Wikisonic 2.0: The Collaborative Music Experience

Teleport directly:

As we close in on the opening of the real-life Wikisonic installation at The Tech museum in San Jose, I’ve been thinking of ways to expand the concept by including additional instruments and beats. With the help of scripter John Street (Dirty McLean in Second Life), we’ve made several major improvements to the overall Wikisonic system. In addition to the mute switch, we have added a new ‘reset’ switch which turns off all active notes. John also scripted a brilliant CD-R feature. All you do is rez the CD-R next to the Wikisonic, and it ‘records’ your current composition. Better still, when you rez that CD elsewhere – it plays the recording of that composition! Better STILL, if you rez that CD next to a Wikisonic, it ‘loads’ all of those notes into their right spots and beings to play it just as you had originally recorded it. Clever eh?

With that, I built a second story over the Gallery of Reflexive Architecture (and gobbled up the entire sim’s available prims), and rezzed several Wikisonics. I modified several of them to include ambient piano, cello, and bass sounds. John also scripted a loop sounder that detects avatar presence. I made those into disks on the floor of the gallery that start looping a beat when you stand on it – adding a percussive back-beat to the more meandering trance-like composition. There are also beat-generators that can be turned on permanently by clicking on them, instead of avatar detection, in order to maintain a more robust overall sound when fewer people are collaborating.

To create this machinima, I pinged my good friends Xantherus Halberd and Heidi Ballinger, who quickly teleported several other friends, including Grace McDunnough and Farnham Farrjones. Together we ‘played’ the Wikisonic, and created some pretty compelling sounds.

I will be recording machinima of the CD-R process later this week, and will be making single Wikisonic units available for sale at and

If you’ll be in San Jose June 3rd, head over to The Tech museum to see the opening of the real-life Wikisonic! I’ll be flying in on the 2nd, and staying through the 4th to attend various events, and hope to see you there!


About this entry