Sequencing with Smart Interactive Blocks: Siftables at TED

David Merrill, working with Jeevan Kalanithi and (for the audio engine) Josh Kopin, wowed audiences at the TED conference with his Siftables interactive blocks. These strike me as what the Audiocubes have tried, sometimes unsuccessfully, to be — physical objects that react to the proximity of other objects, allowing you to manipulate music and media by moving around tangible blocks. Siftables are gifted with multiple expressive controls (tilt helping them break the plane of the surface), and intelligent screens that make them more adaptable and provide more visual feedback. The music sequencer is very cool, though I think it’s actually …

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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 …

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Goodies for Guitars: IK’s Wah Pedal That’s Also an Interface, Official Fender Software

Today is set to be an orgy of computer music-y, Abletronic, drum machine-loaded, Max-patching news, so let’s throw one out to the guitarists. IK Multimedia has two new announcements today that are actually quite cool. The StealthPedal is a Wah pedal that’s actually an audio interface, sort of like a James Bond pen that’s also a gun. And IK also landed the only official Fender-endorsed software amp emulation. Here’s a quick look at the specs. By the way, I’ve consulted everyone I know (especially as I’m not a guitarist), and basically what we’ve come up with is that a whole …

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Generative Music Interfaces of the Future – Look to Games?

I’m going to make this a minimalist post because I’ve said what I’ll say about Kodu, the one really cool part of Microsoft’s keynote yesterday, on Create Digital Motion. (Am I the only person who wishes Sparrow had just done the whole keynote?) But have a look at the shot above. One of the complaints about generative and algorithmic music software (and music software in general) is that the interface has been so complex. Clearly, there are many other ways to design these interfaces, and in turn, to shape the way we use these to compose and perform music. Forget …

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Don’t Call it Minority Report; Call g-speak a Spatial, Gestural Operating Environment

g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo. If Minority Report has become the benchmark by which gestural interaction is judged, that was always intentional. The film’s production team wanted to work with the people actually developing science fiction-like technology. And it’s sci-fi like technology. So, let’s not talk about how cool-looking the clip is above – not that it doesn’t look cool. After all, most of what you actually see on the screen is stuff you can do with your desktop computer and some projectors. So the question is, what benefit do you get from really nailing a gestural …

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Tiction: Animated, Nodal Generative Music App in Progress, in Processing

Electronic music is filled with grids and repeating loops. But get off that grid, and you can quickly wind up, well, floating in space. The challenge of marrying music that’s pre-sequenced with music that can generate itself, between self-evolving music and music that you can control live, is the challenge a lot of people are exploring right now. Hans Kuder has been sharing a promising-looking project on the CDM forums, built in the code-sketching tool Processing (site | CDMu | CDMo). The idea: explore nodes live and let your sequences float free on the screen. Hans writes: tiction – early …

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Pro Tools Goes Micro: Mbox2 Micro Puts Interface in USB Key

Digidesign has gradually helped Pro Tools users unchain themselves from the bulky interfaces the software once required. (Anyone remember the days of hooking up an entire expansion card chassis to a laptop, back in the day? Yipes!) But until recently, you still needed an Mbox to lug along. The Mbox2 Micro has a novel twist: it packs an audio interface into an anodized aluminum USB key. You get just one audio output: an 1/8″ stereo output jack, upgrading your laptop’s headphone out jack to 24-bit, 48KHz monitoring. But that also means the Micro is all you need to carry to …

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Out of Bounds Installation Sees Through Walls via IR Torch

Seeing through walls in Chris’ Out of Bounds. Photo by the artist, via Flickr. Chris O’Shea (also of the blog Pixelsumo) has a brilliant installation that allows people to see through walls. It’s an idea I’ve seen done before, but Chris actually makes the effect convincing, by giving visitors an infrared torch (what we’d call a flashlight here in the States, though torch in this case is an even better word). Software tracks the position of the IR emitter via an overhead security camera, and the whole thing is coded to make the impact realistic. Software is coded in OpenCV …

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PreSonus Does Vista Drivers, 32-bit and 64-bit

Some of my favorite audio interfaces are now available for Windows Vista. The INSPIRE 1394, FireBox, FP10 and FirePod are now all available for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista. A bit late? Yes, but at this point, I care more about quality than punctuality. Anybody with the PreSonus boxes and Vista, we’d love to know how they’re working. PreSonus Vista Downloads Note that when you’re talking about FireWire, you’re talking ASIO and the new driver model under Vista. “WaveRT”, technology that allows greater audio performance of some hardware under Vista, is a feature that’s not supported by any FireWire or …

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Flickr Screen Grabs: Infinite Video Theremin, Odd, Free Musical Interfaces

Tommy responds to our call for screen grabs of software with this fascinating Jitter patch: He writes: used lloopp and jitter runtime to make this instrument that uses a firewire camera as a source for effecting sound generators. i like this shot because of the video feedback. What’s lloopp? Glad you asked. It’s a live improvisation / looping / performance tool built in Max/MSP and totally open source. That makes it ideally-suited to use if you’ve found other live performance tools to be overly restrictive on their own. lloopp Speaking of free, unusual interfaces, Tommy also sends along this elegant …

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