the reactable,
         a tangible
musical instrument




       Martin Kaltenbrunner
    Music Technology Group
   Univer...
++ team background
+ interactive sonic systems
  Sergi Jordà (researcher, composer & performer): instrument design
  Marti...
++ reacTable




1
++ tangible modular synthesizer
++ the original idea 2003
+ definition
  an electronic music
  instrument with a tangible
  user interface
  dimension: ro...
++ fundamental inspirations
++ acoustic vs. digital instruments
+ acoustic instruments
  The physical sound production results in a very narrow variet...
++ our design approach
+ everything is possible
  we assume that we have access to a universal sensor which provides
  all...
++ first experiments, Dublin 2003
++ first public prototype, Hamamatsu 2004
++ first public concert, Linz 2005
++ Björk show, BBC 2007
++ commercial presentation 2008
++ instrument goals
+ intuitive, learnable
  zero instructions, no help, no alphanumeric display, easy entry
+ sonically c...
++ instrument components
+ sound synthesizer
  generates the actual musical experience
+ graphical synthesizer
  generates...
++ system diagram
++ shape: generic object classes

+ sound generators: square, cube

+ sound processors: rounded square

+ mixers & modulat...
++ dynamic patches
+ no explicit connection gesture necessary
  optional „hard-linking“ by bringing two object close to ea...
++ generic object function
++ visual feedback


+ connection state:
  established links
  hard-links, mute
+ object state:
  availability, activation...
++ collaboration scenarios
++ tangible musical interfaces




2
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Reactable

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Reactable

  1. 1. the reactable, a tangible musical instrument Martin Kaltenbrunner Music Technology Group Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  2. 2. ++ team background + interactive sonic systems Sergi Jordà (researcher, composer & performer): instrument design Martin Kaltenbrunner: human computer interaction, computer vision Günter Geiger (pure data): sound synthesis engine Marcos Alonso: graphics synthesis + MTG: music technology group Director: Dr. Xavier Serra IUA: audiovisual institute UPF: Universitat Pompeu Fabra mostly working in the area of music analysis and synthesis music information retrieval, singing voice processing interactive sonic systems, musical instrument design
  3. 3. ++ reacTable 1
  4. 4. ++ tangible modular synthesizer
  5. 5. ++ the original idea 2003 + definition an electronic music instrument with a tangible user interface dimension: round table with a diameter of ~ 1m reacTable = Moog + MAX/PD + Tangible UI + keywords tangible interface, human computer interaction, CSCW, modular synthesizer, electronic music, …
  6. 6. ++ fundamental inspirations
  7. 7. ++ acoustic vs. digital instruments + acoustic instruments The physical sound production results in a very narrow variety of possible sounds: strings, tubes, membranes. The sound productions is directly coupled with the control and any its sonic, tactile or visual feedback. The instrument is perceived and handled as a single musical artifact. + digital instruments Modern electronic and digital synthesizers are capable of creating a vast variety of heard and yet unheard sounds. The sound generation possibilities are virtually endless. The sound production is completely decoupled from the control. Additional and varying controller devices can be used. The instrument is often not recognizable as such and limits visual and tactile feedback. The dilemma of the possibility of generating any desirable sound and the lack of suitable control devices.
  8. 8. ++ our design approach + everything is possible we assume that we have access to a universal sensor which provides all necessary information about the instrument and the player  avoid to be driven by a technology by its possibilities and its constraints + software prototype simulation e first implemented a software prototype to develop the fundamental instrument ideas and interaction paradigms + early prototype implementation creation of a small scale tangible prototype to study real world aspects of tangible interfaces, experimental object design, sensor evaluation + final instrument construction based on the experience of software and hardware prototyping
  9. 9. ++ first experiments, Dublin 2003
  10. 10. ++ first public prototype, Hamamatsu 2004
  11. 11. ++ first public concert, Linz 2005
  12. 12. ++ Björk show, BBC 2007
  13. 13. ++ commercial presentation 2008
  14. 14. ++ instrument goals + intuitive, learnable zero instructions, no help, no alphanumeric display, easy entry + sonically challenging and interesting not a sound toy, player can develop musical skills + collaborative multiple players on one single table, or networked + suitable for professional musicians & novices in live performances, in public installations + fully controllable no hidden presets, no default behaviour + natural interaction no buttons, no cables, no wearables: just hands and “plain” objects
  15. 15. ++ instrument components + sound synthesizer generates the actual musical experience + graphical synthesizer generates visual feedback based on sound and user input + central management component input processing, gesture recognition dynamic patch generation sound & graphics synthesizer control networking interface + sensor component computer vision using visual markers provides information about object ID, location and orientation + tangible interface table, object set, sensor hardware, projection
  16. 16. ++ system diagram
  17. 17. ++ shape: generic object classes + sound generators: square, cube + sound processors: rounded square + mixers & modulators : pentagons + control generators: circle + step sequencers: polygon circle + synchronizers: dome (half sphere) + global objects: round star
  18. 18. ++ dynamic patches + no explicit connection gesture necessary optional „hard-linking“ by bringing two object close to each other + simple connection rules distance: closest object compatibility: sound input/output, control input/output availability: does the closest object have a compatible and free port + building vs. playing building & playing instrument branches at the same time single mode: no dedicated editing or runtime mode configuration can be done with dedicated selector object or cards
  19. 19. ++ generic object function
  20. 20. ++ visual feedback + connection state: established links hard-links, mute + object state: availability, activation + sound data: travelling waveform + control data: control data flow + synchronisation: sync range, sync hits
  21. 21. ++ collaboration scenarios
  22. 22. ++ tangible musical interfaces 2

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