Tquencer: A Tangible Musical Sequencer Using Overlays


This article discusses the design and implementation of theTquencer, a tangible musical sequencer device. The tangibleinteraction paradigm for musical sequencers has been exploredpreviously trough the arrangement of simple tangible tokenswithin time-based physical constraints. While this initial ap-proach allows for the creation of basic rhythmic or melodicloops, it sometimes lacks the musical depth required for pro-fessional live performance. Therefore we introduce severaladditional physical design elements that allow the develop-ment of musical complexity, while maintaining the overallsimplicity of tangible interaction. These tangible elementsinclude single-step, multi-step and resizable tokens, which canbe arranged to trigger musical events, multi-step sound effectsand more complex sequence patterns. Furthermore the devicealso allows the dynamic assignment of the content and behav-ior of physical tokens through dedicated configuration tokens.We also introduce tangible overlays, which allow the handlingand arrangement of multiple musical configurations in variouslayers. This token configuration and layer management isfacilitated by an additional control step, which allows for theoverall tangible configuration of a musical setup. Apart fromits primary musical application scenario, the Tquencer alsoprovides a generic tangi