I've been meaning to write a post about Reactable for a long while but never got round to it. Reactable has to be one of the coolest looking instruments around and is good fun to play even if its a little hard to get your head around how it works. Its the type of thing you would expect to find on star wars or in the studio of the Star Ship Enterprise with Doctor Spock knocking out some weird futuristic tunes.
I must admit I'm still in the dark about much of what it can do and learnt a lot by watching some of the videos on the Reactable website and youtube as I was researching this post. If you ever get a copy of this its well worth watching the tutorials before even downloading the ap.
So what is Reactable
In their own words ..
Reactable is a revolutionary new electronic musical instrument designed to create and perform the music of today and tomorrow. It combines state of the art technologies with a simple and intuitive design, which enables musicians to experiment with sound, change its structure, control its parameters and be creative in a direct and refreshing way, unlike anything you have ever known before.
Reactable uses a so called tangible interface, where the musician controls the system by manipulating tangible objects. The instrument is based on a translucent and luminous round table, and by putting these pucks on the Reactable surface, by 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 neighbouring pucks, according to their positions and proximity. These interactions are visible on the table surface which acts as a screen, giving instant feedback about what is currently going on in the Reactable turning music into something visible and tangible.
Additionally, performers can also change the behaviour of the objects by touching and interacting with the table surface, and because the Reactable technology is “multi-touch”, there is not limit to the number of fingers that can be used simultaneously. As a matter of fact, the Reactable was specially designed so that it could also be used by several performers at the same time, thus opening up a whole new universe of pedagogical, entertaining and creative possibilities with its collaborative and multi-user capabilities.
Reactable Live or Reactable mobile
Reactable comes in a few different flavours. If you have a huge pile of cash (around $12,500) burning a hole in your pocket and you want to have a conversation piece then you could go crazy and buy yourself a very cool Reactable Live. Reactable live is the real world / hands on version that comes in a kit bag that you build to give you a cosmic coffee table type instrument with a set of pucks that you place on an interactive screen. See the pics and save me trying to describe it.
For the rest of us in the real world we have the option of Reactable mobile. Reactable is available from all good ap stores and can be downloaded to either your android or iphone or ipad. I went for the ipad version as the screen tends to be a bit small for me on phones. Reactable mobile comes with all the features of its big brother but has the bonus that it fits in your pocket and wont break the bank at a very reasonable $9.99
Reactable tables & community
This year the guys at Reactable got in touch to tell me about the launch of Reactable community where users can download and upload tables (saved sessions) and share them with each other. For example if you have created a song on Reactable simply save that table and all its settings and upload it for others to hear, download, remix. Its a great way to get your hands on other peoples mixes and see how they have used the software.
I for one found it to be a pretty confusing ap to start with but stick with it, its a lot of fun and has plenty of potential. To help you on your way heres a playlist of Reactable tutorials.
You can also have a look through the manual http://www.reactable.com/mobile/manual/
To be in with a chance of winning a FREE licence for Reactable on your ipad / iphone / android smartphone simply click like share this page on facebook or twitter etc and then leave a comment telling us where you shared it and Ill pick the winners at random in about a weeks time.