Reactable, a tangible, multi-user electronic musical instrument

February 4, 2004

Reactable | The Reactable is a new electronic musical instrument which enables musicians to experiment with sound, change its structure, control its parameters and be creative in a direct and refreshing way. The instrument uses a “tangible interface,” where the musician controls the system by manipulating tangible objects.

The instrument is based on a translucent and luminous round table. By putting pucks on the Reactable surface, turning them and connecting them to each other, performers can combine different elements like synthesizers, effects, sample loops or control elements in order to create a unique and flexible composition. As soon as any puck is placed on the surface, it is illuminated and starts to interact with the other neighboring pucks, according to their positions and proximity.

These interactions are visible on the table surface, which acts as a screen, giving instant feedback, and turning music into something visible and tangible. Performers can also change the behavior of the objects by touching and interacting with the table surface. Because the Reactable technology is “multi-touch,” there is no limit to the number of fingers that can be used simultaneously.

Video Source: Universitat Pompeu Fabra