Marv, The Robotic Vibraphone

A trio of San Francisco Bay Area musicians and engineers have created Marv, a “MIDI Actuated Robotic Vibraphone” capable of both playing itself, or playing along with a human performer.

Marv can play music of high complexity, far more complex than a human player could ever achieve, as Marv is capable of striking any and all keys simultaneously, as well as damping each key individually. Marv can play much faster than a human vibraphonist, repeating single notes as quickly as 25ms apart. Marv can play with sensitivity and feeling limited only by MIDI programming effort. Marv is a platform for further research on musical automation and real-time musical interaction.

The brainchild of engineer and percussionist Tim O’Keefe (of Dr. Abacus and Rosin Coven fame) and built with the assistance of Michael McIntyre and Brock Roland, Marv is the result of a year-long labor of love.

Marv will give its debut performance at next week’s BarBot 2010.

See previously: BarBot 2010, 3rd Annual Cocktail Robot Festival