XYimage3

An iPad Controller for Ableton That’s Gesture-Friendly, Free: Conductr, Now with X/Y [Gallery]

Ableton Live’s iPad-augmented control can take some forms. There are apps that do everything, replicating the mouse so that you can go directly to touch for every single task and avoid your computer completely (Touchable, for instance). There are specialized controllers, which focus on a few tasks or a particular device or Max patch. And then there’s Conductr, and it’s something a bit different. First, as of June, it’s free – or freemium, anyway. The free version is limited to four tracks and eleven scenes, but it’s enough to give you a taste. And with user modules, it’s easily a …

READ MORE →
Cubase iC Air, erm... artists' rendering. Just about got that mix right. (Hold on - red ball. This track is not going to be premeditated.)

Cubase Goes Futuristic: Motion Hand Gestures Control Music in Free Add-on [Details]

When it comes to big, flagship audio tools, you don’t get a whole lot of sci-fi in your software. That makes Steinberg’s announcements this week more of a change of pace. They aren’t the first to talk about virtual studio sessions, or even gesturally-controlled music. But seeing this as an add-on to Cubase, not just an experimental hack, counts as news. And Cubase users can add on those futuristic capabilities in the form of two new tools. You can fly through Cubase sessions with gestural controls using depth cameras (on Windows) or LEAP Motion (on Windows and Mac). And you …

READ MORE →

Hands Off: Apple Wants to Pull Orphion Music App Over Touch APIs

Apple’s devices have earned praise from developers for consistently supporting multiple fingers in predictable ways. But to go further with expression, one developer made use of the size of contact area on the screen. Any time a developer goes beyond “public” or official APIs, there’s a chance Apple will eventually balk. We knew this was a risk to the excellent music app Orphion when we covered it, but hoped, in fact, that if the app were successful, Apple might reconsider. Unfortunately, today we learn from developer Bastus Trump that Apple will remove the app. And that means, at the very …

READ MORE →

Gestrument, Shaping Music with Kinect, Touch, and Acoustic Ensembles [Videos]

Swiping through clouds of timbre and melody, using Gestrument is an experience of a different musical animal. Jesper Nordin and Kymatica / Jonatan Liljedahl created the iPad version, available now for ten bucks. But it’s worth looking at that side by side with Gestrument for Kinect, as the same metaphors can translate across input methods. Both employ a kind of meta-composition – instrument as conductor of musical structures, more than an object for exclusively solo expression. What’s especially nice is hearing these digital, synthesized environments meld with acoustic instruments. The solution may not convince everyone yet, but there’s clearly potential …

READ MORE →
luanna

In a Swirl of Particles, luanna Uses Gestures to Touch Samples [iPad]

luanna is a beautiful new application out of Tokyo-based visual/sound collective Phontwerp_. Amidst a wave of audiovisual iPad toys, luanna is notable for its elegance, connecting swirling flurries of particles with gestures for manipulation. I imagine I’m not alone when I say I have various sample manipulation patches lying around, many in Pd, lacking visualization, and wonder what I might use in place of a knob or fader to manipulate them. In the case of luanna, these developers find one way of “touching” the sound. As the developers put it:

READ MORE →

When Any Gesture Can Make Music: Conceptual Studies for Kinect

While we’re on the subject of making music with Kinect, the 3D computer vision camera with depth-sensing, here are some other experiments into how music might work. As with the classic Theremin, those musical gestures tend to be mapped against two-dimensional axes in space. And from there, things become wide open. Johannes Kreidler, a musician and artist known for irreverent and inventive experiments in music, shares his studies for the Kinect, which he terms “conceptual music.” A solo “for violin” can involve literally waving a violin around. “House music” can mean making music whilst ironing a shirt. Any gesture in …

READ MORE →

iPhone, iPad for Wild Performances: Nonstandard Sequencing, Ableton, Gestures

Whatever the platform, you can expect musicians to do weird things and make noise. (It is, after all, our raison d’être.) In this case, while the input controller is an iPad or iPhone, the emphasis remains on running sound from additional gear, whether an inexpensive hardware synth in the form of a Korg monotron or the ubiquitous Ableton Live. From the iOS inbox this week… Top: nonstandard sequencing. Developer Franz Keller’s Radarhead 19 is one of the more unusual creations I’ve seen on iOS, a somewhat inexplicable (in a good way) alternative sequencer. It’s available now on iTunes. Give it …

READ MORE →

Android, Apple, and Multi-Touch, from the Man Who Hacked the G1

We’ve got further compelling evidence Apple doesn’t really own multi-touch and multi-touch gestures — and that other devices and interfaces will press forward (which is a good thing for everyone). Lest you think I’m straying too far from creating digital music, by the way, I think this means lots of new music apps – as musicians have devoured multi-touch more than any other group (and certainly have used it for the coolest stuff). I am concerned about how multi-touch innovation will wrangle with over-zealous intellectual property legal wrangling. But hopefully I made it clear that, even with my concerns about …

READ MORE →

Lemur, Dexter Multi-Touch: V2 Software, Recession-Special Price Drops

Unboxing the Lemur, (CC) Bjarke Bech. Before the iPhone, before HP computers and Windows 7 touch features and Apple trackpad gestures, the Jazz Mutant Lemur multi-touch interface was ahead of its time. Today, it’s still unique, in that it’s one of the few commercially-available devices to support OpenSoundControl, it’s a luxuriously-large multi-touch screen, and it has exceptional precision and low latency with its tracking. Of course, it has also been subject to two primary complaints: one, that the software options for creating onscreen interfaces is two simple, and two, that it costs too much. Well, the Lemur and its more …

READ MORE →

Gestures, Mobile Music, and the “Low Floor” for Novices: ZooZBeat on iPhone, Nokia

From the time we’re kids, we use gestures to make music – shaking, tapping, moving our bodies around, and connecting physical movement to sound. The idea of using these kinds of gestures to control digital music has been something researchers have worked on for many years. But with increasingly smart phones, equipped with mics, tilt and acceleration sensors, cameras, and other inputs, it’s possible to actually deliver these tools to average users. The latest entry in the field is ZooZBeat. Its life as a mobile app is just a matter of months, but the research behind it involves years of …

READ MORE →