Composition on the Table, is a project by Toshio Iwai from 1999 which consists of four tables which present the user with different tangible interfaces including switches, dials, turntables and sliding boards. The interaction with these produces sound and also updates computer visualisations which are projected onto the table surfaces. One of the objectives of the project is to create a Mixed Reality environment allowing a multi-user and collaborative system to create sounds and visuals.
The following post presents a collection of music interfaces that were originally posted in the theoreticalplayground forums.
The RGB Player comprises of a rotating surface upon which a user can place coloured objects. A scanner detects these objects and generates sound depending on the distance from the centre of the rotating surface.
The AudioCube project uses four cubes each referring to a different element of music: drums, bass, lead and strings. The sides of the cubes determines the sound of the element and their relative position on the surface controls the spatial localisation.
The MusicTable provides the musician with cards that can be arranged on the table surface. The specific arrangement of the cards determines the sounds produced.
The ScanJam consists of two scanners and a computer. Each scanner represents one bar of music and objects placed on the scanners result in sound depending on the objects colour, shape and vertical placement.
The synthstick was inspired by the theremin and stylophone. A strip of VHS videotape with some conductive plastic film above it act as a ribbon control and the pitch can be adjusted by making contact at different points along the strip.
The blockjam interface consists of 25 tangible blocks that can be arranged to create musical sequences. It enables multiple users to play and collaborate. Each block can be controlled using gestural input, click-able input and also have a visual display.
The sonic banana was developed by Eric Singer. It is a rubber tube with four bend sensors inside. As the tube is twisted and shaped by the performer the data is sent to MaxMSP to create both arpeggiator and harmonica based musical sequences.
The oroboro is a collaborative musical interface. It is operated by two musicians each using two paddle mechanisms: one is a hand orientation sensor and the other is a ‘haptic mirror’ informing the user what the other musician is doing.
The ISS cube is a tangible music interface which tracks the position of objects on a tabletop surface. Different types of sounds can be played by combining and positioning the objects in different ways.
The Continuum offers continuous control in three dimensions for each finger placed on the surface.
The lemur is a multitouch musical interface developed by Jazz Mutant.
Paul Hertz developed Orai/Kalos as an interface to control audio and visual events.
The Circular Optical Object Locator is a collaborative music interface. The position of objects on a rotating platter determine the music that is produced.
The Jamodrum is a collaborative music interface inspired by drum circles. The musicians are able to create music and also effect visual changes on the tabletop. The tabletop display is often used to present interactive games to encourage collaboration and interaction between the musicians.
Cubed is a project by Douglas Stanley which is a music interface in the form of a Rubik’s Cube. Each side of the cube uses a different instrument to play notes which are determined by the colours on the face. An online shockwave implementation can be found here.
The Manual Input Sessions interface generates sound in response to hand gestures.
Instant City combines a number of fields to create an interactive computer game, musical interface and light sculpture. One or more players are able to create buildings on a table surface using blocks which in addition determines the generated sound output.