I hope these guys win the 555 contest for making this punch-tape synthesiser. I’ve always though about making something like this during my PhD as it’s a great example of the tangible manipulation of music.

A music player like this definitely wouldn’t be out of place in A Clockwork Orange burbling away like a portable Wendy Carlos Moog rig.

[spotted on the Make Blog]
[video: YouTube – 555 Contest Entry – Synthanola]

Book of Stamps

The “Book of Stamps” is a travel guide between sonic landscapes fromcities to urban cultures. The sheets of the book provide a recordingsurface and the ink stamps provide the ability to place sounds in the book.Together they act as an interactive tangible interface for a variety of time based musical tasks that form a collaborative composition by its users. When the user turns the pages to other already stamped pages, it lends him or her the impression that they are actually traveling between different places.

Quote from YouTube: BookOfStamps PageTurning

Rotary Tangible Sequencer

This is a great project. Sticking magnets on to a baked-ban can allows you to program beats and arpeggios. I was thinking of making a rotary version of the BeatBearing at one point. Glad to see that something similar has been made! Blurb from youtube video below:

One empty baked bean tin, some lego and a stack of little magnets… stick magnets on the tin and slide them about to ‘program’ the sequencer, then grab hold of the ‘transport control’ and crank away…. The breadboard contains 5 hall-effect switches and a PIC16F688 to generate MIDI note on/off information. This is piped to Reason in the first half of the clip and to a Dave Smith Mopho synth in the second half.
I reckon with a baked bean tin about 16ft in diameter and about 25,000 magnets you could dump your sequencer software.. and you’d be getting some good aerobic exercise to boot :o)


Relief Project at TEI’10

Saw this project, called Relief at the TEI conference, but didn’t have chance to take a video as I was busy at my poster (so was glad to spot this one). It Looks like an interesting take on 3D-terrain tangibles.

Relief is an actuated tabletop display, which is able to render and animate three-dimensional shapes with a malleable surface. It allows users to experience and form digital models like geographical terrain in an intuitive manner. The tabletop surface is actuated by an array of 120 motorized pins, which are controlled with a platform built upon open-source hardware and software tools. Each pin can be addressed individually and senses user input like pulling and pushing.

If you like this project, it’s also worth looking at another project from the MIT media lab called Sandscape.

[via: Make: Online : Relief: 3D interactive maps]


Just been writing up on the DataTiles in the background section of my thesis, and realised I’d never seen them in action. A quick search found this video. A very modular tangible interface with lots of possible design possibilities.