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Reactable as Artist Instrument: On Mobile, Live, and Tangible

Milivingroom.com presenta Carles L√≥pez-Reactable from Milivingroom on Vimeo. Can the Reactable be artistically meaningful, as well as technologically impressive? New performances, and new releases – interactive “label” releases for your iPad/iPhone and updated hardware for those of you wanting to try the whole experience yourself – might just answer that question. Listen to designers of futuristic musical devices talk about what they hope to create, and a common theme recurs again and again. They want to make musical instruments – something you’d practice, something for which there would be virtuosos and performances that would knock your socks off. It’s tough …

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Tangible Music: The Reactable and Interactive Instrument Design, in Videos

Dig into humanity’s past, and alongside the earliest tools, you’ll find some of the earliest instruments. Designing objects for expression seems to be an essential part of civilization. Martin Kaltenbrunner, a co-designer of the Reactable tangible music interface, is also a professor in Interface Culture at the Linz University of Arts in Austria. There, in the land of Mozart and Haydn, he works with students to explore what interface design is. So, when I got to spend some time with Martin in New York in September, I was interested in more than just the flashy coolness of the Reactable, the …

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Dynamic Touch Interfaces That Build Themselves, with Android, iOS

Today, we note the availability on Android of Control, a WebKit-based touch interface also on iOS. For visualists and interactive designers, it’s worth paying attention to one feature in particular: dynamic interface creation. Perhaps biased by the musicians who have tended to embrace them, touch interfaces have tended to rely on the static layouts favored by physical knobs and faders. That’s arguably the worst of both worlds: you lose the tactile feedback of physical controls, but you don’t add any of the flexibility of a display. Control is an open-source application rendered in HTML5, powered by JavaScript and JSON, so …

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Androidcontrollerism: Hardware Options on Android, in Detail; Android Player Piano

Adding hardware to tablets, as it has with decades of computing technology, can open up new worlds for software and music. It can animate a conventional piano, or provide new physical interfaces for touching music. But let’s not wait for it to happen; let’s get hacking. Following on today’s line of thinking about hardware-augmented touch, I’d like to look a bit at the recently-transformed landscape on Android. iOS users can connect to external hardware via the Core MIDI protocol or, via official channels, through the Apple Dock Connector. That’s not a perfect situation, however. Hardware developers have to be approved …

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More Multitouch, Please: Atmel Chip in Galaxy Tab Promises Better Response, Stylus

Multitouch remains a terrific way to control live visuals — but improved response and accuracy would be welcome, if new hardware delivers as promised, as well as finer control via stylus input for drawing applications. On Create Digital Music today, I point to some interesting news regard Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet. This could be the beginning of an avalanche of multitouch hardware – in stark contrast to the poor quality of capacitive and resistive input in most devices outside Apple today. Mostly, I’m eager to try it hands-on (or fingers-on). More details: Here Comes the Multitouch: Galaxy Tab Uses New, …

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Here Comes the Multitouch: Galaxy Tab Uses New, Responsive Atmel Tech

Speaking of Android and mobile, when it comes to reliable multi-touch on inexpensive devices, iOS has really been the only game in town. As I’ve noted previously, competing requires a usable multi-touch chipset. It seems one such chipset is making its way to a shipping product. Matt Gallant points us to our friends at Engadget: Atmel confirms the Samsung Galaxy Tab uses its maXTouch touchscreen controller Atmel, for their part, claim their technology is more responsive than competitors like Apple, offering both support for stylus input and faster response times – the latter interesting for music applications. Given how complex …

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