Subcycle, Insanely Futuristic 3D Music Interface, Reaches New Levels of Pattern and Sound

Compare the complex model of what a computer can use to control sound and musical pattern in real-time to the visualization. You see knobs, you see faders that resemble mixers, you see grids, you see – bizarrely – representations of old piano rolls. The accumulated ephemera of old hardware, while useful, can be quickly overwhelmed by a complex musical creation, or visually can fail to show the musical ideas that form a larger piece. You can employ notation, derived originally from instructions for plainsong chant and scrawled for individual musicians – and quickly discover how inadequate it is for the …

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blipbox

New Open Grid Gear: A Hackable, Touchable, Light-up Array – BlipBox

Light-up grids of buttons are nearly commonplace, but the BlipBox is something different: its array of lights is also a sensor, making it both X/Y controller and light-up grid. And it’s designed to be completely open — firmware, hardware, schematics and documentation are all fully GPL-licensed and open source. For those of us who aren’t ninja coders, it’s also easy to customize, thanks to friendly software (pictured below) .k for making nifty interactive animations on its display and support for the artist-friendly Processing code environment. As the creators describe it, it’s three (three!) pieces of hardware in one: a creative …

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Random Fun: Novation Launchpad as Live EQ Display, Built in Processing

If you’ve got a whole bunch of colored lights, it seems only right to do something with them. Cacheflow sends a fun little hack with a Novation Launchpad. Of course, turning a Launchpad into a live EQ display means you can’t simultaneously use its lights to, like, play the Launchpad, but provided you have another controller, this could be a fun way to liven up your stage setup. We looked at a free e-book on Processing last week; if you’re playing with Processing, you can now use a handy, free library to integrate this simple and elegant coding tool with …

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Dodecahedronists, Unite: An Audiovisual Controller, Gestures and Polyhedra, Open Hardware

I love this controller, but I think we should keep it Platonic. Solid. Sorry, geometry humor. See, the controller in question is constructed as a convex regular polyhedron, such that all its faces are themselves congruent regular polygons meeting at each vertex, and … uh, never mind. Above, a stunningly gorgeous video from Polish media art group panGenerator, with some lovely chiming music following by the evidently-now-requisite dubstep demo. (Tip all of us could use, guys and gals – makeup. Styling. Now, they just need some post-production so you can’t see the IR sensors or the wires.) Hedoco, also based …

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sonaur00

Sonaur, Ambient Android Toy, Built with Free Tools (Processing, libpd)

Sonaur is a US$1.99 ambient toy for Android mobile devices, with on-screen creatures you can manipulate to generate sound. It’s notable not only for being a fun toy – and on a platform that hasn’t had as many fun toys – but because the tools used to create it are also highly accessible and free. I’ve taught Processing, a code environment popular among artists and designers to people who never before imagined they could be coders. Pd (Pure Data), here in the form of libpd, is a free graphical patching cousin of Max/MSP. You can check out libpd, which allows …

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Loops as Sketches of Guitar Pedals, in Multitouch Table Music Design

Working in open source code for any platform, Brazilian artist and developer Jeraman has produced a charming project that imagines musical interfaces in dynamic, whimsically-simple sketches. Like doodled knobs, cartoons of guitar pedals, interactive devices on the touchscreen control musical activity. And because it’s open, cross-platform code, everything from a computer-powered multitouch table to an Android tablet could get in on the fun. Jeraman explains:

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illucia

Patch Cords, Buttons, Pixels, Noise: Free Modular Code-bending Instruments as Playgrounds

illucia is a project at the intersection of lots of forms of goodness and imagination. The physical interface – what you see first in the image and video here – is a DIY modular controller, complete with Buchla-style patch cords and arcade buttons and pretty knobs. But while that might lead you to believe we’re in analog synthesis land, the physical controls are just a tangible cockpit for what the artist calls “code-bending.” Connect the USB controller to software, and it modifies audiovisual games in modular, interactive fashion. Since you probably don’t have this particular physical controller lying about your …

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CDM in Stockholm, Android for Music and Visual Apps, Call for Swedish Artists

(CC-BY) Stefan Lins. I’ll be in Stockholm the week of 27 September, speaking at Stockholm’s Android Only conference Wednesday/Thursday 29-30. I’m particularly excited by the lineup, because it emphasizes pushing the envelope of Android and cross-platform development. I’ll talk about how Processing for Android can allow “sketching” audiovisual apps on mobile. Martin Roth of RjDj will talk high-performance audio development. There’s also discussion of advanced uses in embedded hardware, cross-platform PhoneGap development, CouchDB and JavaScript goodness, hardware-accelerated graphics … all good stuff, and all potentially relevant to creative music and visual development not only on Android but future platforms generally. …

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More Free Synthesis Goodness: QuteCsound Screencast, Csound with Processing

For all the wonderful tools and toys for sound out there, sometimes you want to find the couple of tools that, like a great kitchen knife, can accomplish the majority of what you actually need. (And as with the kitchen knife, while it may not eliminate your desire for all those other gadgets, it’s worth some sharpening.) So it is with something like Csound, the tested-and-tried, free synthesis tool. Jim Aikin looked at the QuteCsound front end recently, which puts the power of Csound in a more friendly work environment. Via Synthtopia, there’s also now a screencast series that covers …

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Browser Madness: 3D Music Mountainscapes, Web-Based Pd Patching

“The hills are alive / with the sound of browsers” Ever thought you’d make sounds in a browser, or have new ways of visualizing music playback? It’s happening, with builds of Firefox anyone can download. Work to make browsers rich with sound synthesis and visualization continues. “Compatibility” isn’t really an advantage yet, because Firefox is the only browser with support, and only in the next version, though that could change in the future. And yes, Flash is capable of some of this, too (though not real 3D), with 90-95% saturation, conservatively, of computers. But if not compatibility, what these experiments …

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