lemur

Spotted: Lemur Interface, Running on iPad

I don’t know why you look so surprised about this, really. Photo (CC-BY) insanephotoholic. “Lemur should just run on the iPad.” “There’s no point to have a Lemur when you can get an iPad for $500.” “When will the Lemur just run on the iPad?” Soon, apparently. Sources and an in-person sighting suggest to me you’ll see this in the very near future. The JazzMutant Lemur, the touch control hardware I reviewed over five years ago, gave musicians the first widely-available, for-sale taste of multi-touch control of music. It established a lot of basic paradigms that would appear on other …

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tkrworksmixer

New Open Grid Gear: DJ Mixer Meets monome Grid in MIDI + OSC Controller

It had to happen — button triggering, as popularized by the monome, here meets a conventional two-channel DJ mixer. But the layout I must say is quite spare and lovely, the work of the Japanese-based PICnome project. Furthermore, it’s Open Source Hardware, covered as I have recommended by a ShareAlike Creative Commons license (with no commercial restrictions) and GPL v3. (The creator prefers the term “Free Hardware,” which I love theoretically but have avoided for fear of people demanding we mail them MeeBlips by sending us a self-addressed, stamped box.) With clean, subtle markings and a nicely-composed layout, it’s hardware …

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Grabbing Invisible Sounds with Magical Gloves: Open Gestures, But with Sound and Feel Feedback

You might imagine sound in space, or dream up gestures that traverse unexplored sonic territory. But actually building it is another matter. Kinect – following a long line of computer vision applications and spatial sensors – lets movement and gestures produce sound. The challenge of such instruments has long been that learning to play them is tough without tactile feedback. Thereminists learn their instrument through a the extremely-precise sensing of their instrument and sonic feedback. In AHNE (Audio-Haptic Navigation Environment), sonic feedback is essential, but so, too, is feel. Haptic vibration lets you know as you approach sounds — essential, …

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In Videos, Face Control and Prostheses Make the Craziest Sounds

You may have already seen FaceOSC, free software that eases the use of facial tracking from a computer camera for use as a controller, here with music software (top). Synthtopia picked up the story in July, featuring artist and engineer Kyle McDonald. But one FreeKa Tet has done his own implementation (second from top), and while the video is a bit grainy, he sounds wonderfully terrifying, as if his face is trying to slip out of The Matrix. Sometimes, I’m rendered entirely silent (no, really, it happens), and it’s best to let videos speak for themselves. So here, after the …

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Music in Space and Time: Wild Geometries and Sequencing in Iannix, Free

Nerds: It’s an OSC sequencer. It’s JavaScript-programmable for making your own generative music. It works with hardware and other software. You can use it in real-time. Everyone: it makes spectacularly strange sounds out of spectacularly beautiful flows of geometries through space. IanniX, the latest-generation descendant of work done by pioneering experimental composer Iannis Xenakis, has been evolving at rapid pace into what may be the most sophisticated graphical sequencer ever. Xenakis originally had to content himself to drawing elaborate, architectural graphics on paper, then later being one of the first to use a graphical tablet for interactive scores. IanniX, backed …

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twistedkp

Futuristic iPad Konkreet Performer Get Twisted with MIDI, Even Analog, to Control Everything

Analog synths, meet spacey, abstract touch controls. And Konkreet Labs Performer – the futuristic iPad controller app – meet everything else, including, for those not lucky enough to own racks of modulars, MIDI. Twisted KP is effectively a clever helper app, taking in messages (as OSC) from the brilliant Konkreet Labs Performer iPad app and translating them into things you can use with everything else — MIDI, analog control messages, or if you’re a Reaktor user, internal Reaktor IC messages. For Reaktor geeks and analog owners, it’s a godsend, but it’ll also work as a Reaktor standalone tool if you …

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Jamming with Free Code, Another Webcam + Ableton Live Face-Tracking Performance with FaceOSC

Following yesterday’s interview with Kyle McDonald on FaceOSC, his custom webcam + tracking application that can make music with your face, here’s another face-controlled music demo. This one uses Ableton Live for jamming. I should add, since I somewhat obscured the fact, that this isn’t Kinect: it works entirely with a built-in webcam, which means it’s completely free to try and you don’t have to tote any extra hardware, so long as you have a laptop with a built-in cam. More on this technology as we watch it evolve…

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gibsonrobotguitar

More Digital Guitar Reflections: What a MIDI Guitar Can Do; Conservatism, Adoption, and Innovation

A robot guitar may not injure a human guitarist, or, through inaction, allow a human guitarist to come to harm. A robot guitar must obey any orders and tunings given to it by human guitarists, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. All human and robot guitarists must enjoy guitar hardware, so long as such gear lust does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Gibson’s Robot Guitar – speaking of recent guitar innovations. Science and art alike demand inquisitive exploration and experimentation. So, it’s encouraging that a discussion of the future of the digital guitar …

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codeandipad

Control with Room to Grow: Livid Adds Expansion Jacks; iPad Meets Tangible Controls

In the never-ending quest to find just the right combination of faders and knobs for piloting your music, here’s a thought: add expansion capabilities. An upgrade to the Block, a grid grid and knob control surface by boutique Texan maker Livid, does just that. And for good measure, they’ve got a short-run iPad dock alternate, too, for those of you who want touch control and apps but want hardware control, too. That raises another set of ideas gaining traction this week: why not add tangible controls to these multi-touch tablets and such? Room to Grow At the heart of Livid’s …

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continuum_hm

New Instruments That Matter: Four Examples, Live in SF, Really Do Move Music Forward

Richard Lainhart mans the Haken Continuum at an early installment of our Handmade Music series, back in 2007. Meanwhile, in 2011: among many options, four digital instruments challenge you to practice – really – with expressions that are deep and satisfying. Is there anything genuinely new in digital instruments? Isn’t it just a load of repeated novelty, without the ability to actually make useful musical noises? Hasn’t the technology just gotten in the way of the music? Isn’t … (sigh) .. all you see … all you get … (repeat ad infinitum) Even among technologist futurists, skepticism about the iterative …

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