One of my favorite projects from MAKE Volume 17 is the BeatBearing Tangible Rhythm Sequencer by Peter Bennett, a Queens University Belfast Ph.D. student in the Sonic Arts Research Centre. Playing with the sequencer is mesmerizing and addictive! It’s a great way to see a physical incarnation of making electronic beats and rhythms. Simply put, moving the ball bearings on the clear plastic grid changes the beat. Check out this video to see the sequencer in action:

Having been to numerous “laptop performances,” I’m really drawn to the visual appeal of the BeatBearing sequencer as well as its inherent simplicity. Here’s a neat closeup:


Per the intro, “The fun part is that the whole interface is transparent and sits on top of a computer screen, allowing graphics to be shown from directly underneath.” Here’s a picture of the whole setup:


Build your own BeatBearing sequencer using the 10-page DIY in MAKE 17, and drop some beats! Pick it up at a newsstand near you, at the Maker Shed, or in your mailbox when you subscribe.