more balls and beats!

Just spotted this tangible step sequencer on Synthtopia, I like the way that the webcam is underneath so that it avoids occlusion problems. Nicely done – shame that the webcam isn’t also used to track different colours in the same way as the bubblegum or skittle sequencers though. The project was built using SensoMusic Usine.

YouTube – “UTS-1” – Tangible Step Sequencer powered by Sensomusic Usine


Just been tipped off about this flying ball-bearing music machine (thanks Ben!). Would be great to combine this with the BeatBearing somehow, there’s a lot of possible design variations…

BEARINGS GLOCKEN is a musical instrument that automatically performs a glockenspiel using steel ball for bearings, said to be the world’s most perfect sphere on earth.
The steel ball is finished into a nearly perfect sphere, and has the property of uninformly bouncing back, over and over.
BEARINGS GLOCKEN uses this property in a musical instrument.

Project website:

new C3Loops website

Rikard Lindell, creator of C3Loops has put up a new website with details of his C3Loops system here:

A video of C3Loops in action is shown above, and here’s some blurb on C3Loops from the website:

The C3LOOPS prototype was create in the resarch project Creative Activites Framework for Content Centric Interaction Techniques (ConCentric CRAFT or C3). The driving vision is that information content is the base for all interaction between users and the systems. I call this concept content centric interaction. Users conduct their activities in an unbroken creative flow.
Collaborating laptop musicians and video artists use C3LOOPS in real performance situations using monophonic touch screen or keyboard-and-mouse. The computer is a surface onto which all the user’s’ information content is visualised; the surface can extend to infinity like a magic paper. Surface interaction permits content centric computing, where content of different data type is moulded into blended media.

Rhythm Ring

The Rhythm Ring is an interesting project by Brian Yung & Hanson Jiang (of Cornell University) that was partly inspired by my BeatBearing project. In their own words:

“The Rhythm Ring interactive rhythm sequencer is an engaging musical device that enables the user to create a plethora of rhythms and beat patterns with the touch of their own fingers.
Besides being fun to play with, the Rhythm Ring provides a tangible method of arranging a musical rhythm. In our design, the user can arrange beats and modify them in real time by moving steel ball bearings between holes—a physical representation of notes on a musical staff. The Rhythm Ring continuously loops up to three tracks, each with its own voice. A central ring of LEDs provide the user with live feedback for current “playhead” position, and bright LEDs pulse when a note is played due to a detected bearing. The three tracks allow the playback of three different percussion sounds: snare, hi-hat, and bass drum.”

I’m really pleased that one of my projects has inspired another musical instrument to be designed and built. If anyone else is doing anything similar, then please get in touch!