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CrowdFunding promotion SpaceHarp Motion-Controlled Musical Instrument

posted Apr 13, 2015, 12:58 AM by J Shaw   [ updated Apr 13, 2015, 12:58 AM ]

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High performance in the flow for professional musicians. Aspiring musician? Play music instantly!

We all love to listen to music. Yet only some of us enjoy the even greater satisfaction of being a musician, of playing an instrument for ourselves and others. Not everyone can put in the hundreds or even thousands of hours of practice needed. Many people start out their music lessons with great enthusiasm, but at some point falter and even ultimately give up. It doesn’t have to be this way. (C’mon, we’re in the modern technology age, right?) 

Our vision is to provide a way for anyone to enjoy the deep satisfaction of playing music in way that is immediately intuitive, while also being fully expressive and musically artistic. With SpaceHarp you can be creative, sound good and still feel as relaxed as a seasoned virtuoso. Play with confidence in front of anyone, regardless of your previous musical experience or what instrument you may have tried (or given up). Really play music. We are not talking about un-muting events in a pre-determined audio track, nor re-mixing audio tracks. We mean note-by-note live creative performances with expression and nuance.  We include ways to empower you not only to play but also to jam, to compose and to share.

Serious technology? Absolutely. (We engineered the musical rocket scientists into our system, so you don't have to be one.) Easy? Immediately. And yet you can also quickly grow to be more expressive and more sophisticated, just by playing. The SpaceHarp gives you 100% positive feedback from the first moment you play, while at the same time giving you complete creative freedom. That sounds like a paradox but when you play, it feels like sheer magic. Moving in the 'flow.' Whatever it's called, if feels profoundly compelling and many players even say 'euphoric.'

We are offering our Limited Edition SpaceHarp Motion-Controlled Music Instrument at a professional price given its many advanced MIDI and high-performance sensor and LED features for performers. However by contributing today you will help us accelerate a follow-on consumer home SpaceHarp product as well, to complement our Professional Model. There will be a "Mark II" SpaceHarp that is more affordable for home players. Contribute today and we can press ahead with the pre-production engineering the Home SpaceHarp. Then everyone can play!

When we created a MIDI controller that even an aspiring musician can play, at the same time we discovered a more powerful and expressive controller for musicians at any level of expertise. Our patented approach to free-space sensing, namely combining precision shadow sensors and height sensors, plus our Sound Galaxy software suite, gives seasoned musicians and professional performers immediate and intuitive access to today’s rich virtual instruments and effects through their motions in free-space. It empowers up to virtuoso levels of performance, even while the performer keeps in their creative flow. The best music technology is harnessed under the easy command of your fluid motions. You will sound your best and look insanely cool.

Many can benefit from SpaceHarp. Are you one of these?

We are now pleased and proud to offer you the SpaceHarp: the world's most powerful free-space Motion Music Controller.

Using a patented combination of sonar height sensors and optical shadow sensors, it delivers an unprecedented MIDI stream of performance triggers and control.

You can use your arm, hand, leg, head, anything that makes a shadow to play, always with total control and precision at the same time.

The SpaceHarp empowers a comfortable flow of creative virtuosity, unleashes new expressive powers and transparently delivers effortless precision.

Game Changer.

You can start simple with just a SpaceHarp and your favorite music software. For those going for the highest standards of audio, we equip you for a spectacular level of performance, including iOS remote-control, support for up to six SpaceHarps, and a collection of kick-ass software tools, templates and virtual racks to radically empower you and help you realize your wildest musical dreams!

This is an entirely new class of MIDI Controller, giving players intuitive, easy access to all the expressive powers of today's music software, DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation) and mobile devices.

    SpaceHarp increases a player's expressive power, starting at whatever level they are. Whether they are a seasoned performer, an aspiring musician or even someone who doesn't consider themselves a musician, it allows them to relax. In turn they become more creative and more expressive. It's a positive biofeedback loop, a kind of euphoric "Creative Wellness Response" that is experienced. Others call it by other names, including "being in the flow."

    You can play beautifully when you're moving in the flow.

    Here's Tay playing drums, within the first few minutes he tried it. He's flowin.'

    Here I am playing a guitar patch that exploits the SpaceHarp's sonars for velocity by height, together with the harmonic sophistication possible when using the Hotz Translator. (I never picked up a guitar but now I can enjoy performing it.)

    Here's DJ AHEE at the NAMM 2015 SpaceHarp After-Party. Major Flow. 

