Kids Making Music: Interactive Music Box Draws Experience from Games

Ten minutes. Four or five kids (or adults). Make a song. Go. That’s the idea behind the Youth Music Box, developed by Silent Studios and Chris O’Shea. (Our friend Chris you may recall from various interactive projects and the blog pixelsumo; he sends this project our way.) The software is build in openFrameworks, the C++-based creative coding environment for artists. With keys, drums, and yes, even a scratching DJ-style interface, the music box brings together kids for quick music making, inspired by the phenomenon of musical games. The experience is guided by genre, with some effort to make sure whatever …

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Osmos Game Available, with Brilliant Electronic Score

Osmos Trailer from hemisphere games on Vimeo. Osmos is a glorious glimpse of the fusion of electronic sound and game design many of us anticipate. It is built around a (challenging!) physics-based gameplay style – in the same vein as float-around-the-world games like flOw (and long before that, Asteroids) with procedural design and a perfect, liquid electronic soundtrack. Osmos became available DRM-free yesterday on Valve’s terrific Steam service for US$10 (on sale for a little less this week), and you can buy worldwide from the developer on Direct2Drive. (The developer has temporarily suspended direct sales from their site. Updated: the …

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iDrum Video Game Edition: 8-bit iPhone Drum Machine Fun Times

If you’re looking for something fun to fiddle around with this weekend, this could be your ticket: we’re tipped off that iZotope have released a video game-themed expansion for their iPhone-iPod touch drum machine. As Timbaland would surely say, were he asked: T: It’s from a video game, idiot! [laughs] P: [laughs] T: Freaking jerk. (Look that up, if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) Update: VIDEO. Sweet, brilliant video.

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Music Sequencing as Bicycle Wheels, Rubik’s Cubes at Fest in Argentina

Performance with Cubie from sadmb on Vimeo. Music sequencing as a Rubik’s Cube-style game, or hypnotic, kinetic rotating wheels – your piano roll won’t know what hit it. New musical art is set to be performed in Argentina, but you can download both tools, free. Computer interfaces for music date back decades now, but with ingrained notions of hardware sound sequencers, linear media like tape, and hundreds of years of notation in staves and bars, old habits can be hard to kick. Yet it seems that suddenly, a younger generation of audiovisual composers is exploding notions of how musical interface …

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Play Super Mario Bros. with a Theremin

This is worth posting for this line alone: “Who needs a Natal when you’ve got a theremin!” (If you don’t know what he’s talking about, see here.) Yes, in case you’re looking for a creative way to practice your Theremin playing, here you go. Now, where’s our Theremin Hero game? From the description by Glasgow-based YouTuber conquerearth, previously seen using the Theremin to play “Still Alive.” This is even more fun with two people playing! One person controls left/right, the other controls jump. Its not just limited to the theremin. Its even possible to hook up a microphone and use …

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Game Music Making: Kongregate Collabs to Connect Music Makers with Indie Games

Speaking of games, you can expect game production to start to attract the attention of musicians and web publishers. Whereas a few short years ago, targeting musicians might mean dangling rock club gigs or album sales, now a lot of those same music makers want to break into gaming, too. Kongregate is a bit like public access, only on steroids and for games. The idea is this: get indie game makers in one place contributing games, then get lots of people playing those games, then support the system with ad revenue shared with the game makers. The model has grown …

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Game Music Inspiration: Amon Tobin and Sony on Infamous

Wired has a great mini-documentary on the score for the videogame Infamous. It’s chock full of sound design ear candy, not only served by the chops of composer Amon Tobin but the team at Sony Music and Sony’s entertainment division, as well. Curiously, Jonathan Mayer, Music Manager at SCEA, says explicitly that he doesn’t want composers writing interactive music. He’d prefer to have them write a conventional score and then adapt it to the interactive engine. Now, of course, around these parts we like the idea of composers finding ways to write genuinely generative and interactive scores. But in this …

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Authentic Chipmusic Soft Synth Emulation: Plogue Chipsounds Scoop from NAMM

  From top: ComputeHer, 8 bit Weapon. You’ve heard the chip hype. But there’s something behind it: vintage digital chips can make wonderful sounds. And I’m thrilled that someone has painstakingly reproduced those sounds in an upcoming package. Emulating analog circuitry, from amps to classic synths, has been long understood. But we’ve finally reached an age when people begin to appreciate the odd idiosyncrasies of digital technology, too. There hasn’t ever been a comprehensive attempt to emulate each detail of a range of 80s sound chips before – until now. Plogue (makers of the highly underrated Plogue Bidule patching environment) …

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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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Like a DIY NAMM: Handmade Music Preview, with Gestural Gadgets, Mannequin Parts, More

The GCE-2 by Mouse & the Billionaire is just one creation at this month’s Handmade Music, many from createdigitalmusic.com readers. What’s new in the world of music technological creations? It’s stunning how much people are creating in their private workshops and bedrooms. I’m pleased to have the chance to share it virtually here, and Thursday night in person in New York City. We’re proud that Handmade Music returns to Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward this Thursday, presented by createdigitalmusic.com with XLR8R.com, Make, and Etsy.com and sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon. (Free beer.) It’s a party, a science fair of music tech and …

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