Introducing the Zoom Arq: a New Unique Electronic Musical Instrument

Zoom have a new musical instrument coming out called the Arq. Here is a quick video briefly showing what it can do:

And here is Sound On Sound at NAMM 2016 talking about it with somebody from Zoom:

So it looks like the Zoom Arq is a drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper, and MIDI controller with a built-in accelerometer. What is an accelerometer? Well, it means it can detect how you move it, which means you can use it to control various sound parameters by moving it around.

My initial gut feeling on seeing this is that it seems a bit gimmicky, yet I can also see that it can have some value in a performance setting. There are some elements to this that are standard to other instruments that are cheaper than this looks like it’s going to be, such as the drum machine, sequencer, and looper. What you are paying for here is the unique performance options, such as the ability to control sound by picking it up and waving it around.

I think this could be good for musicians and DJs¬†who want to add a more visual and expressive dimension to performing electronic music live. However, for those wanting to start out making their own electronic music, this is perhaps not the best option. I personally still think you’re better off having a laptop with Propellerhead Reason and a MIDI controller like the Akai MPK Mini MKII.


What do you think? It this a great big step forward for electronic music creation, or a fun toy for DJs with spare money to spend? Why not let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

All the best,

P.S. if you’re interested in new ways to perform electronic music, you might also be interested in the Expressive E.

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