Note: this post is from 2007, outbound links may be broken.

Beat Blocks – a tangible interface for a rhythm sequencer

Related: , , , Posted in random posts on Mar 26, 2007 - comment 0 comments

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.

Beat Blocks (prototype)
Beat Blocks (prototype)

A prototype of Beat Blocks was shown at the first “handmade music” event at Etsy Labs, sponsored by DIY seller site Etsy.com, MAKE Magazine, and Create Digital Music.

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).

Visit Jeff Hoefs Beat Blocks page for more information and check the articles at CDM and MAKE:Blog on Beat Blocks as well.

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Rob Papen Punch

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