on-board simple lo-fi audio oscillator, which can be a starting point when external instruments are not available.
|How do I connect LAZER to my MIDI synthesizer?||LAZER’s MIDI out must be connected to the MIDI in of the synthesizer. If you also want to connect other MIDI sources to your syntheisizer (for example, an external keyboard), you need to merge the MIDI signals. Depending on your equipment, you might need a MIDI merger.|
|How do I connect LAZER to my analog synthesizer?||LAZER has analog CV and analog gate outputs for this purpose. The signals have 0-5V range, which is enough to track 5 octaves on an oscillator or a filter. The CV level follows the distance detected by the sensor, while the gate is +5V when the hand is detected within target distance.|
When using LAZER to steer a sequencer, the gate output provides an analog sync signal while the CV output acts as the gate output.
|How do I connect LAZER to my sequencer?||LAZER sends MIDI real-time start/stop and tempo messages that are recognized by most sequencers. Additionally, LAZER can send analog sync impulses and a gate signal whenever the target hand is detected within range.|
|Can I connect LAZER to a computer or a DAW?||Of course! LAZER is recognized as a MIDI device by the DAW, and sends MIDI signals over the USB connection.|
|Is laser dangerous?||LAZER is a Class 1 laser device, which means that it includes a low power laser emitter which is not dangerous for the eye as long as it is operated according to the user manual.|