Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sound + Graphics (2): ReacTable

In the second Installment of this series we take a look at some kind of new musical instrument, the “ReacTable”.

Reactable is a collaborative electronic musical instrument with a tangible interface based on a table, and inspired by modular synthesizers of the sixties. It was developed by the Music Technology Group at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

Multiple simultaneous users share total control over the instrument by moving and rotating physical objects on the surface of a bright circular table. Manipulating these objects, representatives of the classical components of a modular synthesizer, users can create complex and dynamic sound typologies, generators, filters and modulators, in a kind of tangible modular synthesizer.

OK. Now if you are anything like me and you don’t have any clue about what a “sound typology” might be, you’ll be glad to hear I’ve got some videos that show the thing in action. Also, you will immediately understand why I am all of a sudden talking about musical instruments on Monsieur Bandit… This ReacTable-thingy looks incredible! It is by far the most visual, graphical way of making music I’ve ever seen.

The first video is a short demo, showing us the basics of how the ReacTable works. The second is a fragment from “Later with Jools Holland” in which Björk performs a song from “Volta”, using the ReacTable on stage. Enjoy.




To learn more about the ReacTable go to

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