Bio-interfacing Meets Music: Journal, Berlin Opening, and Get Started with Open Hardware Right Now

To understand the relationship between computer and musician, you have to first understand the relationship between computer and human. For many years, that interaction has primarily involved some gesture – the click of a mouse, the swipe of a finger – and an accompanying interface abstraction. But now, from phones to desktops, computers are not only data acquisition gadgets for photos and text and various hand gestures. They’re increasingly looking inward at their human masters, connecting to the biological feedback systems our bodies themselves use. And music is a perfect window into that world. It’s a big moment for bio-interfacing …

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A Warmer Aspect: Follow Vlek From Brussels to Lithuania – And Off The Beat Grid

From Bruxelles to Vilnius. from Vlek Data on Vimeo. If you’re living in a place that makes you feel hot outside, this video – filmed in Belgium and bitter, wintry Vilnius Lithuania – will cool you down. And if you feel cold inside, this music just might warm you up. It’s the fitting companion to the release by label/collective Vlek of their app Beatsurfing. That app eschews rigid grids for sloppy, overlaid geometries, perfectly-aligned squares for rough-hewn rhythms that stutter and drag. The geometry on the screen, in other words, is connected to the music. Describing his musical imagination, his …

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Beatsurfing: At Last, a Controller for iPad That Lets You Draw Layouts Onscreen, “Surf” Controls

Beatsurfing – The Organic MIDI Controller Builder – Official Teaser from Vlek Data on Vimeo. There are already some exceptional touch controllers on iOS. But that means it’s doubly time for something new. Even among the best touch apps for iPad, there are some common themes. Layouts, if they’re editable at all, generally require a computer app for making and adjusting sets of controls. And (while Lemur is a notable exception), many restrict you to virtual simulations of conventional buttons and faders, rather than using a range of novel controls. That seems to ignore some of the potential of the …

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minimoog-v

Get Arturia minimoog-V, Free, Today Only [CET]

If you love that original Minimoog sound, but you’ve run out of space in your flat and money for used bank accounts and don’t like the notion of maintaining pots and oscillators and lifting heavy vintage gear, the Arturia minimoog-V remains a lovely, economical, liftable alternative. It’s the one software plug-in to receive the endorsement of the Moog Music company. (Bob Moog himself got involved when the software was developed.) And for one day, it’s completely free. You’ll want to grab it right away – that day, today June 21, ends when it does as the clock strikes midnight in …

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Multiplayer Music: Max for Live Patch Perfects Sync Over Wifi with Ableton – and a Coffeemaker

You’re not, in fact, a lonely bedroom musician with no friends. You’ve got friends. You’ve got collaborators. You’ve got audio and visual artists who want to play with your laptop with sync piped between you, and yet wireless synchronization for laptop performance has often been an elusive ideal. Here, in spectacular fashion, you can see it all come together over WiFi with Ableton Live, a projection-mapped coffeemaker, and everything from percolation sounds to the keypad sound effect from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This just in from Barcelona – a new Max for Live plug-in is making laptops and …

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syntact_action-1

Syntact is a Futuristic Gesture Interface That’s Tactile – Without Touch

Here’s how interfaces normally break down. You’ve got your conventional, tactile interfaces, like a knob. You’ve got your touch interfaces, which lack tactile feedback (you touch them, but they don’t push back). You’ve got your gestural interfaces, which have you waving your hands in the air without touching anything and without any tactile feedback. (They’re generally the most challenging, because your brain has no feedback for what it’s doing.) Syntact creates an entirely new category. It’s a gestural interface, of the “waving your hands around in the air” sort. But while your hand is in mid-air and isn’t touching anything, …

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tejada

John Tejada Interview: Asking a Techno Ambassador the Big Questions

Photos courtesy John Tejada. From his home in LA to the global scene, John Tejada is a planet-navigating techno ambassador and one of our favorite electronic musicians. He’s one of a handful of artists successful today who has managed to cross eras, whose experience isn’t just of this moment but who has touched the evolution of that scene. We turn to guest writer Alex Brandmeyer, who interviews Mr. Tejada about his own work as well as where the music scene is headed. What I like about Alex’s interview is that he asks some really fundamental questions about the evolution of …

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Pacemaker Mobile DJ Thing, Live in Miami

We’ve seen lots of gadget lust around the tiny Pacemaker mobile DJ device, but could you, say, show up in Miami with one and DJ? Alfred Nerstu, who’s actually an Assistant Art Director for Pacemaker’s maker Tonium (not a PR person), sends along this video they made. Answer: yes, you can be taken seriously with a Pacemaker, but you’ll have to lose your shirt. (Literally — not just because the Pacemaker costs some dough. And, hey, I’m sure you could afford one Pacemaker for about the cost of a two-night hotel stay in Miami during WMC…) I’m still not convinced …

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Modular MAWZER Controller, a Reality in July?

We first heard about the Mawzer modular control surface over two years ago. In CDM time, that’s like the Bronze Age. The idea was appealing enough: assemble controller layouts by plugging in different modules in whatever combination you like, Lego-style. (See below for someone using actual Legos; that’s another story.) Building specialized music hardware from scratch and dealing with production issues takes time, though, so for quite a while the Mawzer has been off the radar screen. Surprise: the Mawzer is nearly here. The modular controller prototype has been making the rounds in performance. As of last month, the Mawzer’s …

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Nintendo’s ElectroPlankton DS Music Game Hits Europe; Toshio Iwai in Manchester @ Futuresonic

Europeans tired of hearing the rest of the world talking about the imaginative music exploration game ElectroPlankton, now you can get your hands on it. Creator Toshio Iwai just got his European edition, as seen on his blog. He’s also taken the lovely photos of the packaging of the different editions shown. He deserves it: it’s great seeing interactive art getting this kind of wide release. See our previous coverage of ElectroPlankton, but at the very least, we believe this can provide inspiration for future musical games/apps/interactive music making. The Nintendo DS just became America’s best-selling game console. Nintendo says …

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