megagrid

Meganome: A Massive Super-Monome Capable of Jazzy Rhythmic and Melodic Robotic Feats

Minneapolis-based artist Patrick Flanagan is no ordinary drummer or electronic musician. His rig does everything the hard way – and the results are fantastic. With robotic drum kit mechanically playing acoustic drums, his fingers command complex feats of rhythm and melody from an oversized, custom grid controller. There are idiomatic musical possibilities unlocked by software he’s built in Max/MSP and Java. Repeat increments, of the sort found in drum machines, produce complex rhythmic figuration on multiple drums – partly because, unlike the dumber implementation on drum machines, it’s possible to play multiple repeat increments at the same time. (In other …

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Connecting Your iOS Apps: Why Both Audiobus and JACK Can Succeed

It always has to be complicated, doesn’t it? You just want to sit on your couch with your iPhone or iPad and finish some music, by recording that drum machine and a bass line into a multitrack song in a different app. And then, after months of this site saying the way to do that was something called Audiobus, everyone is suddenly talking about something called JACK, too. Ah, standards. All of this had some wondering if JACK even has a shot, with Audiobus already out there. Even Apple has come onboard, as of last week, with the announcement that …

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leap

Move Over, Kinect: Early Gestural Musical Demos for Leap Motion Look Terrific

Microsoft’s Kinect has proven a compelling proof of concept for gestural control of music. But it could be just the beginning of mass-market gestural sensing technologies. The Leap Motion, like Kinect, promises to be affordable gear. Unlike the Kinect, the hardware is even more unobtrusive, and gestural control is more precise and responsive. Given the latency limitations of Kinect, that’s a huge deal for music. And better expression could inspire new musical ideas. We’ve spoken many times before about the limitations of touchless control – Theremins are spectacular but not the easiest instruments to play, and waving your hands in …

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spatium

Sound in Space, Visually: Spatium Are Free, Open Source Spatialization Tools

Human perception is capable of astounding feats of sensitivity in localizing sound – it is very likely an evolutionary trait. Yet musicians rarely tread beyond simple stereo, perhaps because it’s tough to be creative in space without something that’s visual and intuitive, something that looks like what you’re hearing. Spatium is an extraordinary set of tools for sound spatialization, built in [graphical patching language] Max/MSP and [creative code environment] Processing. It’s free and open source, a set of modules anyone can use to manipulate sound in space or as the basis of their own tools. Portugese artist and developer Rui …

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Not available in stores: the custom touchscreen solution, running an original sampler, that turns Hans Zimmer's musical ideas into reality. Mark Werry is the person who made it all possible.

Interview: Mark Wherry, Man Behind Hollywood’s Digital Musical Instruments, Hans Zimmer Collaborator

Computer innovator Alan Kay famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Mark Wherry is doing as good a job as anyone of inventing that technology. Powering scores from the latest Batman films to Inception, working closely with Hollywood’s leading meastro Hans Zimmer, the work Wherry is doing really does invent instruments in order to invent sounds. New samplers, new touchscreens, new rigs all have to come together just to keep up with the feverish sound design demands of film and game titles. And with sophisticated surround delivery, at a time when studio veterans complain …

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sneaquencer_diy

Sneak-Thief’s Sneaquencer is a DIY Monster, Dream Hardware for Performance [Open Source Music]

You can dream of something, you can complain about it on forums, or you can do it. Sneak-Thief, aka Michel Morin, is a doer. And what’s great about him is that he doesn’t just produce geeky, obsessive hardware – he has the musical chops to match. He can wrangle his own hardware, coding in C, but he can also make people dance. Designing hardware isn’t just an exercise in doing something because he can – it’s part of his musical expression, the line between his ideas and reality. Talking to Michel about what he’s done, he really focuses on his …

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Tokyo Blip: A Chip Music Interlude for Blip Festival

How do you prefer to compose? Pen and manuscript paper? Recording ideas from a piano? Firing up your favorite music software? How about … coding in 65c816 Assembly language? The trio behind this video prefers the latter, more intensive approach, to get close to the chip hardware by communicating directly with the Super NES. It’s one heck of a way to make an invitation to an event, but that’s just what they’ve done, in celebration of Blip Festival Tokyo 2012, in a kind of audiovisual spectacular. With code by Batsly Adams, music by Zabutom, and graphics by KeFF, the result …

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The big idea: mix sound sources and inputs, add effects, and record -- all in different apps on one iOS gadget, or even with multiple iPhones/iPads.

iPad, iPhone Creation is Working: How Audiobus, More Will Connect Your Music Workflow [In-Depth]

“I am an app, I am an island…” On iPhone and iPad, there is now no shortage of apps that make interesting sounds. But producing music is for most people organizing sounds, and so, that same abundance of apps can become a weakness. You’ve got one thing that makes great noises, another thing that records noises, and another thing that turns an input into noises. What if you want to quickly record that sound, or use that cool effect to shape the sound of another app? On the desktop, you might load all those instruments and effects into a host. …

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pedalboard

Guitar Stompbox in Your Browser? Web Audio Adds Line In, iPhone Support, More

Watching a skyscraper go up is always fascinating. For a long time, the thing basically looks like a bit pit in the ground. After some time, you get the beginnings of a skeleton. Suddenly, the structure rises at a near-impossible pace, climbing into the clouds faster than you’d imagine. Then, it’s at a point when it looks finished, but isn’t – there’s this final, agonizing push to make it really inhabitable for everyone. Yep, new standards are often the same way. Web audio had, in comparison to conventional native development, looked largely like that gaping hole in the ground for …

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Dan Deacon, in action - and judging by that array of gear oddities, one of us. Photo (CC-BY) Joshua Rothhaas.

Dan Deacon Makes Phones Into Instruments and a Live Light Show [iOS, Android, Dev Interview]

Cigarette lighters in the air may have given way to smartphones – but it’s hardly fitting at a concert to watch everyone checking their SMS inbox. In a new twist, Dan Deacon concerts use all that computational power in people’s pockets to make these devices part of the show, refocusing fans on the music. The work of Wham City Apps and developer Keith Lea, the Dan Deacon app synchronizes sound and light to make a sea of phones into objects of wonderment rather than business machines or Facebook hubs. Away from the show, the app doubles as a musical instrument. …

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