ReacTable Mobile has arrived for iOS mobile devices – even handhelds – bringing the visual, modular sound-making environment to the masses. Apart from building your own interactive musical table, the only way to get ReacTable’s software previously was to spend some EUR9700 – and get on a waiting list. Now, any Apple mobile device will do the trick.

The ReacTable certainly is intuitive and fun, and I imagine this could appeal to people new to music performance, as well as satisfying some long-time ReacTable fans. There’s also sample import, so you can really use this in your own performances and make it your own. Features:

One app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Accelerometer and mic input
Import your own samples and loops
20 virtual objects
Session sharing with others

Full details:
http://www.reactable.com/products/mobile/

I’ve been talking with the ReacTable crew, so hope to cover this in more detail soon. In the meantime, I’m back to playing a mobile game called “shake your jetlag,” and thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Addendum: At least one person on Twitter (Elliott Fienberg) points out the one disadvantage of this is that the original ReacTable is a tangible interface – physical objects you can move with your hands. And that’s worth saying; there’s something rather significant missing in the iOS translation. The iPad et al are undifferentiated glass surfaces, intuitive to use but lacking in physical feedback. I can certainly see a place for both approaches. It’s also possible look at the same question from a different angle. Multitouch, once an exotic technology, is now a commodity, shippings on millions (perhaps, soon, billions) of devices. I wonder what form the tangible future imagined by ReacTable might someday take, and indeed, if it might re-emerge in more economical form.

In the meantime, as you’ll read in comments, ReacTable works surprisingly well as a multi-touch interface, even if it was originally conceived for objects. You’ll likely be happier with the iPad’s larger surface area, and you’ll want a current-generation device for its greater processing power, based on feedback in comments. I hope to offer more a complete review after some tests on devices.

  • http://www.tweakingknobs.com TweakingKnobs

    hell yeah !

    now i really need to buy an i pad :D

  • Tom

    There is already Jasuto at http://www.jasuto.com

  • zap

    Bought, love it :)

    btw; Jasuto is not iPad native – runs in crappy 2x mode.

  • Aroon

    Here are some insane Autechre-like beats I put together within the first 5 minutes of messing around with this on my iPhone.
    http://soundcloud.com/vaporlanes/reactable-insane

    Love this app so much!

  • bk

    does it do video out?

  • RichardL

    Wow! Just wow!

  • http://www.onetonnemusic.com funnelbc

    This is ridiculously good value and fun. My (admittedly early) take on this is that it could be a touch faster when you are interacting with the items – you need a visual cue perhaps that you've successfully clicked on the item and – sometimes you think you're changing the patch, but you just end up doing nothing. Some more little visual cues to help with that would be grand.

    It also suffers slightly from that thing where you've got your finger on top of the item you're interacting with and it becomes difficult to see how it's responding to that interaction.

    Still, it's lovely and very good fun for very little money. Seems quite solid as a base and the way the sequencer streams the note control info to the elements it's interacting with is futuristic and rather awesome.

  • http://www.abstractmachine.net abstractmachine

    Éditions volumiques (http://www.editionsvolumiques.com) is currently preparing release of their first iPawns which allow for physical objects on the iPad surface. They also have done some prototypes on an iPhone. Cf. http://vimeo.com/14462650

  • amoeba

    once this hits android all the pooh-poohing will magically vanish!

  • Holotroopik

    OMFG! Lucky me bought iPad last week ;)

  • christophe bailleau

    hi

    it doesn't work with my new ipod touch!

    the screen is limited , show a small part of the screen, like it was made only for an ipad; disapointed;

    has anyone the same problem?

    thanks

    chris from belgium

  • ed

    just a word of warning for iphone 3g owners… this runs sloooooooooooowly. been messing around with it on my 3g today and i can't add more than 1 or 2 items to the table before i get regular audio dropouts and crackling. onscreen responses to finger movements become incredibly sluggish too once you add more than 3 items.

    i don't know if this is the sort of teething problem to be expected from a brand-new app, or if the 3g just isn't fast enough to handle the software. either way, if i'd known how limited the app's functionality would be on my phone then i probably wouldn't have spent money on it.

