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This is a glimpse of what virtual reality could do for DJing

Virtual reality is suddenly a high-profile topic everywhere, from Facebook to gaming. And while such ideas have been around as long as computer graphics, consumer tech is finally catching up with the vision. Here’s the thing: now as we move from sci-fi to reality, it’s not totally clear what this tech is for. Sure, it’s fun for immersive games, but beyond that? One way to find out: try it yourself. Benjamin S. Hopkins writes us having done just that. This is definitely a hack – a proof of concept experiment to see what might be possible. But what’s clever about …

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The Terror of Watermelons and Your Niece Screaming: Interactive Sonic Fear in Dead Space 3

Wilhelm wasn’t going to cut it for A-list game release Dead Space 3. Meet the young Amelia, instead, screaming. And behold the sheer horror that only a squishy watermelon can produce. I always knew fruit and toddlers were up to no good. Kill Screen, the indie game mag, collaborates with The Creators’ Project to go behind the scenes at developer Visceral Games to talk about the audio design and interactive sound system in Dead Space. Producer and editor Jamin Warren tells CDM it was his favorite of the series yet. In addition to examining sound design and field recording, the …

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Touch, Plus Tactile: In Gaming as in Research, Physical Controls Augment Touchscreens

The gaming industry has made their bet, and it’s that touchscreens go better with tactile controls. Might digital musicians reach the same conclusion? A funny thing has happened on the way to the touch era. The vision of a device like the iPad is minimalist to the extreme: an uninterrupted, impossibly-slim metal slate, as impenetrable as some sort of found alien scifi object. The notion is that by reducing physical controls, the software itself comes to the fore. It’s beautiful conceptually … and then you find yourself tapping and stroking a piece of undifferentiated glass. For navigating interfaces – and …

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Platforming as Musical Interface: Jonathan Mak Shows Sound Shapes for New PlayStation Vita

Load up an Ableton set or mix samples, and you’re already in the domain of interactive music. With joysticks and arcade buttons and other controls, the blending of game and musical interface into generative compositional fusion is even clearer. It’s little wonder many electronic musicians take an interest in the nexus of gaming and music. Any discussion of interactive music scores for games would be incomplete without Jonathan Mak. His self-produced title Everyday Shooter used classic top-down space combat as a musical experience: not only do sound effects in the game act as musical elements, but even the flow of …

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Game Meets Album: Behind the Music and Design of the iPad Indie Blockbuster Swords & Sworcery

Jim Guthrie was a rockstar long before the iPad was. Paired with pixel-intense artist Craig D. Adams (aka Superbrothers) and the co-design and coding effort of a crack team of video game “wizards” at the indie studio capy, he’s made a soundtrack that’s destined to be a gaming classic. But if you don’t want to play it, you can still listen to it. And if you’re playing it, you may find that it feels as though you’re listening to it, and gazing into its artwork. From the moment you tap to launch it, Swords & Sworcery plunges you into a …

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Beatles, Harmonix Collaborate on New Game; Let’s Hope it’s a Real Trip

We all live … here. Photo: “DJ” Dave Whelan. It’s official: we had heard rumblings that game maker Harmonix was about to announce something, and it’s here. It’s a collaboration directly with the Beatles to make something that isn’t Rock Band or Guitar Hero — something completely new. And something completely new is exactly what’s needed. Before Guitar Hero and Rock Band, before being purchased by MTV/Viacom, game developer Harmonix were a very different creative house. Co-founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy were MIT friends whose first project was an application that let you play guitar with a joystick. (Sounds …

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Composers We Love: Nitin Sawhney Scores ‘Heavenly Sword’ PS3 Game

Electronic musicians, gamers, and fans of the Asian Underground movement will be pleased to hear that noted composer/producer Nitin Sawhney has composed the soundtrack for the anticipated PS3 title ‘Heavenly Sword’. Sawhney is best known for his Mercury Prize-winning album ‘Beyond Skin’, his production of the Cirque du Soleil soundtrack for ‘Varekei’, and his recent score to the Mira Nair film ‘The Namesake’. Kotaku gives us a video interview, here, while Music4Games gives us a written one here.

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Guitar Hero Controller Hacked for the Commodore 64

Devotees of the SID sound chip in the Commodore 64 will love this. A new project called Shredz64 promises to create a working version of Guitar Hero with the C64’s vintage sounds, and will unlock the ability to use other PS2 controllers, as well. We’ve seen various hardware hacks to provide better I/O and simple onboard controls to make the C64 more fun as an instrument/synth; the next frontier seems to be adding more elaborate external hardware. Being the C64, you get funny moments like this: “Some obstacles to be worked through include presentation of music given the 3 voice …

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