The Zoom ARQ Aero RhythmTrak lets you make an entire track with a unique interface.
We’ve seen plenty of synths, CDJs and rotary mixers over the past few days, but the award for most unusual piece of technology to come from this week’s NAMM show has to go to the ZOOM ARQ Aero RhythmTrak.
It looks like a cross between a UFO and a Lights Out game, but the ZOOM ARQ is actually an all-in-one drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper and MIDI controller with a built-in accelerometer.
The unique instrument is comprised of two components: a base station and detachable ring controller, each of which communicate with each other wirelessly via Bluetooth.
The base stores the included percussion and synth sounds, which can be expanded via SD card or USB, while the ring controller features pressure sensitive pads for drumming and playing melodies. It gets around not having a keyboard by allowing you to select one of several preset musical keys.
The ARQ also includes a sequencer that visualises your music as a loop of up to five parts. The onboard mixer allows you to then tweak the levels of the finished track, which can have up to 33 different parts playing simultaneously.
The most impressive feature of the ARQ is the ring controller’s built-in three-way accelerometer, which allows you to change sounds and trigger effects by waving or tilting the device.
According to ZOOM, the ARQ Aero RhythmTrak will be available in April for $599. In the meantime, iPad users can investigate the Patterning app, which also features a circular sequencer.