December 7, 2012

The Wablet – A Physics-Based Synthesizer & Noise Toy

One of the problems with using an iPad and other touch devices similar to it, is the passivity of the device itself.  Tablets are great for reading or watching, but interacting with them sans mouse hasn’t caught up to our ability to input information with a keyboard on a desktop.  Music apps are probably one of the better implementations of the touch device, but the problem of connecting a visual interface with a touch interface still remains.  An interface with a vast amount of buttons and options isn’t exactly usable when it comes to the thickness of a human finger.  Basically, we have to learn to do more with less, on a tablet.

Robert Tubb has approached this problem by allowing music experimentation to be done visually, rather than relying on bars and graph-like interfaces that we usually see in DAWs.  His app, known as the Wablet, relies on sight as much as it does on hearing.  The program creates a visual “string” which can then be manipulated by touch and sight alone.  Each input produces vibrations on this digital string, in essence recreating what an oscillator does for a modern synthesizer.  The only difference is the lack of sliders and potentiometers needed to control them.