Note: this post is from 2007, outbound links may be broken.
Beat Blocks – a tangible interface for a rhythm sequencer
Looking for a way to physically arrange your beats?
Beat Blocks is just that, a tangible interface for a rhythm sequencer.
The user is able to create and manipulate an 8-track drum loop (4 tracks in the featured prototype) on the fly by physically re-arranging blocks within a matrix. Each block is actually a sub-sequence identified by a patterning scheme. This allows the user to quickly identify what the sub-sequence is and place it within the composition in one motion, an action that would otherwise take several steps with a screen and mouse/trackpad interface. The device can be integrated directly and synchronized with other midi hardware or communicate with a computer via midi.
There are currently two versions of Beat Blocks in development. One being a sequencer for use in a performance setup (compact, 4×4 or 8×8 matrix) and the other an installation version (8×16 or 32 matrix with a more spacious layout to accommodate multiple users).