Rock on with The Last Republic via a webcam
Friday 21 January 2011
Hotly tipped Welsh rockers The Last Republic are pioneering music technology that allows you to play along with their debut album using just a computer and webcam. At live dates, fans of TLR have been donning T-shirts featuring a special design and playing air guitar along to music from the band's debut album, the movements of their arms triggering guitar sounds in a laptop.
But now you don't even need the T-shirt – if you go to the band's website you can print the design, tape it to your stomach, and play "AiR Guitar" in your own home. Your webcam will recognise the design, detect when your arm moves in front of it and trigger guitar there and then.
Developer Warren Fauvel told me: "It's like [the computer game] Rock Band, but you don't need anything other than a webcam. The most obvious similarity is with the Microsoft Kinect, but we're online and that makes it free and much more flexible."
And, at present, Fauvel said, the TLR website was "the only place you can put a T-shirt on and play along with the band".
I need to practise, and you should too, as major festivals and tours are queuing up to license the technology. A bit of practice now could help you stand out at Glasto and the rest in the summer.
Play AiR Guitar at www.thelastrepublic.co.uk/ar. Single "CCTV" and album 'Parade' out now
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