  • rmn

    Bought this for ipod touch 3gs.

    But I'm dissapointed with it.

    it's incredibly fidly to use on such a small screen. and lacks very good response.

    I think this is only interesting for ipad.

    and it seems I only have a limited amount of modules available.

    I expected a bit more from this.

  • Folkhogskola

    Hey guys with issues,

    maybe you should read the note at the bottom of the app description ?! Here it is if you didn't bother reading

    "Note: as this application uses both graphic and audio resources extensively, recent devices will provide the best user experience"

    I would never have expected the 3G to cope with an app like this. Theres also a note about issue with Ipod touch 4th generation which will be fixed with next update.

    I would definitely say it is a far better experience on the iPad but that is to be expected. It is still very usable on iphone sized screen. Maybe for making short ideas on and then open in iPad version. Love the ease of getting wav's into the app also.

    Great for something I thought would never come out at such a price.

    Remember the full price for original is €9,700.

  • RichardL

    @Folkhogskola "recent devices will provide the best user experience"

    Alas, the iPhone 3G is a "recent" devices. iPhone 3G was being sold by Apple only five months ago.

    The general iPhone user has no concept of the underlying capabilities of their device such as CPU speed or dynamic RAM. And Apple goes out of their way to hide these details. Most users choose a device based on price or new features like camera capabilities.

    The AppStore has no mechanism to filter apps for sale based on model compatibility. Nor does Apple provide an easy way to get refunds for compatibility problems.

    iOS is suffering from problems of fragmentation, and there's little that developers can do without better controls in the AppStore market.

  • Ken

    This app is amazing. It's super fun, intuitive, and is capable of some really really cool sounds/rhythms! I agree that they could make a more obvious indication as to whether you're physically moving an object vs manipulating params, but thats not entirely necessary for it to still be functional. Has anyone tried using this with an audio interface via/usb on the camera connector? I'm interested in checking that out. If thats possible, I would hope that with the iOS update were all waiting for on the ipad, that we could at get Midi sync with this app – shouldnt be too difficult to add that option to the Tempo object once Apple gets CoreMIDI implemented in the iOS! I wouldn't say they should go so far as to make this a controller as well (however, i wouldnt put it past their engineers to add midi controller objects to control things in say…. Ableton? hehehehe), but at least MTC timing sync would be great! what an incredibly useful app it would be at that point! Not that it isnt right now – i've already lost so many hours this morning and last night to this wonderful little app… just set it up, make a beat, and pull out the guitar!!! I'm in love. :D

  • Ken

    How though, does one upload their own samples and loops into the reactable library? havent found that info in the online manual, nor is it on the website?

  • RichardL

    [+] button > Settings > Web access > turn On. This will give you a URL to put into your desktop browser to upload sounds to.

    Or you can use the app document transfer interface in iTunes if you are running an iPad or iOS 4.x.

  • MikeB

    Having problems with a 4 gen iPod touc as well. Hope these will be sorted out soon – however would have expected better debugging from an app costing almost 8 euro…

  • ed

    @folkhogskola

    I spotted that (rather short and vaguely-worded) disclaimer in the app description, and was certainly expecting there to be some limitations to what the 3g could manage.

    what surprised me was how severe those limitations are: surely it's not overly optimistic to expect, even on a 3g, to be able run a single sound generator, a sequencer and one lfo without the sound engine buckling, is it? In case it's of interest, I emailed reactable about the problems I'd experienced, and they said:

    "Unfortunately, we didn't have the opportunity to test it on iPhone 3G. Obviously, it shouldn't be that slow. We have done specific optimisations for the iPhone 1G, and these should be activated as well for iPhone 3G. The next update should improve performance."

    I really hope that they manage to iron out the wrinkles… I agree that the app offers excellent value for money, assuming you've got a device which can run it properly.

  • rmn

    @ed

    yeah I comepletly agree about those limitations.

    They are ridiculous.

    Right now I can have one generator with some delay running and 2 audio loops.

    It simply hasn't been optimized properly yet. And for something that is 8 euro I would expect better performace.

