Everyone knows those old fashion music boxes that your Grandma had at her house. That special creepy sound that is only recreated by metal teeth being struck in rhythm. In a move that’s long overdue, someone has created a digital version of this iconic antique.

The XOXX Composer is made from eight wheels that each have 16 different marks that hold small magnetic balls. As the wheels turn, each occupied space is recognized by the sensor and a note is played. Sliders along the bottom bring additional features like tune and pitch. It’s all transfered via a standard MIDI, so it’s usable with most custom setups. Head below to see it in action…

Although it feels somewhat gimmicky in practice, the design behind this digital music box is intriguing. The ability to visually create rhythms and patterns is bound to be an attractive feature for musicians and beginners alike. XOXX was created by Axel Bluhme, a designer going through the paces at the Royal College of Art in London. At this time, the Composer is still in its developmental stages but you can see it in use below.

After setting the beat on each wheel, sliders on the base allow creators to adjust each sound. Connecting the music box to your DAW directs automated instruments to repeat designated patterns. The included software gives producers the freedom to attach nearly any sound to a magnet. Other features include the ability to adjust beats per minute thanks to a built-in LED readout on the base.

Ultimately, XOXX is an attempt to recreate how a pad controller or beat sequencer is used. Musicians won’t suddenly be able to pump out unheard tracks that are different than anything before. Still, there is some value here from a design perspective. Axel is working to bring the XOXX Composer to market in the future but for now just remains a cool prototype.

While we are on the subject of music boxes, be sure to check out this incredible $18,000 TIE Fighter recreation that plays Star Wars theme music.

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