It's been scientifically proven that The Drop is felt mainly in your booty. We've enlisted Rauri, cerified audio nerd, to help with the sound engineering. With his nerdery, we can ship those drops to where it's needed most.
Eran, Rauri, and I met up at Dropship HQ (which also just happens to be GitHub HQ) to talk about basic sound ideas. Originally, we wanted music to be spewing in all directions but that makes our lives much harder from a user experience and sound engineering perspective. In the interest of having a focused, high quality experience, we decided to go with directional sound.
Pretty sure Eran is doing The Running Man
Hunting for inspiration
After shepherd's pie and much beer, we were able to enlist the help of veteran Burning Man builder, Eran AKA Whoops, to help design and build the physical manifestation of Anita's Dropship.
When the idea was conceived in deep playa, "Dropship" made me think of a space ship. Something like an old future-of-the-1950s flying saucer.
Eran and I went back and forth on a lot general shapes this thing could take. We wanted the thing to be mobile and towable by bike. Something spewing generative dubstep as we cruised through the adventures of the night. We also wanted some big physical input for The Build.
One of our leading ideas was two bycycles, side by side. The pedals would no longer drive the wheels but feed into a generator and sensor. People could ride the bikes to build the drop. The four wheels of the bikes would be the wheels of the piece. We would tow it with two other bikes. We would also clad the whole thing in whatever deco we chose. It sounded like a bitch to build and maintain.
We went back to term Dropship. Instead of "ship" as a noun, what about "ship" as a verb? We're shipping drops.
Let's start with the cardboard delivery box that has become so ubiquitous in our time. The delivery man is the modern day Santa Claus, and every day can be Christmas if we want it to be. However, instead of delivering faddish battery-powered crap, built on the sweat of low wage workers living under oppressive governments, that end up in our e-waste bins in mere months; we could take this human interaction that has become an integral part of the machine of consumerism and turn it around. We could deliver something more positive. We could deliver a musical experience. We could deliver a moment. We could deliver The Drop.
We're excited to have Yuli, of Reactify Music in London, join our efforts. Yuli will be putting together the generative music component of Dropship.
With his extensive experience in building generative and reactive music pieces, he hits us with some mad knowledge – the drop is only as good as the build. It will be better for us to have some kind of input to allow people to interact with the build. In his current installation, people shake an iPhone to create the build. We'd like our input to be as physical as possible.
Some input ideas so far:
- shake a device
- two sided seesaw pump lever
- detect full body motion
The motivation for Anita's Dropship came at Burning Man 2013 when fellow reveler Anita spent an entire night running between sound camps and art cars, loving the dubstep sound (it's so popular these days!), but never once hearing the fabled "Drop." This was very surprising to her brother (Martin) and boyfriend (Kasima), as the dubstep genre is known for gratuitous and overbearing drops. At once motivated to rectify their beloved's disappointment, Martin and Kasima pledged to make the drop available to Anita whenever she wanted. Anita's Dropship was born.
The Dropship is a device which plays a never-ending always-changing dubstep buildup but will only drop when the big red nuclear launch button is pressed. Without delay, epic dubs will be dropped.
For better or worse, everything in our world has become customisable. Gone are the days of cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all, mass produced trinkets and baubles. These days, everyone wants their own unique snowflake. And why not with music too? Why should everyone be satisfied with listening to the latest pop-tart MP3 mobile stream, when we can all have our own unique remixes? Music on demand isn't about getting what you want when you want, it's about getting it how you want!
The Dropship nuclear launch button does exactly that. When you're tired of waving your hands in the air, no need to wait for the coked-out DJ to finally press play on the next track. Hit the button yourself and enjoy the immediate satisfaction of a big fat drop.
Skrillex eat your heart out.