Duration, A Timeline for Creative Coding: Hands-on Creators' Perspective

Performance, and performative arts, are about time. Yet time itself is oddly absent in any useful way from many creative coding environments. Most of the tools for dealing with time and scheduling cover only the basics, and most of the examples tend to adopt an everything-at-once sort of attitude, stymying the efforts of people working with them live. Duration, then, is a breath of fresh air. Momo the Monster (seen last week running shows for deadmau5) returns to CDMotion for an in-depth look at what it does – and some practical, hands-on experience on what it’s meant to him personally …

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Touchscreen + HD Mixing + H.264 Video, Right Now, DIY [Arduino, Awesomeness]

Here’s another episode in the gradually-evolving HD mixing revolution. VJ Anomolee, aka Mattheiu Brooks, has put together one incredible rig. One $140 HDMI touchscreen. One Arduino with Ethernet. And then the engine of the thing, the Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio, which costs under US$1000 / 900 €, but provides HD video mixing, built-in H.264 video encoding, and multiple preview outputs, among other features. Put them together, and you have something really futuristic for about the price of a MacBook Air. In fact, “mixing” doesn’t really cover it. This is an all-in-one video toolset that would be hard to get …

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Dan Deacon, in action - and judging by that array of gear oddities, one of us. Photo (CC-BY) Joshua Rothhaas.

Dan Deacon Makes Phones Into Instruments and a Live Light Show [iOS, Android, Dev Interview]

Cigarette lighters in the air may have given way to smartphones – but it’s hardly fitting at a concert to watch everyone checking their SMS inbox. In a new twist, Dan Deacon concerts use all that computational power in people’s pockets to make these devices part of the show, refocusing fans on the music. The work of Wham City Apps and developer Keith Lea, the Dan Deacon app synchronizes sound and light to make a sea of phones into objects of wonderment rather than business machines or Facebook hubs. Away from the show, the app doubles as a musical instrument. …

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Grid Machine Slice: Custom Kontakt Sample Library, Gone Mad

I tend to tune out when it comes to sample libraries, but here’s one that takes the scripting capabilities of Native Instruments’ Kontakt sampler to extremes. The Grid Machine line developed by Lindon Parker (Channel Robot) and distributed by LoopMasters brings to Kontakt the sort of grid-based, sliced-up sample manipulation we’ve seen in the monome community and in custom tools in environments like Ableton Live and Renoise. Using KSP, the scripting environment in Kontakt, these produce entirely-custom instruments that cut, chop, stutter, reverse, mix, trigger, sub-loop, re-trigger, and modulate. You can change speed, mute, skip, reorder, and play patterns, and …

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OpenFrameworks Gets Add-On Directory; Future Code Projects Galore

My God, it’s full of code. OpenFrameworks, an artist-friendly creation environment that unlocks the brain-melting power of code in C++, now has a helpful guide to all the additional power you can add. Just as Processing, the code tool that helped inspire OF, benefits from the vast planetary resources in the Java language, so, too, does OpenFrameworks benefit from an impassioned worldwide community of coders working to make accessible all that lives in the language of C++. If you have even an inkling of working in OF, go drool over all the possibilities – and, damn, are there a lot. …

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Face Substitution, Face Scrambling, Straight Out of Sci-Fi

Virtuoso coder and prolific digital artist Kyle McDonald is at it again, here in collaboration with similarly expressive and skilled coder Arturo Castro. Together, working in openFrameworks, they make use of a face tracking library to turn the image of a face into new, terrifying visions once imagined only in science fiction. Here, going beyond a pirate hat or mustache, they transform the appearance of the face. (I hesitate to use the word “avatar” because I start to think of 90s “new media” or James Cameron films, but — damn. Yeah. This is what everyone was imagining.) Arturo and Kyle …

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Rainlith: A Robotic, Responsive Rainstick, Powered by Kinect

In a responsive, real-time sculpture, the simple sonic qualities of a rainstick become electronically enhanced. Rainlith, a “kinetic sound art” work by Rui Gato, makes the rainstick itself robotic, its sounds transformed in space in a way that is itself sculptural. Responding to movement in the space using Microsoft’s Kinect, the apparatus is a geektastic brew of just about every tool you could imagine involved in this sort of construction. The artist shares full details, reproduced here in both English and Portugese – and Rui, thanks for sending this in:

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Polycode, New Open Source Framework with C++ and Lua; Awesome Pixel 3D Game Sample

Creative coding is rapidly moving from the domain of a handful of gurus to a broader audience, powered by lightweight, flexible frameworks that quickly translate code to visuals. Now, that said, the thought of another framework to learn could be overwhelming, what with the superb Cinder (C++, Mac, Windows, iOS), OpenFrameworks (C++, Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS), Processing (Java and JavaScript, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web, iOS)… Fortunately, PolyCode, the creation of Ivan Safrin, has plenty to recommend it. It has out-of-the-box support for 2D and 3D physics libraries, and a Lua API for scripting via that elegant, compact language. It’s …

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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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Free Projection Mapping with OpenFrameworks

Projection mapping, whether performed as intricate alignment to surfaces or simply as a way to get out of basic rectangular viewing ratios, has potential to create a range of visual effects. Now, those capabilities are available to users of the fully free and open source, omni-platform goodness that is OpenFrameworks. hvfrancesco has built a really brilliant, simple-but-effective, um, open framework for OpenFrameworks. It just does some simple quadrilateral warping math, and amazingly, it’s his first OF code. (In fact, even if you just want to learn that math, it’s worth a look.) Full details on the OF forums: little projection-mapping …

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