Music makes the people, come together (oh yeah).

Posted by Ria, 01 Feb

Good morning to all the smiling people out there from Aunt Ria! ( to the grouchy ones I am saying start smiling if you want to hang up with us cool people :P )

Last night I was browsing the net for something hot that I could use to blog and poke your mind with. And with no further delay I present you something from tomorrow, not an alien, not a spaceship, but a musical instrument called reactable.

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The reactable boys and girls, is a state-of-the-art multi-user electro-acoustic music instrument with a tabletop tangible user interface (a what?!). Several simultaneous performers share complete control over the instrument by moving physical artefacts on the table surface and constructing different audio topologies in a kind of tangible modular synthesizer or graspable flow-controlled programming language, so it’s something that right now you can perceive as an ET synthesizer 80’s sounding instrument.

The instrument was developed by a team of digital luthiers under the direction of Dr. Sergi Jordà. The "Interactive Sonic Systems" team is working in the Music Technology Group within the Audiovisual Institute at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona Spain. Its main activities concentrate on the design of new musical interfaces, such as tangible music instruments and musical applications for mobile devices.

The reactable intends to be:

  • collaborative: several performers (locally or remotely)
  • intuitive: zero manual, zero instructions
  • sonically challenging and interesting
  • learnable and masterable (even for children)
  • suitable for novices (installations) and advanced electronic musicians (concerts)

The reactable hardware is based on a translucent round table. A video camera situated beneath, continuously analyzes the table surface, tracking the nature, position and orientation of the objects that are distributed on its surface, representing the components of a classic modular synthesizer. These objects are passive without any sensors or actuators, users interact by moving them, changing their position, their orientation or their faces (in the case of volumetric objects). These actions directly control the topological structure and parameters of the sound synthesizer. A projector, also from underneath the table, draws dynamic animations on its surface, providing a visual feedback of the state, the activity and the main characteristics of the sounds produced by the audio synthesizer.

We all evolve boys and girls, we grow smarter, brighter and (some of us prettier too :P ) but the bottom line is we move forward. I was very mystified by watching reactable in action, primarily because it gave me a glance into the feature, and even if I can’t completely comprehend the mechanics behind it, I still think its darn cool!

What you all think?

Responses to "Music makes the people, come together (oh yeah)."

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  1.   Wonka says:
    Posted: 06 Mar 10

    Yeah sure!!,you selling,but,I aint buying!.

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  2.   mossimo says:
    Posted: 23 Feb 07

    Thanks for the story!

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  3.   fala says:
    Posted: 05 Feb 07

    It sounds really interesting, i'm gonna have to check it out.

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  4.   sweetnes20 says:
    Posted: 03 Feb 07

    very cute.

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  5.   unme23 says:
    Posted: 01 Feb 07

    pretty funny!!

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