    If we take Sunvox for example. It only costs half the price and is capable of a lot more (music wise). Ofcourse Sunvox doesn't have this intuitive and fancy looking unterface…but still…

    Honestly, I'm very disapointed in my purchase.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I don't want to comment specifically on the ReacTable Mobile performance issues, because I don't know the specifics. But I can be pretty clear that that kind of signal processing is very possible on this hardware, generally, so if you do have something like an iPhone 3G, etc. — or even less-capable handhelds — you may be surprised by how much is possible. We saw this playing with libpd.

    I tend to agree with Richard, but I'd avoid the word "fragmentation" and I can only see this as inevitable. Unless you can stop time, you're going to have different hardware with different capabilities – even if it's from Apple. I think it's ultimately up to the developers more than the platform. You have to either test and get compatibility across different models, or find a way to require specific hardware. (In fact, iOS developers, surely can't you make prerequisites for an app based on system requirements, even if the motivation is performance? Not having published to iTunes, I don't know how that works?)

  • Folkhogskola

    @RichardL

    I get what your saying that the 3G was available recently but it was released over 2 years ago and that unfortunately isn't recent in the world of mobile devices and this is kinda what I was hinting at.

    Unfortunately this has always been the way with most technology. I wish it wasn't so :-(

    I'm just happy that more serious software makers are making really usable mobile apps now rather than silly toys.

  • aaron

    there are apps all over the itunes store that are more cpu intensive than reactable mobile should be that perform fine on even 2G's (3D gaming for example).. it's obvious there needs to be some serious optimizing done.

  • http://www.myspace.com/noou (noou)

    it's funny to see how a tangible interface can suddenly become almost intangible ;)

  • http://modin.yuri.at/ Martin Kaltenbrunner

    Hey Noou,

    it is clear that one of the key features of the Reactable is its intuitive tangible interface based on the manipulation of physical objects on a large table surface. But it is also clear that the iPad and iPhone neither provide the object tracking nor a large screen surface.

    Apart from that, the Reactable Mobile app sports the full functionality of the actual Reactable, just transformed to a quite different mobile and touch-only platform. Nevertheless we hope that this app will give a large number of people an idea how the Reactable instrument generally works, and if you are interested in the actual tangible experience, you can always get one of our new Reactable Live! devices: http://www.reactable.com/live/

    have fun, Martin.K

  • http://www.skyron.org SkyRon™

    Now, we are all Bjork!

  • lematt

    <cite>and if you are interested in the actual tangible experience, you can always get one of our new Reactable Live!</cite>

    yeah ! but it's a bit more expensive…

  • http://vimeo.com/12490993 jon

    heyyy cant help but feel how wicked this would be if the app could stream alll it's tuio/osc messages via wifi network to connect to max for live and ableton !!!

    definitely possible and it would expand it possibilities so much further! you could build an entire tim exile machine with one interactive display….

  • http://www.mattverzola.com Matt Verzola

    What the-? Why did i just buy aura flux yesterday? Damnit, Peter.

  • Armando

    Aura flux = stoners paradise.

    Reactable = porn

    The joys of technology :)

  • http://www.boxspringstudios.com Todd

    Just picked up an iRig today.

    Works free of flaw for I/O with the reactable's 'input' device.

    Anyone else do this yet??

    Having good fun. Hi-Z transformer cable for dynamic mics.

    Also claims to take regular line in…

  • http://www.podcomplex.com/blog Dan Foley

    This is a really slick implementation on the iPad, and being able to use your own samples is amazing… I noticed that if you change the song tempo with loops playing, any new loops you add in later will remain at their original tempo – so make sure all your loops are on the table before messing with the metronome!

  • http://joshg.wordpress.com josh g.

    I picked this up last week, and whether due to the recent update or otherwise, it seems to run fantastic on my iPod Touch 3G. Never before have I been able to groove out so seriously and easily while in line at Starbucks. (Although I'm pretty sure I looked weird bopping my head and twisting the iPod to add notes to the oscillator-powered melody.)

    The one feature I really hope gets picked up by any music-making software created for portable devices is the giant 'TAP' button built into the tempo control. I'm just messing around, not doing live performance right now or anything, but being able to live-sync it to other instruments or vocals on the fly seems awfully brilliant.

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