syitcases

SJS-ONE: Open, Arduino-Based Synth, with Crazy Cases and Web Troubleshooting

SJS-ONE is an 8-bit synth that you add to an Arduino board, making it ideal for hardware and firmware tinkerers and lovers of unique monosynths. But we’ll give it bonus points for two other reasons. First, it has some really bizarre cases available as add-ons, which look a bit like punk birdhouses. (Birdhouse squats? Hot rodded bird tenant buildings?) Second, in a really clever move, they help you troubleshoot hardware issues with a Flash animation. It could make it clear even to a complete beginner how to use a multimeter (a measuring device that checks electrical connections). The Arduino design …

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aviary_myna

Cloud Music Making, Just Vapor? Amidst Shifting Businesses, Standards, Aviary Closes Shop

Doing creative work in the browser has, over the years, delivered a fair bit of hype. What it hasn’t delivered is a tool with any real apparent staying power. And as we watch the meltdown of creative Web poster child Aviary’s music suite, caught between changing business models and evolving standards, there’s reason for concern. That’s not to say that Web-based music making can’t work. But it certainly isn’t working like this. Aviary had been a key example of powerful in-browser editing tools, with an extensive suite of tools built in Flash. But Aviary switched their business model, focusing instead …

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musicbranches

Music in the Browser: A Soundtrack from a Crowd, A Keyboard for a Mouse

Slowly but surely, the web audio API creeps toward being something that’s usable in more than one browser at a time. In the meantime, we get a glimpse of how generative music could be a part of what’s to come. It’s a long way from those horrid, looping audio files that plagued the Web in its heady 1990s adolescence. Today on Create Digital Motion, I look at the aesthetics of crowd-sourcing in work by Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk – and how the view of the significance of the crowd has changed over time. Substitute “music” for “motion,” and you’ll …

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midistuff

MIDI in the Browser: HTML5 + MIDI Document Up for Review, Audio Improving, Too

Hey, why the heck not? (CC-BY-SA) farnea. Imagine connecting to MIDI gadgets – inputs and outputs – and sequencing musical patterns from a browser. (As a developer, imagine doing that from JavaScript. As a user, imagine doing that right inside your browser window with a music app.) For now, such things exist only on a document, but they could be coming to a browser near you. Not bad for a standard that dates back to 1983. The W3C has a document up for discussion, for those of you technical enough to get involved: https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/audio/raw-file/tip/midi/specification.html The news comes from an excellent, …

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plink

Plink: Play Music with Strangers, In Your Browser; and the Webby Music Goodness Continues

It starts as just another toy to play around with in a few minutes of distraction in your Web browser – as if the Web were short on distraction. But then, something amazing can happen. Like a musical Turing Test, you start to get a feeling for what’s happening on the other side. Someone’s stream of colored dots starts to jam with your stream of colored dots. You get a little rhythm, a little interplay going. And instead of being a barrier, the fact that you’re looking at simple animations and made-up names and playing a pretty little tune with …

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Patchosaur: Audio, MIDI, and Max/Pd-Style Patching, in a Browser, Because You Can

If you’re looking to build your own instruments and effects and sequencers and play with patching, you really don’t want this software. No, seriously – while a fascinating, fun tech demo, something like the desktop Pd or Max is probably what you want. (As we saw earlier this week, Pd-extended just got much easier to use, and it’s free.) This makes sound, but it’s also buggy and in progress and likely more of interest to coders. Okay, now having scared off some people, let’s talk nerd-to-nerd for a second. Patchosaur, an open-source, GitHub-hosted project by BADAMSON, is nonetheless seriously cool, …

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bachdrawing

Bach Cello Suite No. 1, Visualized in Sweeping Arcs, and the Math Beneath

Alexander Chen, he of Kinect hacks and subways turned to strings, is back with another string visualization. Built in the browser (an interactive version is available), this work makes a visual accompaniment to Bach’s First Prelude from the Cello Suites. If you read music notation fluently, you may find the score itself suffices, but even so, the math to make this work – and the dance of circles across strings – is compelling. Alex, whose day job is with Google’s Creative Lab, talks to us a bit about the mathematics and process. First, his description: baroque.me visualizes the first Prelude …

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SodaSynth_for_Chrome

Clean, Sweet, and Bubbly, SodaSynth in Unexpected Places – Like Chrome Browser Native Client

SodaSynth runs natively in Chrome. With soft synths a dime a dozen, how do you set yourself apart? Defying conventions is a pretty good start, and a team of developers who built the Mixxx open source DJ tool are doing just that. SodaSynth from Oscillicious is a soft synth with a different approach. With no effects and, surprisingly, no filters, SodaSynth is all about the oscillators. But apart from its ready-to-layer sound, the developers are also making their software run in new places: aside from a VST, there’s a version for HP’s defunct TouchPad and, more interestingly, the first major …

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control-android

On Android, Free, Open Source Touch Control for Music – And It’s Just the Beginning

If you’re looking to turn an Android phone or flashy, new Android tablet into a touch controller for music, you’ll be really glad to see OSC and MIDI controller Control. Furthermore, here’s a solid, powerful app based on the Web that lets Apple and Android fans play well together. I’ve sung the praises of Control’s philosophy before. Templates are built on Web/HTML5 (WebKit) rendering, not proprietary, inflexible interface widgets, and can be created in JSON. You can make templates dynamic, too, because of everything JavaScript does. (Non-jargon-filled translation: you can use the goodness of the Web to make control layouts …

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Les Paul Google Doodle, Animated – and Scripted with SuperCollider

Electric guitar pioneer Les Paul is one of the all-time greats in music instrument invention, so the guy clearly deserves an animated Google Doodle of his creation that you can play. Strum chords, pluck with the mouse, and even record phrases on Google’s homepage. (See video, above.) Since Google Doodles are archived – and since you can look at the code by choosing a View Source feature in your browser – these little novelties also have a life beyond their one day of glory. (Note, you may need to visit the US site if you’re in a part of the …

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