While CES 2024 is pretty heavy on exciting new hardware, we’ve been blessed this year with some excellent new software, too – and none more exciting for me personally than Nanoleaf’s new Orchestrator software.
Nanoleaf announced the Spring 2024 release along with news of its new outdoor lights (which I also saw at CES, and they are gorgeous), describing the software as offering a “real-time audio-visual experience”.
I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first; it’s not the easiest software to do well, and it’s very ambitious, but having had some hands-on time with the software at CES, I can safely say it’s one of the most exciting smart light developments this year.
Bring the beat in
In fairness, there are a few smart light manufacturers offering software that intelligently interprets music, but many of these simply create motions or pulsations to your selected light profile or maybe create a fairly latent color-reactive scene; but it’s very rare they’ll offer both.
Plus, with the exception of Philips Hue’s Spotify integration, most music interpretation on smart lights leverages small on-device microphones that are easily confused by ambient sound.
That’s all set to change with the introduction of Orchestrator, Nanoleaf’s new desktop-based music interpretation engine, which actually analyzes the music itself to create a comprehensive light show with your devices. Not only can Orchestrator create a palette of colors based on the mood of the song, but it also allows you to customize which lights respond to which parts of a song.
So, for example, you could set up your bulbs to react to the bassline while your smart light panels respond to the mids or highs of a track. You can also select your own preferred palette, too.
Dance! Boogie wonderlaaaand…
My partner is a music producer, so when I visited Nanoleaf’s demonstration suite, I quickly booted up one of his chillscape techno tracks on Spotify to test. Through Orchestrator, the lights translated its mood into a light blue and white, rapidly pulsating light show that was truly breathtaking; and not just because I’m my partner’s number one fangirl.
To see just how much variety the software offered, we also played a relaxing ambient track, which Orchestrator translated into warm yellow lighting with a soft, relaxing flickering motion.
As of writing, Orchestrator is a desktop-exclusive experience compatible with the Nanoleaf Desktop App, tapping into the audio spectrum of your device’s output to auto-generate gorgeous light shows.
It marks a major upgrade to Nanoleaf’s existing Rhythm software, and hands-down it’s the best audio-interpreting software I’ve ever seen that’s available to consumers.
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