Laptop Orchestras Proliferate, from Princeton to Moscow

Okay, cool — but when will Princeton let these folks play the football games? Move over, marching band: laptop orchestras are here. Princeton’s laptop orchestra PLOrk will be the featured guest at dorkbot in New York this week, but it’s not the only “laptop ensemble.” The Electronic Music Foundation’s Arts Electric notes laptop orchestras span the globe from New Jersey to Russia: PLOrk @ Princeton Moscow Laptop Cyber Orchestra Moscow’s Laptop Cyber Orchestra Oddly enough, these pictures seem to go against the zeitgeist of readers here on Create Digital Music, many of whom prefer to stow their laptop out of …

READ MORE →

More Zune Coverage; Why Hobble Wi-Fi?

Now that the Zune has been unleashed on the wild, we’re getting some more coverage on the player and this mysterious deal with Universal Music Group. (Incidentally, I am hoping to get someone from PR to explain to me what that deal is for, whether it’s intended to cover pirated music played on the device, music ripped from UMG CDs, or just the general music-y-ness of the device. Of course, shooting my mouth off may or may not make people want to talk to me.) Microsoft To Give A Cut Of Every Zune Sold To The Recording Industry — Though …

READ MORE →

netpd: Massively Multiplayer Music Online, Collaboratively (or, if you like, in a cage)

Online music making with open source tools. Hook up some phones and controls and lock yourself in a cage, if you like, as one of the core developers did. Imagine a massively multiplayer music studio, connected worldwide over the Internet. Log in, and everyone sees a set of synths, effects, sequencers, or other custom patches. Everyone’s looking at essentially the same screen, and can add beats, trip out effects, slide the bpm up and down, and reprogram synths — all at once. That’s the basic idea of netpd. Last night I attended New York’s first “Patching Circle” at Brooklyn Polytechnic, …

READ MORE →

TamTam, Music Software for Kids, to be Fully Open Source; One Million OLPCs in Nigeria

The One Laptop Per Child initiative, aka “that $100 laptop” though it will initially cost more like $140, just got its first leg up. Nigeria has ordered one million of the custom Linux laptops. Now the big challenge will be whether the OLPC developers can deliver the machines on-budget and on time, given its wildly ambitious feature set. Interestingly, Intel and Microsoft, after publicly blasting the project as misguided, have each launched their own competing initiatives at significantly higher prices. Nigeria Orders First Million OLPC Laptops at vnunet.com, which also has two videos of working prototypes; via worldchanging For more …

READ MORE →

Creative, Networked Music Making on $100 One Laptop Per Child

Negroponte’s $100 One Laptop Per Child will include creative music making tools for children. Our friend Nathanael Lecaude writes us: Just wanted to let you know what I was working on during the summer, we’re doing a sequencer/algorithmic music generator for the OLPC project. We did all the protoyping in Max and are now porting it to Python/GTK using Csound as the sound engine. TamTam, music app on the OLPC Wiki TamTam is intended both as an instrument in itself and an environment for learning music. It has basic sequencing and synthesis capabilities, presented in a child-friendly format. It’s also …

READ MORE →

Use Quake III to “Play” Pd, Max/MSP Synthesis Environments

Gaming environments like Quake and Unreal have become easy interactive 3D development environments. Modify the game maps and objects, and you can make the visual realm in these games whatever you want. But for digital musicians imagining a 3D environment for creating music and sound, they’re limited. Enter the latest project from fijuu2 creator Julian Oliver, together with Steven Pickles. They wanted powerful synthesis capabilities, which is something you’re unlikely ever to get in a game like Quake III. So, they found a way to send network data from Quake into the free software Pd, using Pd’s netsend object to …

READ MORE →

Mactel Watch: JACK for OS X now Universal; Free Inter-App Audio on Intel (and other) Macs

Want to share audio between applications easily on an Intel Mac? Now you can. JACK OS X, the superb open-source solution for routing audio between applications and computers on Mac OS X, is now a Universal binary for Intel/PowerPC Macs with today’s release of version 0.73. That means if you’re running an Intel Mac, you can now easily route audio between your Intel-native copies of software like Ableton Live (released last week) and Apple Logic Pro (shipped last month). Updated: The creator of JACK writes us to note that inter-app MIDI is bound for an upcoming release. (See comments.)

READ MORE →

Use for Skype Voice Conference: Band Practice

From the Share Skype site comes an interesting application of voice conferencing: getting your band together. As a background, our band Liquid Playground is reuniting and performing for our 10 year college reunion at Princeton in May, but the problem is we haven’t seen or played with each other for 7 years. time heals most wounds and we are all happy to get back together for a reunion gig. Here is how we set it up: Three of us were in my garage in Redwood City, CA (drums, vocals, keyboards), the bass player was in Colorado, and the guitar player …

READ MORE →

Digitalmusician.net Goes Public: Online Music Collaboration

Real-time audio and MIDI collaboration, Mac and PC, video chat, exchanging big files, Web space — we all know what the wish list of features would look like for online musical collaboration. Back in April, Digitalmusician.net promised these features, with a public launch planned for August. Unfortunately, that beta was massively crowded, so many of you who tried to get on may have been thwarted. Well, guess what? It’s August, and Digitalmusician.net has delivered on schedule. Standard accounts are free, with support for online studio sessions without charge. Steinberg, Native Instruments, and Ableton are partners, too — good sign. (VST …

READ MORE →

PitchWeb: Jam Online Tonight

Sorry for the late notice, but just found this myself: tonight 6-8 pm Eastern USA time, you can jam along with other online musicians via the Web-based instrument PitchWeb. Let us know if you try it, because up until moments ago I knew nothing about this. This doubles as a virtual book launch party, to boot. The creators say, “Sit in from home at our book release party for Virtual Music: How the Web Got Wired for Sound (Routledge 2005). Make some virtual music of your own by joining us on Day One of Cathedral’s Deep Time, a year-long piece …

READ MORE →