Just Play With the Blocks on These Turntables to Make Music

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on at

We've heard a lot about tangible interfaces for gadgets lately — but what about tangible interfaces for music? Per Holmquist, a Swedish designer, built just that: Beat Blox, a "turntable" that makes beats based on where you place tiny blocks on its face.

Holmquist, who created the project for his thesis at Beckmans College of Design, describes it as "an interactive music machine that offers a free creative expression without requiring prior knowledge" on his website.

How does it work? According to Creative Applications, each machine contains five digital distance sensors in its wooden arm. These sensors interpret the locations of the blocks and relay that data back through the Arduino-based system, creating music based on certain pre-programmed metrics.

Just Play With the Blocks On These Turntables To Make Music

Unfortunately, we don't know much more than that for now. But frankly, just like the system, you don't need to know much about how it works to see how fun it clearly is. Just check out the videos of people noodling around with the turntables at the final thesis show. [Creative Applications; Per Holmquist]