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On Android, Free, Open Source Touch Control for Music – And It’s Just the Beginning

If you’re looking to turn an Android phone or flashy, new Android tablet into a touch controller for music, you’ll be really glad to see OSC and MIDI controller Control. Furthermore, here’s a solid, powerful app based on the Web that lets Apple and Android fans play well together. I’ve sung the praises of Control’s philosophy before. Templates are built on Web/HTML5 (WebKit) rendering, not proprietary, inflexible interface widgets, and can be created in JSON. You can make templates dynamic, too, because of everything JavaScript does. (Non-jargon-filled translation: you can use the goodness of the Web to make control layouts …

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Useful Music Tools for Your Android Phone, and a New Sketchpad Joins Groovebox

Despite being a musical technology enthusiast, I really do think of my Android phone first and foremost as a communications device. I imagine I’m not alone, just as I’d guess that people who want a mobile music maker may look first at the iPhone. But that raises the question, are there tools you’d install on an Android phone purely because they’re genuinely useful? What tools would you use in your music, or even refuse to be without? There are actually a surprising number of tools out there on Android for music-making, though quality can be quite variable. So here, I’ll …

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Turn Ordinary Cell Phones into Beautiful Noisemakers

In your pocket, or perhaps orphaned in your closet, is a sophisticated piece of electronics going to waste. So, whether you’re suffering from iPhone envy or simply want to put toxic used electronics to useful musical applications, the cell phone noisemaking project at GetLoFi could help make a happier, noisier world. The ingredients:

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Getting Started with Processing for Android

Photo (CC-BY) Kristian D.. Pick up a pen and draw a sketch. There, that was easy – however crude, you can get out an idea. Sketching with paper is still the fastest way for most of us to imagine something. But between that immediacy and the end result, you need prototypes. The Processing language has long been one of the easiest ways to sketch an idea in code – best after you’ve first put pen to paper, but as an immediate next step (and for ideas you just can’t draw). Built in Java, the creation of Ben Fry and Casey …

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Teaser: Processing is Coming to Android

The remarkable thing about Processing on Android is that you can use your (desktop) sketchbook development environment as always, then run on the Google emulator or your device. Google’s open-source Android mobile platform runs on Java. Processing, the elegant coding language for visualization, art, and media, is built in Java. The marriage of the two, therefore, is one we’ve long been anticipating. Processing’s ability to focus on lightweight, portable implementation is a perfect match for the demands of mobile development. For artists and visualists wanting to make handheld devices and tablets more expressive, I have good news: it’s coming. While …

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Will the Next Album You Buy Be Flash Memory? SanDisk Joins Major Labels, Big Box Retail, with slotMusic

Distributing music on USB sticks or removable flash memory is an idea various parties have tried for the last few years. The Creative Commons advocates at self-proclaimed “non-evil” indie label Magnatune sold USB sticks pre-loaded with ten albums in 2004; Barenaked Ladies had the nicely-named Barenaked on a stick. But to really make the idea (ahem) stick, you’d need some big distribution. And that’s what a new initiative backed by the major labels and massive flash memory manufacturer SanDisk promises to do. slotMusic.org | Press Release See also GearLog, which notes that SanDisk previously did a free promotional SD of …

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Poll: Which Mobile Music Platforms Do You Care About?

With all this talk of mobile music creation, it’s time to get a little scientific. Which mobile digital platforms do you actually own? Which do you want to read about on CDM? We have, of course, lots of interesting stuff happening with actual mobile computers – think UMPC, Eee, and OLPC – but then, those fit nicely with other computing platforms since that’s what they are. Other handheld game systems, PDAs, and phones require real, specific attention for musicians. And naturally, this is about making music on mobile systems, not necessarily playing Mario Kart. We need to know what you …

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Mobile Apps: MeTeoR, Micro-DAW for Windows Mobile PDAs, Phones

Don’t toss that Windows Mobile gadget yet. In fact, you might want to keep glued to Craig’s List for a used unit, if you like the idea of road warrior music production on the cheap, sans laptop. Amidst all the hype around the iPhone and iPod Touch, Windows Mobile devices could actually win on power apps for on-the-go music making. Maybe that’s because of the similarity to developing Windows desktop apps, maybe it’s because of fewer restrictions compared to Apple’s SDK, or maybe some combination of that and fortune. Nonetheless, during this Summer of iPhone, the makers of powerful Windows …

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Beyond Mobile Music Making: Organizational Musical Uses for iPhone, Other Smart Devices

Despite my complaints, you will find some useful music apps in the iTunes App Store – you can at least get some fine tuners. (Andy Ihnatko was excited on Twitter that one of them helps him tune his ukulele, thanks to four string support!) We do expect more hefty music tools in the coming months, and via the jailbroken platform. But some of the real stars on the iPhone – or whatever your favorite smart mobile device may be – have to do with simply storing ideas and keeping your life together. That means one of the best downloads so …

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Generative iPod? Deep Modular, Generative Music System Bound for iPhone, Phones, Windows, Mac

Northwest Reef from Umcorps on Vimeo. Aside from being toy-like mini-computers, could mobile devices take on a musical usefulness all their own? At the Electronic Music Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Symposium in 2004, Morton Subotnik and fellow panelists imagined an iPod that, instead of playing canned music from your music library, would actually generate music for you on the spot. Believe it or not, commercial demand aside, that might soon be reality. We saw Intermorphic’s fascinating generative music engine noatikl at the end of last year. It’s the “spritual successor” to the Koan generative system used by Brian Eno in 1996. …

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