Reactable Mobile, on Sale This Weekend for iOS and Android; Watch the Full Table Meet OP-1

Reactable, now turning age five, still remains something that can take people’s breath away. Making the relationship of musical components into actual building blocks, it demystifies music making and makes it more magical all at the same time. And since the table itself is big, not-portable, and pricey, there’s also the iOS- and Android-compatible tablet edition. (The Android app is one of the few that gives my vintage Galaxy Tab something useful to do.) This weekend, you can grab Reactable Mobile yourself 50% off: 50% Off Fifth Anniversary But this is also a perfect opportunity to watch a tantalizing video …

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Loops as Sketches of Guitar Pedals, in Multitouch Table Music Design

Working in open source code for any platform, Brazilian artist and developer Jeraman has produced a charming project that imagines musical interfaces in dynamic, whimsically-simple sketches. Like doodled knobs, cartoons of guitar pedals, interactive devices on the touchscreen control musical activity. And because it’s open, cross-platform code, everything from a computer-powered multitouch table to an Android tablet could get in on the fun. Jeraman explains:

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Roll Your Own Multitouch Screens, Tables: Max Multitouch Framework, PyMT

c Ever feel like you’ve found the seam dividing past and future? The past: restrictive UI frameworks requiring pages and pages of code to produce dated-look 2D displays. Proprietary software with rigid interfaces. Input bottlenecked through the x and y coordinates of a single mouse pointer. The future: UIs whipped together graphically or with a few lines of code. 3D mixed with 2D. Open-source, friendly frameworks. Creating your own interface or drawing upon a community of creative software makers. Input that uses multitouch for gestures, collaborative input, manipulation of 2D and 3D space, and … well, just a lot more …

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Tangible Music: Build Your Own Interactive Table, Cheap, with TrackMate, LusidOSC

Trackmate LusidOSC Sequencer Application from Adam Kumpf on Vimeo. Want to interact with your computer musically using physical objects and other fancy-schmancy, science-fiction-y interfaces? Don’t want to rely on Microsoft or wait until 2019? You’re in luck. It’s like Christmas for DIYers and interactive futurists. Enter LusidOSC, a set of protocols, libraries, and useful code, and Trackmate, a clever and cheap-to-build system for tangible interfaces. Together, you’ve just got a bunch of tools to help you start playing with blocks — erm, experiencing new spatial interfaces. LusidOSC, the library maps “spatial input devices” – really, any tangible devices or sensors …

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Music on the Game Grid: Interactive Arpeggiators Al-Jazari, reacTogon

The step sequencer. The sixteen-pad drum machine. The piano roll. The step sequencing piano roll. The waveform editor. The multi-track recording. Live music is a dynamic and changing phenomenon, but much of our technology assumes fairly predictable interfaces with time. Elysium, which we saw early this week, breaks out of that mold by defining generative systems that live on a hexagonal grid or “honeycomb.” There’s lots of great reader feedback on that story, and Elysium’s creator wrote in to talk a bit about what influenced him. I want to highlight two sequencers that you play as if they’re games. (Just …

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Psychosynth: Free 3D Music Interface, as a Virtual Reactable

The idea of the Reactable is to make music tangible, with control of sound mapped to physical objects you move around on a table. But that hasn’t stopped the Psychosynth from creating a virtual version. (Upside: it’s a lot more portable.) Psychosynth Watch the video, but they seem to have made the opening minutes as dull as possible to thin out the non-believers. Skip past the generation of the white noise oscillator (wow, white noise!), and somewhere around halfway through, it becomes laugh-out-loud funny, with trance-style vocals about freeing your mind with free software. (Seriously – it’s awesome.) While it’s …

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Spaces and Roots: Manipulating Sound with Processing + Touch, Tangible Interfaces

Musical Applications for Multi-Touch Interfaces from BricK Table on Vimeo. Across series of colored bars, sounds warp and mutate. Vines entangle as organic threads of music. Fingers and objects traverse sonic landscapes in surprising, mysterious ways. Welcome to the worlds of BricK, the musical table interface by Jordan Hochenbaum and Owen Vallis, which, charged with software by Dimitri Diakopoulos, Jim Murphy, and Memo Akten, explores new musical frontiers. The tool uses a combination of open source tools for tracking fingers and objects on a table, then feeds those into sound and music environments. Just following the landmark, long-awaited release of …

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Interactive Table as Synth, Via New, Better Bjork Tour Vids; Microsoft Surface Snickering

There’s a simple problem: sound is invisible, and sound synthesis concepts don’t have any physical reality. Knobs, faders, patch cords, keyboards, infrared sensors, touchpads, and the like all work quite nicely for synthesizing sounds. But take a closer look at Bjork’s use of the reacTable, an interactive multimedia interface that uses a camera to track the movements of blocks on a surface. They really are using it to make sounds, those sounds really are visualized in a nice new way (watch the waveforms connecting the blocks), and while the result is some swoopy synthy sounds, the interface does make making …

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More DIY Music Tables: MultiTouch Console, Built in Processing

Via Music thing (be sure to read the comments, in which they sort out what it actually is), here’s another multi-touch music table built on freely-available tools: MultiTouch Console Quite a lot of tools have been connected to make this happen, but they’re all out there so you could do something similar. Let’s see if I can get this right: the software is a collaboration of two projects that resulted in the multi-touch loopArena MTC, for making music interactively. loopArena itself was built in the free, Java-based Processing, originally with MIDI support via the ProMIDI library but now evidently using …

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Microsoft Unveils Surface, Multi-Touch Digital Table, But Why Not Make Your Own?

The good news: Microsoft is taking multi-touch, camera tracking, and gestural technologies seriously, and they have what looks like a very nice implementation that will be one of the first commercial implementations. The bad news: it’ll cost US$10,000 out of the gate. That high price will mean you’ll see at places like T-Mobile stores and Sheraton hotel lobbies first. But what you need to know: you can build your own version, thanks to available open source tools, with is likely to be more useful for music. Good sources of commentary: New Media Initiatives Blog at Walker Arts Center, which notes …

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