Year: 2016

Solution: A sculptural music sequencer using magnets and kinetics to create a playful and tactile creative experience.

Exhibitions & Talks: Tate Modern, Sonar D+, Sonos Sound Objects, KIKK Festival, IxDA, Music Tech Fest, Zealous X


The XOXX Composer is an 8-channel 16-step sequencer. The hardware consists of eight rotating discs and utilises magnets with ball bearings as a means of step sequencing. Also included on the controller are eight individual pitch and volume controls.
XOXX is MIDI compatible, so you can connect to a wide variety instruments, or your favourite DAW. However it can also run in conjunction the dedicated XOXX desktop app, which includes an extensive sample library.

XOXX is a reimagining of the interface for a pad controller or beat sequencer. There's no new sort of music you can make with it, but the physical layout would certainly change how you interact with the music. You could get a sense of the tempo by watching how fast the cylinder is spinning, and think about rhythmical composition by comparing the patterning of the various wheels. An ideal tool for people just getting to grips with digital music — or for more experienced composers who haven't loss their sense of fun.

The XOXX operates a little bit like a music box. Eight rotating discs are marked with X and Os to signify where magnets can be attached. As the discs rotate, the magnets protruding from the discs activate samples, similar to the way combs pluck the pins on a music box.
Each disc is assigned a specific sound, so you can layer up to 8 different beats at a time. When and how frequently you hear a sound depends on where you place the magnets.
A slider in the upper left corner determines how quickly the discs spin, which correlates to beats per minute displayed under the motor. All the discs come with a volume slider and effects knob. When you've finished your perfect beat, you can lift the discs off the dock and replace them with a fresh set.
XOXX makes the creation of music a tangible process—and in some ways a more understandable one.

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