soundplane_blanks

A Glimpse of the Soundplane Controller, Innovative Tactile Multi-Touch, in the Lab; Call to Action

Alder Soundplane prototype with blanks of reclaimed redwood and Doug Fir. Photo by Randy Jones; used by permission. On tablets, on displays, multi-touch control these days is calibrated largely as a software interface – more Starship Enterprise panel than violin. As such, it works well for production tools and exploring compositional ideas. But it falls far short of being an instrument: even on the much-hyped iPad, touch timing and sensitivity is too imprecise, and the absence of tactile feedback and real, kinetic resistance makes you feel like an operator rather than a musician. Several projects in experimental instrument research seek …

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Meet the Digital Vinyl Systems That Predated N2IT’s Patent

It’s something we take for granted now, but not so long ago, the only way to scratch and cue records was with analog vinyl. Now, of course, simulating those behaviors using digital records on turntables connected to computers is commonplace. But that hasn’t stopped the question of who owns the technology from spawning legal disputes. Most recently, a suit brought by patent claimants N2IT against M-Audio was dismissed. You can read the history from the time N2IT, a two-person company, launched their first commercial digital DJing (for BeOS, no less) back in the late 90s. In patents, “first” is everything. …

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As the Turntable Turns: Digital Vinyl Survives, Real Technics 1200 Dies (Or Not)

Rick Harrison. The legal wrangling over patents and who owns digital vinyl technology continues. The latest development: the court has dismissed N2IT’s claim against M-Audio, as covered by djtechtools. Before you strike this as a victory in the M-Audio column, it’s possible the parties settled out of court. Based on my limited legal background, I tend to agree with Ean Golden at djtechtools: this does seem to diminish the likelihood of N2IT successfully pursuing a new case against Serato. (In the Netherlands, it’s not possible to buy Serato, because there is would violate Dutch patent law, in the country in …

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Help EFF Save Web Content: Prove Podcasting and Media Patent is Wrong

Act now, or this puppy is in grave danger. Podcasting pug photograph (CC) zoomar. Patenting the use of all episodic media on the Web might sound absurd, but the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted just such a patent, to a company called VoloMedia. It’s a significant issue, one that could threaten the freedom of all media distribution online. Wherever you are in the world, you can help. Intellectual property law was created in order to protect genuine inventions and innovation from exploitation. But predatory patents, based on bogus claims and attempting to stake out broad rights, threaten to …

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“Music Simulation” Patent Unsuccessful, Gibson Mucks Up Own Case

Simulated guitar? Gibson gets carried away, but the law wins. Photo/bento creation (CC) Sakurako Kitsa.(Yup, this is a Fender Strat, but this is my kind of simulation of a musical instrument – in cheese form!) Gibson, the guitar company, has been on an utterly absurd campaign against music games, bringing lawsuits against the developers of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band and even against retailers. In the latest illustration of how screwed up patent law is, and just how over-litigious it has made technology in this country, the patent was based on a Gibson patent for a “System and method …

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Intellectual Property, Multi-Touch: Will Apple IP Stifle Innovation?

The iPhone launch, two short years ago. Photo David Pham. Apple’s iPhone should be a herald of a new age in interface design. But now, with speculation that Apple and Palm could get into a patent battle, and murky concerns about patents in multi-touch interface design in general, it’s unclear how much intellectual property legal wrangling will have to happen first. I’m going to resist turning this into a long rant – partly because I think the jury is out on so many issues. It’s never been entirely clear what Apple continues sacred in its intellectual property on the iPhone. …

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Gibson Guitar to Guitar Hero Maker: We Own All Digital Musical Reality

Wannabe musicians: now the exclusive legal domain of Gibson Guitar? Photo: Unhindered by Talent. Are you making music without real acoustic instruments? You know, in, like, virtual reality? Then you may have stepped into a strange, alternate dimension. Let’s call it, for the sake of argument, The Gibson Zone. They control the horizontal. They control the vertical. They invented what you’re doing … right now. Or, at least, that seems to be the message sent by a recent patent dispute between Gibson Guitar Corporation and Guitar Hero developer Activision. (Harmonix, the original Guitar Hero developer, has moved on to Rock …

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More Apple Patents Suggest New Music App, Musical Instrument?

At the very least, it looks like Apple is working on significant new music software features, as you might expect. But depending on how you read their patents, new music hardware — even touchscreen hardware — could be in store. Apple is a big company with a lot of intellectual property, so teasing out patents can be difficult. But, as others have observed before, looking for Dr. Gerhard Lengeling, the Emagic founder who came to Apple along with his company, reveals interesting results: 20060278058: Frameless musical keyboard 20060272485: Evaluating and correcting rhythm in audio data 20060022956: Touch-sensitive electronic apparatus for …

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