This Wearable Necklace Mic Could Change How You Hear – or Record

Listening accurately is all about direction. It’s the power that lets you carry on a conversation in a loud bar, and hear where sounds are coming from. But for anyone trying to record sounds – or anyone who has impaired hearing – those sounds can be lost. Directional microphones can solve that problem, but they have an additional one: size. Some of the more directional mics are simply huge. That’s where Wear becomes interesting. Emmy-winning engineer and AV specialist Eric Rosenthal teamed up with designer and sound artist Michelle Temple, and they’ve created a new solution. (Rosenthal is an ITP/NYU …

READ MORE →

The Sound of Clothes: Zipper Orchestra

Okay, easy on the Clinton jokes, kids, but just a day after we learn an online fashion ‘zine is making music by recording clothing, we see that a team at NYU is taking the next step: using zippers as musical controllers. (Safe for work — they didn’t get that carried away.) The neatest part of the installation is that you use physical zippers to zip and unzip the jackets and pants of people in video images projected on the wall. Now, how musical is this? Well, that’s up for debate. Maybe shoelaces next time? (I can finally learn to tie …

READ MORE →

TOOL: Alternative Performance Tech, Live in NYC on 4/29

NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program is a hotbed of exploring digital media, partly because — well — they actually focus on it in their degree, and make performance central. Nothing tests technology quite like taking your work live and making it convincing to an audience. And that’s exactly what those crazy ITP grad students are doing next weekend April 29, as they take over New York’s hip, experimental club Tonic. Upstairs will be performance, downstairs will be installations, and you can expect a strong emphasis on alternative musical instruments and experimental digital music-making tech. The work comes out of classes like …

READ MORE →

Calling NYU ITP Participants

Just came back from the ITP show at New York University and had a blast. (Ah, yesterday. Remember when we still had a transit system in this town? Good times.) I know we have some readers over there, so, NYU students, faculty, and ITP visitors, drop me a line. Let me know about your work and any impressions of the show — music/sound-related or otherwise. Rest of the world, I’ll have a write-up of some of the student projects later this week.

READ MORE →

SpinCycle: Color-Tracking Turntable

Spencer Kiser, another whiz kid from NYU’s ITP program, gives CDM our first look at his SpinCycle. It’s a new take on the turntable: instead of tracking grooves on a disc, the device reads colors and produces sounds (and hypnotic colors). Check out Spencer’s flickr gallery for pics for now, but he promises more documentation and video soon. Another reason I’m jealous of Spencer: he made the Vancouver conference on new musical instrument interfaces. Check out what looks like an interactive washboard-computer interface! More on all this soon . . .

READ MORE →

IMC Expo 05: Showcasing New Interactive Creations (Gallery)

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to attend the 2005 IMC Expo at NYC’s Chelsea Art Museum, a showcase of new interactive sound/visual installation works. The show featured everything from “volumetric” LCD light cubes to sci-fi-style interactive displays to installation toys. For an overview of the new works: [wpg2]archived/imc/[/wpg2] Coverage Elsewhere: See core77’s story or try NY1’s video (and you thought they only did ‘weather on the ones’) Catalog of Works: Studio IMC has its own gallery with work descriptions for additional background. Many of the works were best described in early-prototype phase, but it was nonetheless lots …

READ MORE →

IMC Expo 05: CINE – Virtual Reality Environment

If you’ve dreamed of navigating through virtual reality worlds with just your hands, a la the movie Minority Report , you’ll like the prototype of CINE (Collaborative Immersive Network Environment) by Miro Kirov, Houston Riley, and James Tunick with advisors Jean-Marc Gauthier and Frank Migliorelli (yes, it’s those crazy NYU ITP folks again!) Full-body gestures let you navigate in 3D. I tried out CINE at the Studio IMC Expo. It’s certainly fun to play with, though keep in mind in prototype phase it has a ways to go before it lives up to some of its lofty design goals. There …

READ MORE →

Tonight in NYC: New Instruments (And Calling NYUers)

Here’s my kind of elective: grad students at NYU’s ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) will be presenting new musical instruments they’ve invented tonight (Wednesday) at Tonic, 8:00 PM. Any NYC-based CDM readers going to make it? CALLING CDM READERS FROM ITP: Yes, I know you read. So can someone please email me and let me know how late the show is running tonight? I may be able to get my computer music class at Hunter College out early so we can come down and see y’all. Among other things, I want to see that ping-pong instrument I’m hearing about. Anyone taking …

READ MORE →

Mocean: Water as Musical Instrument

Mocean is an interactive installation that uses a tank of water as an interface for sound. Dip your hands in the tank, and the installation whistles and hums. The water doesn't create the sound directly; instead, an array of antique organ pipes resonate above the tank, triggered by a video camera that analyzes pictures of the water. (Complex but interesting solution!) Mocean was created by Maia Marinelli, Jared Lamenzo, and Liubo Borissov (in NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program or ITP); I found out about it as I'm in a residency now with Liubo at Dance Theater Workshop here in New York. …

READ MORE →