    SpaceHarp announces the "Share the Vision and Win a SpaceHarp" Contest!


    SpaceHarp lands on the cover of Music & Sound Retailer March 16, 2015 issue with a feature-length story! 

    SpaceHarp has awarded NexPCB as our winning trusted partner to manufacture our first-run of Limited Edition SpaceHarp Controllers ! 

    We have finalized our production costs and accepted the relevant bids for turn-key manufacture of our exacting professional specifications.  We're ready to build these SpaceHarp Limited Edition units!

    SpaceHarp Rocks the 2015 NAMM Show, Anaheim with the World-Premiere of it's SpaceHarp, the world's most powerful free-space Motion Music MIDI Controller

    $1 USD:

    $9 USD:

    $30 USD:

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    $100 USD:

    $250 USD:

    $3,295 USD:

    Click here for more detailed information on SpaceHarp Hardware 

    Click here for more detailed information about SpaceHarp's Sound Galaxy Music Software Suite

    Click here for details about all our great SpaceHarp accessories.

    Apply to finance your SpaceHarp pre-order purchase using PayPal Credit! At Check-Out, simply log-in using your regular PayPal account (or create a new PayPal account if you didn't have one) then select "Pay Using PayPal Credit," and follow the prompts to apply right during checkout. Easy!

    Receive one of the first thirty (30) Limited Edition SpaceHarps to be shipped! 
    You are guaranteed to receive yours one month ahead of regular pre-orders!  Early-Bird Packages save $200 off 1-SpaceHarp, and save $300 off 2-SpaceHarps! 

    $1,895 USD:

    $3,695 USD:

    Hi, I'm David Clark, founder of SpaceHarp Corporation, and here's our story. 

    I played flute starting as a young child. I loved it and  so I stuck with it. Years later, although playing in orchestras was thrilling for those of us up on the stage, there came a point when it felt almost selfish. There had to be a way for more people to share in the joy of performing beautiful music. I felt that there had to be some more universal way, especially a way somehow not needing thousands of hours of practice. 

    For master musicians I wondered if their hard-won virtuosity with conventional instruments could be expanded into the mastery of a universal instrument. Without compromising musicality and subtle nuance, such an instrument could even enhance their virtuosity.

    The answer didn't exactly appear right away. Meanwhile, through the 80's and 90's I learned a lot about raising capital, managing the engineering of real world products and building great teams.  I founded a machine vision company that made the world's first commercial optical computer, which also used an artificial neural network. After a dozen major consumable goods companies adopted it on their high speed production lines, DuPont's Electronic Imaging Group acquired the technology.  And so after that, our musical quest resumed.

    Then comes along an idea as simple as your shadow. Lucky as it turns out, everyone is already a shadow expert! That shadow makes a great starting point for a musical controller, giving precision visual feedback even for an entire body in free-space, a feedback that everyone already knows.  

    Together with my friend John Gibbon (co-inventor on the patent) we discovered that (rather magically) your shadow visually collapses your body in 3D space onto any flat 2D surface in a way that's 100% intuitive, to anybody in a instant. So next we put optical shadow sensors across a surface. Simple idea, but elegant: cast a shadow (even a faint one) over a detector array and send MIDI signals into sound gear.

    We also found that you don't have to keep the shadow visible all the time (an invisible infrared shadow works too), but you do want it to be available for those critical first minutes and hours of play. Your shadow is instantly in-your-face crystal clear, and that makes it easy to quickly become very, very good! Turns out, this is crazy intuitive to play, and gives you a lot of freedom in how you create the shadow. It is always with repeatable and high-precision results. In a little time and quite naturally, you can even play well with your eyes closed. 

    The first several hundred people we invited to try out our prototypes, absolutely freaked out and said things like: 

      "OMG this is totally crazy and amazing!"
      "I've never felt so creative!"
      "I could do this all day long!"
      "This is completely addicting! "
      "When can I take one home?" 
      "This is the second most fun thing I've ever done!"
      "Please don't make me leave!"   

        OK.  Maybe we should make this thing available?

        We worked with velcro-taped sensors and early breadboard analog boxes, then on to embedded microprocessors. We tried different types of sensors, and put sensors on the wall, on the floor and inside a stage. Human ergonomics drove the design forward at every step. Then we discovered that having LED lights next to the shadow sensors made it easier to play. Also we found a way that you can play rhythmically while staying in continuous motion, and discovered a subtle biofeedback effect in how we accomplished that. 

