For many, mobile technology and developing for the iPhone and the iPod touch is a fad and a Gold Rush. Good designers, though, take a longer view of how interaction can be expressive. And there are few people with a better sense of the big picture of small devices than Dr. Ge Wang. The co-founder, CTO, and Chief Creative Officer of Smule has a background that goes well beyond the latest Apple platform. Along with Perry Cook at Princeton, Ge Wang is the co-originator of ChucK, a real-time programming language for synthesis so efficient some people use it live onstage. (ChucK, as an open source project, now has a terrific team of people behind it.) ChucK is the sonic engine that powers Smule’s projects. Ge Wang also teaches at Stanford, working with students and fellow researchers to explore new ways of interacting with music technology.

Ge Wang joined me for a lengthy phone conversation recently. He really contextualized why the iPhone is important in the grand scheme of things, but also how the people at Smule and Stanford (and Princeton) can approach technology for musical interaction, focusing on what devices are rather than what they’re not.

(The audio here, believe it or not, is extensively edited – Ge Wang is that easy to talk to. I hope the next time it’s over beers rather than Skype.)

The full interview can be played below, or downloaded directly.

[podcast]http://createdigitalmusic.com/files/media/podcasts/2009/07/gewang.mp3[/podcast]

Download MP3 of the interview

Thanks to KORG and the Nano Series for their support of programming on createdigitalmusic.com.

Lastly: a video of the Smule team headquarters and playing around with Leaf Trombone for a Zelda duet!

More information:
The Mule Chronicles [Smule Blog]
http://smule.com/
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University

Previously, for more on Ge Wang and CCRMA:
Make:TV Meets Stanford Musical Inventors, Feedback Piano

Video + Audio Subscriptions, iTunes Podcast

cdmsoundsCDM is now launching regular audio content on the artists and inventors we cover as part of our series CDM Sounds. You can subscribe (and review the podcast) via iTunes, where you’ll also find our new video series:

cdm Sounds Podcast
cdm TV

Or using your software of choice, subscribe directly to RSS. (I like to follow podcasts with Banshee and Winamp this way.)

We’ve fixed some transcoding issues for iPod touch/iPhone on the video podcast. Please do test this and let us know if you have any issues on your software/hardware.

  • http://apeskinny.com spinner

    It's so easy to see these applications as mere toys, and of course to a large extent they are. However they can also be seen as one of many small steps to make music technology much more accessible to people. With this comes the need for a more direct and less convoluted language.

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » Millioniser 2000: 80s-tastic MIDI Harmonica Whose Time Has Come?

  • Pingback: crashroots — Blog — Interview: Smule’s Ge Wang on iPhone Apps, Ocarinas, and Democratizing Music Tech

  • m

    Unfortunately, ChucK isn't really efficient at all, it's actually quite sluggish compared to platforms like Supercollider, or even the venerable CSound. When I downloaded and tested ChucK recently, I was surprised at how much CPU it took just to do some basic synthesis. People have been using realtime synthesis languages for some time now, and my impression is that the only reason using ChucK for live performance is even an option is that computers have gotten powerful enough for it to be usable in modest scenarios. i have great respect for Ge Wang and the work that they put into this project, but beyond the reinventing the wheel factor, I don't think it lives up to the hype.

    Synthesis within ChucK takes place in the same thread of execution as the language, which can lead to dropouts and other unsavory phenomena when the non audio-related computation gets too complicated. On top of this, because everything runs inside ChucK's virtual machine (as far as I can tell), it simply can't keep up with more heavily optimized synthesis frameworks where Unit Generators are tightly wound C modules and (in the case of Supercollider) the language and synthesis engine are effectively decoupled.

    my 2 cents.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @m: Heh, well, I meant efficient from an expression standpoint. I don't mean to hype ChucK. Every project has its shortcomings, and I think the ChucK developers are aware of some of the work they need to do. (well, to the extent these things have 'hype' at all!)

    I'm personally a big fan of SuperCollider; it's really my hands-down favorite in terms of design and architecture. So you're preaching to the converted. But I do have a lot of respect, as well, for what ChucK does and will certainly stay tuned to see if they can make more progress on the performance front.

  • Soma

    Yo Ge what up?!

    This is Matt Jackson your college dorm mate. Glad to see you doing such cool stuff! :)

    Matt

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » iPhone Gets New Groove Boxes: Is it Live Synthesis, or is it Canned?

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » “I Am T-Pain” Brings Auto-Tune to iPhone, “I’m on a Boat” To You

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » iPhone Day: LaDiDa’s Reverse Karaoke Composes Accompaniment to Singing

  • http://blogufo.co.tv/ ufowebblog

    ???? ??????! ????????? ??? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ??????????? ??? ???? ??????? ?? ???? ???????

  • http://tsk.dp.ua OppomeOnepe

    если вас если нибудь интересовал задача, сиречь снять склад в днепропетровске для создания

    совего собственного бизнеса, коль вы являетесь АЙТИ компанией и хотите все получить с порядочный скидкой

    то тут вам нуждаться обратиться именно к нам… потому сколько лишь у нас вы сможете аренда офиса днепропетровск

    по самым низким ценам. Помещения перед офисы у нас в самом центре Днепропетровска и сообразно самым вкусным ценам

    Спешите! Коли вы являетесь айти компанией, то специально для вас, в взятка 2 месяца аренды офиса БЕЗМЕЗДНО!!!

    такого ультиматум вы не найдете больше нигде!

  • http://poligon01.com.ua jilioliInhist

    http://poligon01.com.ua/gallery/39.jpg <a href="h…” target=”_blank”>http://poligon01.com.ua/gallery/x_0e3b710e.jpg

    С большим удовольствием сообщаем вам, что мы открылись!

    Начинаем бронировать стволы. экипировка Легенда и сценарий в разработке. Различные виды полигонов. Возможен выезд на территорию заказчика. Многообразие сценариев. Отличная возможность совместить активный отдых с отдыхом на природе!!!

    Закажи себе военное приключение

  • http://777vp.com Drarsehittisa

    777vp.com- Наш сайт поможет новичку играть и выигрывать в казино онлайн.

    777vp.com – Играйте зарабатывая

  • http://777vp.com Drarsehittisa

    777vp.com- Наш сайт поможет новичку играть и выигрывать в покере онлайн.

    777vp.com – Играйте зарабатывая

  • http://sim-service.su Boulsenen

    Детализация звонков
    http://sim-service.su – Распечатка смс