Imaginary Instruments: Marker and Paper as Controller

Note Pad from Charlie North on Vimeo. This charming music video from Charlie North imagines creating your own simple music controllers with a piece of paper and a marker. (There’s some similarity to M-Audio pieces there, too.) Of course, that raises another question: could this actually be done? Computer vision isn’t quite intelligent enough to work out automatically what’s going on here, but it seems to me that you could get a little closer. Another alternative would be using conductive ink or graphite to make the drawing itself a sensor. I’m going to leave you to puzzle out the rest. …

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Beautiful, Orgasmic Animation of Robots, Modular Synthesis

Voltage from Bam Studio on Vimeo. Oh, sure, it’s all fun and games until your modular robots have a little too much fun and your rig erupts into a fireball. But then, modular synthesis fans – you understand, nonetheless. William Paiva sends us his work as one of the animators and writes: Hi everybody. I’m a reader of both Create Digital Music and Create Digital Motion, and I’ve just uploaded to Vimeo and to YouTube a short animation film about robots and synths. I think you might like it. Reards. And you have crazy, crazy dreams, man. Brilliant work. Here’s …

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Two Crazy Ableton Live Sets, with Mario and Animation; Send Us Yours!

We asked to see inside the Ableton Live sets you use in live performance, and you’ve responded with an overwhelming variety of responses. There are plenty of very practical submissions, from beginners and advanced users alike, which should give us a real sense of the ways in which people are playing Live as an instrument. Naturally, there are also some more unusual entries. At top: Mark Gutierrez has used the Live arrangement grid as a palette for animated pixel art, with 8-bit game characters from Space Invaders and Super Mario Brothers dancing across the screen. At bottom: Manuel Palenque has …

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Audiovisual Remix as Politics, and Psychedelic America with David Last and Brian Kane

We hear a lot about remix culture, but what does it actually mean – and does it mean anything? The founders of RemixAmerica.com hope to promote video mash-up as political discourse, by feeding Web denizens clips historical and new and remix, videocasting, and discussion tools. They’re lucky enough to have Sanford and Son and People for the American Way pioneer Norman Lear at their helm, too. We’ve got the story over on Create Digital Motion: A New Online Community Focuses on Political Video Mashing; Here’s America Gone Psychedelic I do want to point specifically to the video from Emergency Broadcast …

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Renoise Tracker Made Into Animation

While on the subject of hacking animation into music tools and audiovisual performance, here’s about as far out as you can get: What you’re seeing is actually the user interface for Renoise, an app in a category of music tools called “trackers”, being animated directly. The little characters you’re seeing light up are events in the sequence, so as the sequence plays, so does the animation. (What you’re hearing as the musical background in the video is essentially unrelated, I’m guessing, but it’s nonetheless a wild idea.) Seems a fitting way to celebrate the latest upgrade to Renoise and its …

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Ableton Live Does Frame-By-Frame Animation

Squarely in the “things Ableton Live was not necessarily built to do”: animating visuals, one frame at a time. Cousin Throckmorton whipped up a retro visual feast of Space Invaders, Pong, and other games classics, using MIDI to step through frames individually. You can MIDI sequence Live’s locators to jump between frames, thereby giving the effect of animation. Sprites/frames are drawn using blank MIDI clips; unfortunately, the resolution is limited by the Y-axis size, as Live doesn’t allow you to resize that. Live’s skins are somewhat tied to MIDI already, so you can “ride” the skins field to change background …

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Live 3D Visualization of Music: Brooklyn Workshop for Interactive Quartz Composer, Mac Visuals

Free tools like Quartz Composer (Mac) and Processing (cross-platform) now make it possible to run visuals and music on the same computer. Accelerated on the 3D graphics card in your machine (or integrated graphics on the new MacBooks), you can run live visuals without taxing your CPU, and use MIDI and/or audio signal to translate sound and music into interactive animation. Translation: you jam, eye candy runs in the background. On the Mac, you can even easily assemble whole sets of songs using Rax with Quartz Composer visualizations, as seen here previously. I’ll be teaching a workshop on some of …

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Fanciful Dream Synthesizer, Imagined in Animation

Tired of looking at knobs with labels like “oscillator” and “filter”? Wish you could build an “ultimate instrument” that did what you want? Normally, we’d give you practical ideas like building it in Max/MSP or Reaktor or Pd, but you could also just go and make an imaginary instrument in an animated video: The Ultimate Instrument [Vimeo] I’m already thinking about how I could build a working version in Flash. Via CDM’s coolhunter, Afro, on the forums.

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Music Realized as Colored Bars: Music Animation Machine

Old, but worth mentioning . . . if for no other reason that you’re thinking about color in new ways as you stare into your green beer for St. Patrick’s Day. (Or even a green river, a la Chicago.) The Music Animation Machine renders familiar music as series of colored bars, in still image or animated video, reminiscent of a piano roll editor in a sequencing application. Color represents harmonic area, so as you look at the piece you see form, structure, shape, and harmony in new ways. It certainly raises some interesting questions: with new tools at our disposal, …

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Superstar VJ: The Animated Comic!

The day after I do a VJ roundup, my friend Holly Daggers has turned VJing into a graphic novel. It’s wetcircuits presents VJ comix, a Flash-animated color comic book about the on-the-road life of a superstar VJ. Busta Rhymes, Miri Ben Ari, and All Mighty Senators are featured, plus a tour of unknown origin by a cigarette company of unknown origin (mmm, shady). But what we care about, of course, is Holly’s gear, from Korg, Edirol, et al. Enjoy! Of course, the real reason I bring this up is I’d love to get some help making music-themed comics using plasq’s …

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