        At a NAMM show one year, I ran into Mick Fleetwood playing the Hotz Translator along with Jimmy Hotz, and I was immediately impressed. Not long after that, Jon Anderson  (who was the lead singer of the band Yes) came to our SpaceHarp demonstration at 'Mac World Digital Be-In' in San Francisco and highly encouraged us to start utilizing the Hotz Translator. We did, and quickly realized that it totally rocked when combined with our hardware, free-space timing and LEDs. This was an important discovery.

        The hardware  evolved organically with the feedback of thousands of players' experiences in hundreds of shows and events. We played. We listened. We watched.  That massive human experience has fed directly into the previous nine generations of SpaceHarp controller designs and prototypes. 

        We further integrated our SpaceHarps with all kinds of visual media, including DMX stage lighting, 3D animated music visualizers, full-dome video (with Vortex Immersion Media) and even with lasers blasting (with Laserium)! 

        The MIDI timing scheme of the SpaceHarp brought other visual media connected to a performer's live actions into musical alignment, making the live performance more compelling and the emotional connection even deeper. 

        Now we knew we were onto something really big. 

        Okay, perhaps a bit too big: 

        Those prototypes were ten feet in diameter, eight inches thick, and weighed over 1,200 pounds! They had 39 circuit boards and dozens of cable connectors, took a crew of two people to handle and a small truck to transport, not to mention costing over $20,000 each to build. Clearly, we had our work cut out for us to turn this into a viable product, namely portable, flexible to setup and affordable! 

        When we made the push to create the tenth generation (the current product) Jimmy Hotz became deeply involved in the design and programming of the very high performance hardware and embedded software that's been put together. MIDI controllers designed by Jimmy have been used by a diverse range of Artists including Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, DJ Lethal (La Coka Nostra, House of Pain, Limp Bizkit), Jon Anderson of Yes, Noize Suppressor, Jackson Brown, Scott Martin Gershin (Award winning Hollywood Sound Designer), Kitaro, Paul Haslinger (film composer, formerly of Tangerine Dream), Doane Perry of Jethro Tull and many others. 

        Over the past year, we've totally done it!  Now the units are under 3" thin. More powerful than ever and gorgeous. You can sling one over your shoulder to carry, and they weigh under 6 pounds. Use it on floor, stand or table. Now we're talking about something fully practical. While its handy to use when setup on an X-stand at keyboard height, you can also still place two or three SpaceHarps on the floor around you and play with complete 360-degree, full-body motions as well.

        We realized that we should connect this up to the absolute best state-of-the-art music software available, including the best modern sounds and effects. We should also offer a professional Ableton Live setup for the Hotz Translator as an option. 

        Then along comes Chris Adams, aka DJ AHEE, and with his inspired collaboration creating the Sound Galaxy software suite, things really got even more exciting. Chris hugely expanded the synthesizer and sampler libraries, and created a suite of super expressive effects for free-space.  Chris, also with some expert MAX programming help from Ryan Johnson, created an easy but very powerful set of SpaceHarp controls in MAX MSP. These included seamless support for multiple SpaceHarps and multiple accelerometer accessories (Hot Hand USB ring and iPod Touch).  Chris also pushed the envelope of the SpaceHarp as a serious EDM controller into live performance capabilities, which were previously unimaginable. Most importantly, Chris led the way to making accessible all of that under-the-hood music application horsepower, as conveniently as possible for the performer and without compromising their music. 

        All of that was one tall order to accomplish, but we did it. 

        (Woah. It’s alive.)  

        The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office seemed to think it was alive, too, since they issued our patent #7,402,743. (click here for full patent)

        The days are long gone when one or two lone inventors could leap straight to market. The real story of SpaceHarp is about those who joined the Vision and made it their own. Our team grew organically. What a journey of discovery and heart-felt dedication through years of development it has been and will continue to be. Here's part of our team, pausing for a group selfie in front of SpaceHarp's booth #2393 at the NAMM 2015 trade show in Anahiem. Go team, go!

        Today, we've completed two flawlessly working SpaceHarp Limited Edition prototypes. The design is rock solid and proven. We've nailed down our manufacturing supply chain, we've accepted great quotations with great lead times. We have alternative sources for key parts, and we're ready to go into production. We've achieved Dragon Innovation Certification, giving pre-order SpaceHarp buyers confidence that we can deliver.

