Sony seeks to shape the future of effects manipulation with the wrist-worn Motion Sonic controller

Sony Japan has launched a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo for its first-ever guitar-related device, the Motion Sonic – an innovative wrist-worn controller that converts physical movement into effect-manipulating instructions.

Though the production run is not expected until next year – March 2022, to be precise – an operational prototype has been put through its paces, giving guitar players an insight into how the clever controller could be used to open up an all-new sonic horizon.

Worn on either the hand or the wrist, the Motion Sonic is compatible with electric guitars, along with a slew of other instruments, and uses a range of specific motions to manipulate effects in a number of different ways.

The unit will come equipped with a series of stock movements, including Wave, Up-Down, Roll, Lift-Up, Hands Up and Swing, which can be synced to any desired effect.

In action, the Wave motion can be used to bend pitch, with faster waves resulting in a more aggressive modulation, while dynamics can be taken from complete silence to maximum volume using the Hands Up movement. 

Other features demonstrated in the prototype playthrough include using the Up-Down motion to trigger wide delays on demand, and using a strumming-synced Wave pattern to engage an envelope filter.

These are, however, said to be just the tip of the prospective iceberg. Accompanying the unit will be a Motion-Effect mobile app, which will aim to give users total control over their effect-manipulating experience.

Using the app will allow guitar players to link the aforementioned movements with a whole host of effects, including distortion, reverb, pan, gain and noise, and set upper and lower effects extremities to play around with.

According to a statement on Sony’s IndieGoGo page, “Motion Sonic is an effects gear, worn on your hand or wrist, to alter the sound based on the physical movement of your body. You can create your own motion-effect and connect your favorite musical instruments."

Heesoon Kim, project lead of the Motion Sonic, said, “I aim to create the future where you can express sounds through your own body. I believe we can create new entertainment never seen before with Motion Sonic and I’m so excited to create a new culture with you.”

“I was excited when I tried it because it captured even slight movements of my body, and I could express the comfortable pitch waving by using it,” added guitarist Kazuki Sugawara. 

“It is not the same with other modulation effects, because it is not the cyclical pitch waving but the pitching waving in sync with natural movements such as picking for playing guitar.”

At the time of writing, Sonic has raised $7,993 of a target $79,196. It has also been confirmed that, when the product begins to ship next year, it will only be available in Japan and the US.

For more information, head over to Sony’s Motion Sonic IndieGoGo page.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.