Written By: Mark Armstrong
Provided By: Active Music Joystick
Active Music Joystick is currently promoting its brand new products, which are designed to assist young people, particularly those suffering from autism or disabilities.
The joysticks are part of the musical instruments in that their button combinations and functions allow for musical sounds to be played, and when connected to a laptop through software programming, they control music on the computer itself by playing songs, their own inventions or existing tunes. The joysticks act as controllers, which boast two axes, a turn-stick, flexible levers and a range of face buttons.
The Thrustmaster and MADCATZ joysticks have similar functions to create notes, adjust volume and change the pitch of tunes, but possess physical differences based on a user’s preferences.
The Thrustmaster is a high-resolution joystick made of solid material and has two large button fields. Its functions alternate between those who are right-handed and those who are left-handed, and it lights up when the stick passes the centre-point.
The MADCATZ is a two-levered joystick which can be dismantled for travel, and has several functions for the thumb to perform at the same time, whilst its head is designed as a wheel.
Other features of the instrument include the use of the sine wave, a special and simple sound created within the computer; the software providing an understanding of scales, in particular the harmonic scale; and allowing a chance to look at pitches as frequency numbers. In addition, each joystick comes with a tutorial CD to introduce users to the product and allow them to quickly learn its functions.
Young children will enjoy the opportunity to practice using computer equipment in an easy-to-handle, straightforward and clear fashion given the design of the buttons and the flexible nature of the joystick. Previous experiments have found that children enjoy how soothing the music is to the ear; they can be creative, or play different tunes. There is variety as the genres covered include folk, Christmas and pop.
But the joysticks are of even greater benefit to autistic children, and those with learning difficulties. Users can feel and touch the joysticks, and make music with their hands and their arms. There is the chance to play their own melody or to replay tunes from their memories. They can understand and practice how to play notes in time, understand and play different characters of colour and wave structures, try out musical phrases, and learn about articulation. The tutorial nature and the overall set-up mean that there is no such thing as a wrong piece of music with this device, and it assists users in becoming a part of the digital society.
Most importantly, the joysticks allow users to recognise and play tunes which, with further use and training, could open the door for kids to lead a singing group or participate in a small orchestra. Music is easily detectable, and the joysticks act as a medium to express one’s inner feeling.
As for existing musicians and technicians, the ability to change tunes and adapt one’s singing to music makes the joysticks a good training device for any budding choir singers, and those who aspire to work in a technical role within the music industry. So, the joysticks are beneficial to a wide range of people and skill sets.
Both the Thrustmaster and MADCATZ joysticks and the associated software are now available online for £32.00 each at www.forumliverpool.net.
To find out more about Active Music Joystick or to purchase any of the products, you can get in touch by calling 0151 280 1080 or by emailing email@example.com.