        So come and join in our campaign, whether as a Founders Club contributor, a VIP Party-Goer or by making a SpaceHarp pre-order. We are here to fully support and empower you, our SpaceHarp contributors and early adopters. And also know that the SpaceHarp Limited Edition MIDI Controller is not the end of our development, it's the beginning of our product line. Home models will follow, and expand the global community of musical players and co-creators.

        This has been the dream and the journey of a lifetime. And for a few on this very human journey,  it's a dream continuing to inspire, even after them. Now it's the dream of today's living SpaceHarp team, about to be realized into widespread SpaceHarp adoption, starting with your help.  We invite you to take a creative leap of faith with us, into a future where Motion Music can help each of us reveal and share the highest musician and the greatest artist that lives inside of us. 

        We sincerely look forward to seeing you at our meet and greet events, workshops and VIP Launch Party here in Los Angeles! Thank you for your contribution to our SpaceHarp campaign! (And thanks for the shares!)

        David Clark, SpaceHarp Inventor & CEO

        Every SpaceHarp purchase includes your choice of one of our professional development training workshops in Los Angeles: a $495 value! We cover a wide range of complexity for SpaceHarp setups: from simple and direct MIDI control into a single app, to more sophisticated. While optional to attend, these workshops give you the opportunity for gaining in-depth knowledge and hands-on integration for your application, as well as to network and even collaborate with a small group of like-minded people. For full details about our professional development workshops, see  

        We've pulled out all the stops to immerse you in numerous solutions, handy tips, special tricks and powerful techniques for using free-space-interactive control in music and visual performance, and how to configure and customize your setup. In the LBE track, we explore how to integrate free-space motion music into new venues and attractions. 

        If you're a SpaceHarp owner you can also choose to attend additional workshops beyond the one included, or even purchase an All Workshop Sessions Pass to all six workshops. 

        You can choose any one of the three workshop tracks, detailed here:

        You can also register to attend our workshops without owning a SpaceHarp yourself, at You'll not only have an extended opportunity to try our studio SpaceHarp units, but also you can work with other free-space devices such as the Hot Hand USB Ring with our Sound Galaxy music software suite. You'll get hands-on experience and real-world solutions you can take away.

        $99 USD:

        The Hotz Translator software is included with all 1-SpaceHarp Full Tour Packages, and is also included in all 2-SpaceHarp Packages.

        See more information about Hotz Translator setups for SpaceHarp at and also see Hotz Translator

        Apply to finance your SpaceHarp Accessory pre-order purchases using PayPal Credit! At Check-Out, simply log-in using your regular PayPal account (or create a new PayPal account if you didn't have one) then select "Pay Using PayPal Credit," and follow the prompts to apply right during checkout. Easy!

        $295 USD:

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        (Also you can see our accessories page on

        There are so many people to acknowledge and thank, including: Jimmy Hotz, Chris Adams, Ryan Johnson, John & Ariyana Gibbon, Renie Clark, Nancy Hotz, David Arkenstone, Joe Solo, Wyle Cable, Tay Mills, Joel Dragoo, Chelsey Clime, Jeff Hunt, Mark Armer, Greg Hurley, David Warman, Ivan Dyer, Ed Lantz, Kate McCallum, Stephen Wyle, Linda Nebon, Rishael Sisler, Art Galvan, Diane Gilbert, Glen Shelton, William Golden, Kathleen Gildred, John Brewington, Paul Holman, Steve Gains, Jiah Miesel, Larry Bloomer, Audri Phillips, Victor Powers, Jonathan Glasier, as well as friends-&-family investors preferring to remain anonymous. Profoundest thanks to Tommy Hubble (dec.) and Ed Sisler (dec.). 

        Most of all we thank the Supreme Creator, who is the ultimate musician of the cosmos. 

        Dr. James V. Clark and Frances C. Clark: Early Co-Founders.
        Tommy Hubble: Electronic Engineer, Early SpaceHarp Prototype.
        Ed Sisler: Sr. Electronic & Software Engineer, SpaceHarp Prototypes.

        Important note about shipping and sales tax. Where otherwise not already handled at Indiegogo check-out, please understand that when your perk is shipped to you, we will charge you for the actual shipping costs at that time. We will give you plenty of advance notice and we'll offer you various shipping options to choose from, once the weights and package dimensions are finalized. We will also, unless you tell us otherwise, normally consolidate such as SpaceHarps and/or SpaceHarp accessories into the fewest number of packages, where possible and when that reduces your total shipping costs; (some items cannot be combined). California residents may also be subject to sales tax on all applicable items such as hardware controllers, cases, software and accessories. (Workshops have no sales tax.)