The MASHine is an interactive installation that allows users to create over 400 audio combinations.
Electric Daisy Carnival. Calvin Harris. Ultra Music Festival. Deadmau5.
The increasing popularity of DJs and electronic music in the last 5-10 years has given rise to a whole new generation of musical composers and performers. At its simplest form, nearly anyone, regardless of their ability to play a musical instrument or sing, can create new music by combining and rearranging existing audio into a mashup. With Miles Polaski’s newest installation, creating mashups may have become even easier.
The MASHine is an interactive system that combines the audio of contemporary pop song mashups with the visual of projection mapping. Featuring 21 instrumental tracks and 21 different vocal tracks, the MASHine’s 42 buttons give users the ability to create their own audio combination from over 400 unique possibilities. As the tracks are switched, the video component of the system pulses and changes with the music.
Polaski is the sound and video designer for Barter Theatre, and he created the installation as part of the William King Museum’s Artist by Trade exhibit going on in Abingdon, Virginia through August.
With the ability to create such a vast range of audio from a machine that only utilizes 42 songs, the project raises some questions as to the future of this musical style. Will DJing eventually be reduced to the pushing of buttons? As it stands now, there are likely too many other factors that go into creating a good electronic track (i.e. matching tempo, beat, and overall feel) for this to be a distinct fear. But then again, maybe it’s not so far off.
Check out the MASHine in action below to decide for yourself.