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Dutch McDonald’s Turns Placemats Into MIDI Controllers


McDonald’s in Holland are giving their customers the chance to break out their production skills with their newest marketing ploy, McTrax.

Restaurants in The Netherlands have begun rolling out Bluetooth-enabled placemats that double as functioning MIDI controllers. The placemat is fitted with a micro-width circuit board with 26 touch-points and digitally conductive ink. This sounds awesome, but there’s a catch – you’ll have go to and directly contribute to the McDonald’s corporation.

By simply connecting their phone to the mat’s Bluetooth, Maccas customers can begin making music. Using the McTrax app, users can loop audio, access synth samples as well as record their own voice. It’s not made clear who owns the rights to sounds recorded or songs created using the placemat, so hold off on crafting that opus using McDonald-sanctioned placemats.

This isn’t McDonalds’ first foray into the music scene as Maccas have previously been corporate sponsors for SXSW and have held artist showcases. A notable case of this was in 2015 when the corporation, who’s yearly revenue exceeds US $25 billion annually, told Brooklyn band Ex-Cops they didn’t have the budget to pay any artist to perform and would instead be paid in ‘exposure’.

There aren’t any current plans to bring the McTrax to Australia, so we’ll just have to deal with whatever their next attempt at connecting to the youth market is.