Voltage into Generative Pixels, and Other Lo-Fi, Recycled Art

Today on Create Digital Music, we examine DeFunct/ReFunct, the latest installment of a touring (Ireland, France, Germany) collective working with repurposed, rescued refuse technology: Art From Trash, as ReFunct Media Makes a Symphony from Obsolete Gear [Videos] The group works both in sounds and image, so here I’ll echo what I say there in visual form. (I feel, far from conflicted, that I’ve done my job if I find things that fit into both sites.) Benjamin Galoun [aka Recyclism] makes work that, of all of these, is perhaps the most elemental. It’s just voltage applied to a screen, but in …

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Gorgeous Full-Sized Hammond B3 Controller for Native Instruments B4

Here’s someone who really, really loves Native Instruments’ B4 (II) software rendition of the Hammond B3 organ. The work of Markus Berger, this dead-ringer for a real B3 is actually a carefully crafted replica with elaborate MIDI control inside. The body is built by hand from cherry wood. Electronics were prototyped with the open source Arduino platform and implemented with electronics from Doepfer, then finished with manuals (that’s “keys” for you non-organists) from Fatar (as seen in Nord’s organs). Authentic-style drawbars finish the project. Correction: I got my wires crossed and originally claimed this had Fatar drawbars, but it’s Fatar …

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Immersive Music: Revo:oveR Installation, Lightbent Synth, Max + Unity

As an addendum to the last story, Ivica Ico Bukvic sends along an example of the [myu] Max/MSP + Unity game engine combination in action. Here’s the surprise: Unity isn’t generating visuals. Instead, Unity simulates ripples created by movement in the space, and builds physical models that are sonified and spatialized by Max/MSP. Speaking of work involving art museums and the combination of Max and Unity, VJ Anomolee notes in comments his own work with the pairing. Lightbent Synth is an in-progress piece with alternative controllers and sensors that produces sound with a novel visual representation (sound’s very quiet in …

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More Max+Unity Game Engine Goodness, with Powerful Toolkit for Max, Jitter, Pd

Take a powerful game engine (for animation, 2D and 3D graphics, physics, and on-screen interaction). Add the flexibility of a visual development environment for programming with virtual patch cords, for rich sonic and musical capabilities plus easy interaction with data and input. That’s the idea of combining something like Unity 3D with Max/MSP. In the example from earlier today, the solution simply routed basic data from a Unity-based game to a responsive music engine in Max. In the case of [myu] – the Max Unity Interoperability Toolkit – that integration goes further still. Developed at the DISIS (Digital Interactive Sound …

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DIY Sequencer Videos: the Foundation of Techno, Reimagined in New Hardware

I ask you: what is the foundation for rhythmic electronic music? I suggest that the humble step-sequencer is the backbone of many of today’s musical genres and memetic evolutions. To have electronic rhythm, you need to start with a clock and go from there, dividing it into fractions and multiples. Then start assigning sounds to those divisions and you’re pretty much there- techno is happening. I’ve been working on prototyping a sequencer-synth and in doing research, I’ve come across numerous projects that tackle this idea with great enthusiasm. Because a sequencer can drive any type of electronics, projects tend to …

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Hexagonal Sequencer with vvvv, MIDI, Ableton, and Soon Wii, Camera Input

Our friend and interactive hero Gustavo Bravetti must have been inspired by all the talk of hexagonal sequencers, because he’s come through with a brilliant prototype of a new interactive sequencer design. He writes: I just wanna share mi first very unfinished and at ultra alpha stage, hexagonal sequencer prototype! Between many things, I have planed to include many automatic scale definition tools, follow actions, you’ll can easily change the hexagon density, and multi-touch support via IR (wiimote or cams) is planned also. This is just a sneak peak. For an “alpha” version, as you can see, there’s already a …

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Music on the Game Grid: Interactive Arpeggiators Al-Jazari, reacTogon

The step sequencer. The sixteen-pad drum machine. The piano roll. The step sequencing piano roll. The waveform editor. The multi-track recording. Live music is a dynamic and changing phenomenon, but much of our technology assumes fairly predictable interfaces with time. Elysium, which we saw early this week, breaks out of that mold by defining generative systems that live on a hexagonal grid or “honeycomb.” There’s lots of great reader feedback on that story, and Elysium’s creator wrote in to talk a bit about what influenced him. I want to highlight two sequencers that you play as if they’re games. (Just …

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Alternative Sequencers: Elysium Generative Mac App and the Joy of Hex

Switching tools isn’t a panacea, but it can inspire new ideas, by changing the way you structure your music. Elysium is a powerful new sequencer in development for the Mac the creates generative patterns on a beehive-shaped hexagonal grid. For the hardcore, you can even extend the tool with Ruby and JavaScript. Elysium is a MIDI sequencer only: it has no sound generation facility of its own. But that makes it an ideal complement to your existing tools and favorite synths; the creator shows it off with Apple Logic Studio (Sculpture physical modeling, anyone?) and Native Instruments Kore. Elysium [Mac-only …

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