phonoLapse2

What if You Could Make Timelapse Out of Sound? Free Mac+Windows App, Made with Max

“Timelapse” usually refers to the process of sampling small bits of video or film and piecing them together to form a sped-up version of reality. (Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. Any recording involves sampling small bits of time. Timelapse simply plays back those samples at a rate faster than reality, so that instead of playing back film frames recorded at 30 frames per second at a playback speed of 30 frames per second, you play back film recorded at one frame every ten minutes at 30 frames per second, for example.) What if you made a timelapse of sound, and …

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Kinect-Controlled, 4-Story Pipe Organ, a Phantom of the Organist

When we last caught up with the touch-less, gestural music-making of composer Chris Vik, the Australian musician was sharing his own Kinectar software and playing both dubstep and ambient scores for modern dance. Now, Vik is back playing a very substantial physical instrument: Melbourne’s four story-tall, MIDI-retrofitted Town Hall Organ. Here, the Max-powered software takes on some very big sound from some very big pipes. He writes: I’ve created my own software Kinectar, which allows the use of the Kinect to control MIDI devices, ie. playing notes through simple gestures and motion. The Melbourne Town Hall Organ got a referb …

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Auvi, Amazing Set of Video Processing Objects for Max-Jitter, Now Free

There are many tools for visual patching, but the real gems come along only so often. One of those sets of gems was the Auvi objects for Max/MSP/Jitter, developed in the early years of the last decade. The objects were assumed to be abandonware, until just this week, they resurfaced – entirely free to download. (Free as in beer for non-commercial uses; they remain closed source. US$200 had been the previous pricing, so that’s some serious savings.) Why does this make people excited? Auvi is one of the few sets of objects that processes video in ways visualists would expect, …

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EMS Synthi, Recreated in Max, then Controlled with a Webcam

The headline says it all. Oh, sure, as if it isn’t enough to recreate the legendary EMS Synthi synth – one of the most creative vintage analog instruments ever devised – this artist takes it one step further, controlling parameters with a piece of colored paper tracked by a webcam. It’s an achievement of sheer patching genius, taken one step wackier. The patch is entitled Le Synthé V5; the creator is Pierre Couprie. And yes, you can download this for Windows and Mac – even Mac PowerPC. Cost: US$15/EUR10, which is, I must say, insanely cheap. Video in French with …

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Step Sequencing: Launchpad + Renoise 2.5 Outshines Launchpad + Live + Max for Live

Novation has unveiled this week their own “free” step sequencer offering for Ableton Live. It’s some lovely work, with basic melodic pattern playback that comes alive once you add some envelopes. It’s a cool creation — but for me, it’s massively overshadowed by a new video featuring the upcoming Renoise 2.5 beta with the same Launchpad controller. I’ll introduce it by saying, simply… hot damn.

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Processing Meets Max, Max for Live

One beauty of Processing is that it’s so portable, thanks to its intelligent, lightweight engineering, its open source nature, and the fact that it’s built on Java. The elegant text-based language for describing interactive visuals therefore can become a part of a workflow in other places. That, in turn, has led people to look for ways of integrating Processing with Ableton’s new Max for Live (or more generally Max). You can certainly get Processing working with Live using MIDI or (via the freely-accessible Live API) OSC. Max for Live simply adds the convenience of Live-style devices and controls, as well …

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Max for Live Comes with Some Strings Attached for Creators

Image (CC) akihiko.japan. Max for Live is a fantastic product that treads on genuinely new ground. Its level of integration with the user interface and operation of the host reaches a new high, it comes with a rich selection of instruments, effects, and tools to use as examples, and, in combination with Max 5’s re-vamped interface, makes a comfortable development environment. It does all of this inside a host that, true to its “Live” name, provides a unique workflow. But Max for Live also comes with some significant strings attached, and it confirms some of the disadvantages to Max as …

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OpenSoundControl: Now Compatible with Magical Unicorns

For anyone whose complaint about OSC aka OpenSoundControl is that it lacks broad hardware support, I have one word for you: Unicorns. OSC now runs on magical unicorns. (Would a unicorn not want high-resolution, human-readable messages encoded with time-stamps? I think they would. And because OSC is transport-independent, it can absolutely run on magical Unicorn Beams.) No idea what this post is about? Don’t worry — I’ll have a talking unicorn narrate a proper, sophisticated, complete introduction to OSC for beginners soon. They’re magical, so they can make complex topics lucid to any audience.

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Fun with OSC: Step Sequencer for Resolume

Making software more controllable opens it to all kinds of new possibilities. We saw some of this work, including Gian Pablo Villamil’s “chaos mode” implementation for audiovisual VJ app Resolume Avenue, last week: Visual Control: TouchOSC + Modul8, Max + OSC + Resolume Chaos Mode Now Gian Pablo is on a roll, with a new step sequencer for Resolume, also built in Max 5. (Running here on Windows, but a Mac build is also possible.) This combination happens to be Max and Resolume because Resolume’s OSC implementation is convenient for the task, and Max 5’s UI building tools are nice, …

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Visual Control: TouchOSC + Modul8, Max + OSC + Resolume Chaos Mode

When applications are open to clearly-expressed control, it’s easier than ever – easier than with MIDI – to navigate their interfaces and make them express what you want. Using OSC (rather inaccurately named Open “Sound” Control), interacting with live visuals is getting a lot more powerful. Case in point: thanks to hacks, we’re getting affordable multitouch control of Modul8 with an iPhone or iPod touch, and even a new implementation of “chaos mode” on Resolume Avenue 3. There are free downloads for these projects, too – no super-secret special sauce; these visualists are happy to share. And while some of …

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