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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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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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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Otomata, A Generative Online Sequencer; Apps versus Web, Plus SuperCollider Goodies

Behold the power of the Web: composition ideas become a tool, a tool becomes a means for even casual users sharing musical sketches, and a browser toy can be a window into a Turkish sound artist breeding musical DNA like some people breed strains of flowers. Otomata is a simple generative online grid-based sequencer, owing to a number of step sequencers and Toshio Iwai’s Tenori-on, with some beautiful circular visualizations of the resulting sounds. I’m late in posting it, but in a way, that’s a good thing – in the time that this sequencer has spread around the Web, it’s …

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urbanremixpath

Remixing Times Square, with Mobile Field Recordings

The armies of the earbuds are everywhere, as people – since the dawning of the Walkman – tune out their surroundings. What if, instead, your surroundings became soundtracks? That’s the question posed by a mobile app research project, partnering between New York’s Times Square and a creative team at the Georgia Institute of Technology. UrbanRemix invites users to capture geo-tagged sounds with a free iOS and Android app, then to string them together into sound compositions on the Web (as seen above): Download the app http://urbanremix.gatech.edu/ Map + remix interface There’s a great write-up in the local press here in …

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Isle of Tune: City Simulation as Music Sequencing, Soon to Leap from Browser to Mobile

A music score is, in essence, a way of making space into time: traversing notation from left to right and top to bottom, you move through a series of events. So, why not make that spatial map an actual map, as in the familiar, isometric interactive cityscape popularized by Will Wright’s classic game Sim City? Isle of Tune does just that: lay out trees, houses, and city streets, and you sequence musical patterns as virtual islands. It’s available right now on the Web, powered by Flash – Chrome users can even get a one-click install via the Chrome Web Store. …

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Favorite Synths Emulated in the Browser, Monotron to Minimoog; A Chat with the Developer

The beauty of modeling an instrument is that it involves ideas – taking a design from one context and translating it to another. With software, we’re able to put sound-making things everywhere, from obscure game consoles to a tab in your web browser that can distract you with music instead of Facebook updates. In the process of moving those ideas from place to place, we discover things. Just ask Shannon Smith. He’s been on a great tear emulating favorite synthesizers in free toys for the browser. Through the power of the Internet, the New Zealand-born, California-based developer heard from Japan-based …

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Music Made with NYC Subway Schedules; HTML5+Flash, Q+A with Artist-Developer

Alexander Chen transforms the steady pulse of the (actual) New York City subway system into gentle, generative string plucks in his new interactive piece “Conductor.” The visual effect as well as the musical one is mesmerizing, as the subway is viewed in the abstract, sparse geometries of designed Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram. New York subway nerds and long-time residents will note that the schedule itself is from 1972, hence the appearance of the K train and the elevated along Third Avenue (the 8), one I imagine we wish we still had. http://mta.me/ The work is also a glimpse of the …

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