Stepping Through Music, Interactively: Drum Kits and Monomes Navigate Notes

Left to right, beginning to end, the same in a loop — there’s no reason music has to work this way once you’ve got a computer. But if you associate generative or algorithmic music with some sort of magical black box machine you switch on, an automaton spitting out notes while you sip tea and stroke your beard, think again. Here are two examples that use interactive structures as a way to make music more live, not less. One is the latest creation from the ingenious mind of monome creator Brian Crabtree (who, perhaps unexpectedly, seems to have redirected the …

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konkreetonipad

Hands-on: Spacey Futuristic Beat Control, as Konkreet Performer for iPad Meets Reaktor

Connecting Reaktor 5.8 with Konkreet Performer from Konkreet Labs on Vimeo. Mapping control from one place (like an iPad) to another (Reaktor) is tough to describe, but easy to see. Watch as strange, spacey geometries control futuristic generative sounds and beats, and it all starts to make sense. And so, this hands-on video is a brilliant example of why we get excited about new control methods, here in the form of better OSC support in Reaktor 5.8. Konkreet Labs’ Konkreet Performer is an ideal candidate, eschewing traditional MIDI knobs for interfaces that delight and challenge the user. And it’s little …

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Chroma + Gris-Gris: Sequence Live with Anything, Then Let the Synth Run Wild [Reaktor]

Chroma and Gris-Gris are a beautiful pairing, a performance-savvy sequencer and a “monster” monosynth. If the release of the OSC implementation we dreamed of in Reaktor wasn’t enough to make you dust off NI’s modular flagship, this will surely do the trick. It’s the work of Montreal-based Reaktor guru Peter Dines, veteran CDM contributor and one of our favorite patchers anywhere, on any platform, for his eminently-practical, sonically-lovely creations. And just as the Chrome sequencer goes nicely with the Gris-Gris synth, the whole thing comes alive with Reaktor’s new OSC implementation, letting you perform sequences – alone or in public …

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reaktortemplates

Get Started with Reaktor + Reaktor Player + TouchOSC, Lemur: Open Source Templates [Exclusive]

Got a copy of Reaktor 5, perhaps via Komplete, or an instrument or effect based on Reaktor (running in Reaktor Player)? Got an iPad, and want to start touching sounds with OSC? Great! We’ve got some powerful tools and references that will make it easy to get going – and, for those who want to peek under the hood, can yield some nice tools for your own creations. Actually, maybe “un-exclusive” is the best way to describe this. In addition to official references from Native Instruments on how to use the tools, developer Clément Destephen has built templates that make …

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Reaktor - and any Reaktor Player instrument/effect - meets easier hands-on control. iPad, no brainer. Images courtesy Native Instruments, for createdigitalmusic.

Reaktor 5.8, with OSC: Now, Easily Control Reaktor-Built Sound Creations with Touch – Even in Play Mode

With any instrument, getting your hands on the sounds is essential. Reaktor is a platform for all kinds of strange and wonderful instruments and sound makers. It’s been that for Reaktor DIYers in particular, but it also powers a variety of creations used by Komplete owners and built in Reaktor Player. Today’s update to Reaktor 5.8 might easily fly under the radar. But make no mistake: improving control capabilities is potentially huge, because it makes it easier to make sound hands-on. Adding a few cool new ensembles, for instance, is nice. Being able to control Reaktor creations more easily is …

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Full-Body Music, Live: AV Kinect Performance, Complete with Beer Bottle [Video]

ETHNO TEKH | live at Enig’matik Vibrations [Melb,Aus] 2012 from Ethno Tekh on Vimeo. You’ve seen impressive tech demos and promo videos with Kinect, perhaps. But here’s a real, live performance with a crowd. (Best moment: an audience member walking in front of the camera. Breaking the flow like that oddly makes the show feel more real.) Ethno Tekh is a dubsteppy AV performance with a flow of beats and images. Now, we’ve heard all the criticisms of Kinect as musical controller – its fairly high latency and broad gestures mean it can’t quite compete with acoustic instruments or more …

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arc2

Reinventing the Wheel: Engineering arc2, Digital Instrument from monome Creator [Gallery, Interview]

Engineering a production instrument is a kind of study in compromise. For mass-produced musical instruments, it’s a fusion of practicality and economics, made affordable by a mass-market supply chain. What makes the monome creations special isn’t just that they look beautiful; the art isn’t aesthetic only. They are uncommonly uncompromising. They’re designed in such a way that tells a story about materials, one that weaves connections between suppliers – many of them local suppliers – and focuses the experience of the device on the interface. They have the kind of obsessive attention to detail associated with the finest acoustic musical …

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oscnotation

The Future Score, Dynamic and Networked: OSCNotation on iPhone

In this corner, the computer: dynamic, networked. In this corner, the trained human musician: still, in fact, very much able to read scores. Combining those two technologies – human and machine – has been surprisingly limited. That’s why OSCNotation, while a very simple app, is an intriguing glimpse into the future of the score. Normally, notation is fixed on paper. Here, you can send musical notes to a performer live, and dynamically – without the use of a printer and dead trees. In fact, with musicians able to sightread, it’s a little bit like being able to send musical patterns …

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Traversing a Score in 3D Space: Free IanniX Explores Strange, New Worlds

IanniX — From UPIC to IanniX from IanniX on Vimeo. In the beginning, there was the bar. Actually, wait – that came later. In the beginning, there were sketched outlines of notes. And the notes became fixed in pitch space, and then, increasingly, in time, in divided measures from left to right. And so, what we know today as Western music notation came to be. But then, in the 20th Century, composers began to undo the rigid boxes that score produced. First with pen and paper, later armed with the computer, composers connecting graphic and sound started to violate those …

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Arm Tracks: All-Body-Controlled Ableton Live, with Kinect, Brings Shirtless Musical Innovation

As it happens, hunching over your computer does not center your body and mind. So, drawing from yoga and other practices, Adriano Clemente is getting his whole body into the act of making music. While Kinect is not a perfect solution for every vision application, either in tracking capability or latency, it is stunningly good at following your skeleton through space. And here, using moderated, slow-moving motion, the body can navigate musical worlds with applomb. With apologies to everyone staying up late at night working on tracks in your undies, it’s also a convincing excuse to perform music without shirt …

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