KEXP uses Surface, Kinect to enhance “Live Room” performance space

Laurent Giret

KEXP Live Studio

Seattle-based radio station KEXP has partnered with Microsoft to redesign its Live Room, a studio which saw thousand of bands record unforgettable live performances over the years, thanks in part to a unique lighting system. In a blog post published today, Microsoft explained that the venue has been revamped with an interactive light installation featuring over 2,000 LED globes which respond to Kinect data collected from the performers’ movements. Additionally, KEXP producers use a Surface Pro 4 tablet to control the live recording sessions in real time.

The partnership is the latest result of Microsoft’s Music x Technology initiative, a collaboration program with artists wanting to leverage technology for artistic performances. Amy Sorokas, director of strategic partnerships for Microsoft Brand Studios explained that the new Live Studio is a great opportunity to experience music in unexpected ways:

The Live Room lighting installation is a great example of how the Music x Technology program finds collaborations that build on something that the creative community has begun to use, like the programmable LED lights, and use Microsoft technology to put a twist on it. In this case, we used Kinect to make the lights react to the activity in the room in real time, making each performance unique while still building KEXP’s brand and vision to discover new music for their viewers in-person and online.

You can have a quick look at the new installation in the clip below:

If you live in the Seattle area, you can actually visit KEXP’s Live Studio which is located on the corner of 1st Ave North and Republican, on the Seattle Center Campus. All live performances are now open to the public and you can sign up to reserve your spot. We invite you to check the KEXP blog to get all the details about upcoming performances.