What was that strange light and sound board I played with when drunk/bjork?
April 5, 2011 9:47 AM   Subscribe

Sound and light board with 4-5 smooth objects - which objects are on the board and where changes the sounds and lights, including light from some of the objects ... what is this thing and where can I get one?

I'd been at a co-worker's party drinking vodka because he was really into the Atkins diet (different story), three of us started playing with a crazy sound and light board (about 6" x 6") that was white or silver. It had circles or something on it (different sizes and places on the board) and when the 4 or 5 different objects/shapes were on the board they interacted with it (and it with they) to make different sounds and lights.

I think this a learning toy for children in alternative learning environments, probably those who are quite young and certainly creative.

It was mesmerizing, I'd like to find out what it was and possibly buy one. Google has failed me, though a friend suggested that it was similar to a device someone used on stage with Bjork during a show at the Shoreline Amphitheater in California a few years ago.

Any ideas mefites?
posted by unclezeb to Education (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds similar to a TENORI-ON?
posted by jangie at 9:59 AM on April 5, 2011

You're not actually thinking of the Korg Kasossilator (also in Pro form), but it's an awesome gizmo along the same lines as this toy, and you might want one instead of or in addition to whatever the heck this thing was. It's basically a touchpad with a synthesizer on the other end, and you make music by wiggling your finger around and building up loops. Just watch some of the videos to see how it works.
posted by zachlipton at 10:17 AM on April 5, 2011

Best answer: The thing Bjork used is called Reactable, in case that helps. I don't know of a small version of the Reactable, besides their iphone app.
posted by moonmilk at 10:17 AM on April 5, 2011

The only other thing that comes to mind offhand are the Neurosmith music blocks, but I don't think that has lights, just music.
posted by zachlipton at 10:22 AM on April 5, 2011

I think moonmilk has it right with the Reactable. The tracking software, TUIO, is available to download. It's possible you played with a home built version.
posted by tip120 at 10:37 AM on April 5, 2011

Best answer: There's a toy rip-off of the Reactable that's white and about 6"x6" called Zoundz but it kind of misses the point of the Reactable.
posted by turkeyphant at 11:15 AM on April 5, 2011

Response by poster: @jangie - The Tenori-on is actually what made me think of it! Serious hive-mind action there.

@turkeyphant - that seems like it! Not as great as I remember but I suppose that may have to do with the vodka than anything else.

@moonmilk - Reactable is closer to what I remember though obviously not what I'd played with ... Reactable is incredible, way better than the Zoundz thing.
posted by unclezeb at 1:22 PM on April 5, 2011

An open source implementation of the reactable UI concept, for folks who want to make a DIY workalike (looks like it sends OSC or MIDI output that you connect to the audio software of your own choice or design).
posted by idiopath at 1:40 PM on April 5, 2011

Oops, forgot the link: reacTIVision.
posted by idiopath at 1:41 PM on April 5, 2011

i got the chance to play with one some years ago, and recorded this

I can only say it's lots of fun! we totally lost ourselves. This was an exposition and there were no instructions whatsoever, so we had to find out how to work it as we played. It was more of a toy than an instrument.
posted by valdesm at 1:56 PM on April 5, 2011

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