Kids Making Music: Interactive Music Box Draws Experience from Games

Ten minutes. Four or five kids (or adults). Make a song. Go. That’s the idea behind the Youth Music Box, developed by Silent Studios and Chris O’Shea. (Our friend Chris you may recall from various interactive projects and the blog pixelsumo; he sends this project our way.) The software is build in openFrameworks, the C++-based creative coding environment for artists. With keys, drums, and yes, even a scratching DJ-style interface, the music box brings together kids for quick music making, inspired by the phenomenon of musical games. The experience is guided by genre, with some effort to make sure whatever …

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Inside the Rock Band Network, as Harmonix Gives Interactive Music its Game-Changer

There’s a lot of hype around the latest schemes for changing how artists get their music to fans, but not actually a whole lot of news. (It always seems to boil down to a website with some unpronounceable name.) Well, this is news: Harmonix is opening up Rock Band to anyone who wants their music in it, and giving you the same sophistication of tools they use themselves. That’s a real game-changer – literally. And I don’t mean just for the actual game Rock Band. Sure, Harmonix was the house that made music games a phenomenon in the US. They …

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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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Wii Rock Band Controllers + Mac: Use junXion, Game-to-MIDI Controller Tool

A new version of Rock Band (for Wii) means still more ways to turn these game controllers into musical or visual performance instruments. Jordan Balagot writes with some hands-on experience using junXion, a wonderful tool for adapting game controllers to MIDI or OpenSoundControl. (junXion also works with Wiimotes and nunchucks, audio inputs and pitch sensors, joysticks and standard USB devices, and much more, so even if this bores you, you’ve probably got some use for it.) Jordan says: I tried plugging in the Rockband for Wii guitar and drums into my mac and Junxion recognized them perfectly. This seems to …

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The Onion on Gibson’s Guitar Hero – Rock Band Lawsuits

American voices respond. “Finally, the name Gibson will be synonymous with fake guitars.” Gibson Sues Over Guitar Hero Thanks, Patrick.

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Gibson Guitar Loses Mind, Sues Entire Planet (But Wii Rock Band Should Be Fun)

Gibson headquarters. I’m sure some rational thought is going on in there, but search me to tell you what the (*&$# that thought is. Photo via mmwm Gibson Guitar may require a new column here on CDM, titled something like “what the $&*((*&$ can you possibly be thinking??!” Sure, it was strange enough when Gibson started a patent dispute with Guitar Hero game developer Activision because it claimed to own the patent for anything “simulating a musical concert experience.” (Jeez, I’m glad Gibson hasn’t been to a couple of my gigs.) Never mind that their patent involved pre-recorded concert footage …

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How to Use Rock Band Controllers (And More) with GarageBand, Mac

Bill Pendry wanted to use his PlayStation 3 Rock Band controllers with GarageBand on the Mac, so he’s posted step-by-step instructions to do just that. The secret formula: a wonderful utility that helps you use HID-compatible game controllers on the Mac, sans drivers. GamePad Companion (US$15 shareware) Of course, the nice thing here is that the basic steps apply to other controllers, just in case Rock Band doesn’t float your boat (or rock your socks, or whatever). I ended up choosing kick, snare, two toms and one cymbal, since the other cymbal I wanted was in a inactive area of …

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Game Day: Why Rock Band Demonstrates Musicians Need Friends

There’s been various speculation about whether the advent of the video game Rock Band will inspire real-world musicians. It certainly isn’t just a Simon-style button masher. Queue up Rush, crank up the difficulty level, grab real drum sticks, and you’d better actually have a sense of timing. But maybe the real message of Rock Band’s success is that musicians need some friends to jam with. Witness what happens to MTV Multiplayer blogger Tracey John when she tries to play all four instruments at once: ‘Rock Band’ Challenge — One Woman, Four Instruments, At The Same Time [MTV Multiplayer] Funny, this …

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