@AES: “Subversive” Hipno Plug-ins Use Color, Game Pads, Webcams

Cycling ’74 has released a new collection of plug-ins I’ve been eagerly anticipating, developed by a team from Electrotap. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill audio effects and virtual instrument: think spectral and granular sound, wild filter/delay stuff, morphing color-palette interfaces, and input from gamepads and webcams: Cycling ’74 Hipno “Subversive” Plug-in Collection US$199 for a whole mess of plug-ins; works with everything. (Mac RTAS/VST/AU, Windows RTAS/VST.) More after the jump.

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Physical Remixes with Pencils: Interactive CD Packaging

Using conductive inks and ordinary pencils, the CD Sequencer lets you remix CDs right from the packaging. The circuitry is drawn onto printed postcards; the circuitry measures change in resistance created by a pencil. Plug it into the computer via USB, and you’re ready to remix. Cool, but what I’m not clear on is how this actually remixes things — via the enhanced CD? (More on this if I can find something out; see our friend Chris’ live report from the RCA show.) Matthew Falla has a number of other brilliant projects, from birdfeeders to internships at the BBC. Along …

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TactaPad Touch Interface for Mac

The TactaPad is just a concept model, not in production, and I’m not even sure the movies are real, but it’s an interesting idea nonetheless. (Thanks to Chris O’Shea for the tip!) The idea is, you touch a tactile surface with your hands, and a camera maps an image of your hands onto the screen for additional visual feedback. The hardware would be compatible with existing Mac applications (see a demo video of GarageBand), though you’d of course need custom software for multi-touch capabilities. I think it’s clear that this is the direction interfaces will ultimately go. Mice work, yes, …

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Sonicforms: New Sound Interfaces/Instruments Go Open Source

“This new media stuff is great, but it’s like it’s never developed very far. It’s like it’s technology for its own sake. How do you make music?” How many times have you heard that? One of the major causes of the “technology for its own sake syndrome” is simple: smart people are spending so much time reinventing the wheel, duplicating other people’s work, that no one gets to the stage of refinement — only early development. Sonicforms: future DIY interfaces go open source That’s why it’s especially good news to see things like the new Sonicforms project from our friend …

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fREQ: Free Drawing, Shadow-Based Instrument

Not new, but worth mentioning: fREQ is a project exploring the conversion of drawn waveforms into sound: visual waveforms control a drone in real-time. You can download a free mouse and keyboard version (PC only). That's fun, but the installation version (first shown about a year ago) is cooler: it takes an outline of the shadow you cast on the waveform projection and turns that into sound. fREQ is the creation of UK-based art/music/interactive coalition Squidsoup. Thanks to Chris O'Shea for the tip, who incidentally has a great blog on interactive technology (physical computing, installations, etc.).

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NoteGraphica: Draw Your Own Waves (Win)

Boring bits: Windows VSTi, 8-voice polyphony, two oscillators plus one noise generator, eight envelopes, 1 filter, 2 LFOs, built-in delay/chorus FX — all important, but you've seen it before. Cool bits: You can drawn in your wave shapes, and it's free. Now has NoteGraphica got your attention?

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Nintendo, Interactive Artists — Whither the Stylus?

Convincing people to embrace new control methods is hard. Just ask Nintendo. Sure, here at CDM we talk about making music with a graphic tablet input, sock puppets — you love that. But the gaming market is conservative; many still don't get the inclusion of a stylus on the Nintendo DS. And that, friends, has made Nintendo go completely insane and turn into high-art interactive artists: Exhibit A: touchingisgood.com — Nintendo is making arty films about why hand input is a good idea, and for a while was even giving away surplus disembodied mannequin hands so you could completely freak …

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