stringer

At Music Hack Day, Amidst Listening Interfaces, Novel Performance Control a Winner

One top prize-winner: Stringer, which applied Kinect camera magic to simulated strings. More on how it was made below. Photo (CC-BY) Thomas Bonte. With Web data providers offering generous cash prizes and a strong emphasis on harnessing data to transform listening, music consumption took center stage at Music Hack Day’s debut in New York. But it was novel music controllers, the sort that once were commonplace only at academic music conferences, that stole the show. That suggests that whereas building the next MySpace was once the hot music tech, the future might look more like a race to build the …

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L1003797

Music Made with NYC Subway Schedules; HTML5+Flash, Q+A with Artist-Developer

Alexander Chen transforms the steady pulse of the (actual) New York City subway system into gentle, generative string plucks in his new interactive piece “Conductor.” The visual effect as well as the musical one is mesmerizing, as the subway is viewed in the abstract, sparse geometries of designed Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram. New York subway nerds and long-time residents will note that the schedule itself is from 1972, hence the appearance of the K train and the elevated along Third Avenue (the 8), one I imagine we wish we still had. http://mta.me/ The work is also a glimpse of the …

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control

Music Control Meets Web Code Goodness: App for iOS, Soon OSC+MIDI Everywhere?

Music notation is powerful because it’s a standard. You can share it between musicians and understand what it means. What if, instead of being confined to individual, platform-specific apps, digital controls for music were the same way? We’re not just talking a MIDI message here or there, either – someone could walk in with some new-fangled noisemaker they just build in hardware or software, and all you’d need to talk to it and change its sound would be a Web browser. At first glance, the generically-titled “Control” seems like just another iPhone / iPad touchscreen controller, in an already-crowded field. …

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CDM in Stockholm, Android for Music and Visual Apps, Call for Swedish Artists

(CC-BY) Stefan Lins. I’ll be in Stockholm the week of 27 September, speaking at Stockholm’s Android Only conference Wednesday/Thursday 29-30. I’m particularly excited by the lineup, because it emphasizes pushing the envelope of Android and cross-platform development. I’ll talk about how Processing for Android can allow “sketching” audiovisual apps on mobile. Martin Roth of RjDj will talk high-performance audio development. There’s also discussion of advanced uses in embedded hardware, cross-platform PhoneGap development, CouchDB and JavaScript goodness, hardware-accelerated graphics … all good stuff, and all potentially relevant to creative music and visual development not only on Android but future platforms generally. …

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More Browser Notation: Type Notes Quickly, Store Scores Online

Music scores remain one of the best ways to record or share many musical ideas. If you’ve done even casual notation, you’ve likely had the experience of scrawling something down on a scrap piece of paper, manuscript or otherwise. Imagine, instead, quickly scrawling something in the now-ubiquitous web browser window. Gregory Dyke writes with a notation project he’s built with Paul Rosen; he says that it’s further along in its development than the notation project we saw last week. As before, it employs JavaScript and HTML5, and the Canvas element SVG support, rendering quickly in any modern browser right inside …

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Music Notation with HTML5 Canvas in the Browser; Standard Formats for Scores

The march of “because you can” experiments with the new generation of Web browsers continues. Last week, we saw real-time synthesis in the browser from a team at Mozilla. Next up: music notation. Mohit Muthanna has executed a gorgeous example of musical notation using HTML5’s Canvas. (The Canvas is a new feature of the Web standard that makes drawing to the display directly in the browser more functional than in the past.) JavaScript code is translated directly to “engraved” notation on the screen, without any other dependencies, plug-ins, or intermediate libraries. Music Notation with HTML5 Canvas This isn’t just using …

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Real Sound Synthesis, Now in the Browser; Possible New Standard?

Bloop HTML5 Instrument inspired by Brian Eno’s Bloom from Bocoup on Vimeo. HTML5 and Javascript Synthesizer from Corban Brook on Vimeo. Pioneers like Max Mathews’ Bell Labs team taught the computer to hum, sing, and speak, before even the development of primitive graphical user interfaces. So it’s fitting that the standards that chart the Web’s future would again turn to the basics of electronic sound synthesis. A group of intrepid hackers and Mozilla developers and community leaders are working to make an audio API a standard part of this generation of Web browsers. (Note: not some unspecified future browsers – …

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Alternative Sequencers: Elysium Generative Mac App and the Joy of Hex

Switching tools isn’t a panacea, but it can inspire new ideas, by changing the way you structure your music. Elysium is a powerful new sequencer in development for the Mac the creates generative patterns on a beehive-shaped hexagonal grid. For the hardcore, you can even extend the tool with Ruby and JavaScript. Elysium is a MIDI sequencer only: it has no sound generation facility of its own. But that makes it an ideal complement to your existing tools and favorite synths; the creator shows it off with Apple Logic Studio (Sculpture physical modeling, anyone?) and Native Instruments Kore. Elysium [Mac-only …

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Lily: Browser Beatboxes and the Rebirth of Max-Like Patching

Visual programming or “patching”, producing custom software by connecting on-screen objects with patch cords, until recently had only niche appeal. The domain largely of academic computer musicians, patching was scoffed at by computer science departments and unknown to everyone else. Lately, though, something very strange has been happening: this technique, popularized by experimental music synthesists, is being reborn in the Web age. Patching for the Web Patching software goes back to the 1980s, best known in its incarnation in Max (later Max/MSP, later Max/MSP/Jitter and Pure Data), software for making music and multimedia. Max is well known in these parts, …

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