Create Musical Visuals with Rax and Quartz Composer on Mac: Free Software Download

Quartz Composer is a fantastic tool for interactive visuals, and it’s free with Mac OS X (you’ll need to install the developer tools). With MIDI and audio inputs, you can hook custom visuals up to your musical performance. But the program has some limitations: mapping MIDI is generally slow and arduous because of limited MIDI input tools, and there’s no easy way to line up a set of visuals and move through them over the course of a performance. That’s where plasq’s Rax 2.0 comes in. As we saw earlier this week, Rax lets you build set lists for performance, …

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Pretty New Mac Audio Analysis, Measurement Apps

Apple has been making a big push to get its developers into OS X’s eye candy, including Quartz 2D and OpenGL 3D graphics. Here are two Mac applications that take advantage of gorgeous UI elements for audio analysis.

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CDM Forums: Create Digital Motion Forums Now Online; Calling All Visualists and VJs

In advance of the launch of Create Digital Music’s sister site for interactive visuals and visual performance / VJing, we proudly present, by popular demand: Create Digital Motion Forums Note that this forum will be shared with the Create Digital Music forum, because we feel strongly that for many people, these two fields are overlapping in performance. If you’re doing anything visual — be it VJing, video mixing, music videos, visual stuff in Jitter, Processing, and Pd/GEM — now you have a place to talk about it. As always, let us know if you feel there’s a topic we missed …

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Scratching Visuals: the VJ Arms Race

I’m currently testing out my new BCD2000 which I picked up as a visuals controller, mostly for the jog wheels. While better controllers such as this or MsPinky makes scratching pre-produced video more intuitive, using scratches to generate visuals makes me much more excited. Enter the hottest new implementation: V-Scratch. VScratch allows a visual transcription of every elements used for scratch composition. It transposes all sound nuances made by the rotation of the record : the variations of speed, audio spectrum and volume. In addition of the sound aspect (volume and frequences), the physical act of spinning the record back …

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Cybersonica: Open Source Fijuu Makes Music in 3D, Navigating with a PS2 Controller

The 3D cards that power games are increasingly enabling new interfaces for music, merging the visual and aural realms. One of the most stunning experiments yet is the Fijuu, which just premiered in its second-generation form as a commission for Cybersonica sound art show in London. (Earlier versions have been seen around since 2004.) Fijuu lets visitors sculpt sound, then record the results on tracks, leaving sonic “footprints” as the sound creator describes them. The interface is entirely controlled by a standard PlayStation 2 controller, as shown in this screen grab.

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Cybersonica Video: Fabulous Sound Art Lets You “Play” with Music

Cybersonica turns a gallery space into an interactive playground, filled with sound art installations that mine the power of fun in art. Curator Chris O’Shea sends this professionally-produced documentation video from the hip Phonica record store in London: Cybersonica & Encompass Sonic Art Exhibition [YouTube] Among the delights inside: suspended disco satellites controlled by Korg Kaoss Pads, motion tracking that translates a performer into a shadow puppet monster (complete with roaring sounds), a liquid, fully-3D interface for making music which shall be known at CDM simply as the hotness, a 3D Etch-a-Sketch for sound, an installation with an interface controlled …

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Johnny DeKam’s Live Visuals Rig on Thomas Dolby Tour

Thomas Dolby’s blog continues to induce rabid gear lust. After drooling over Mr. Dolby’s live rig and repurposed vintage MIDI controller, we now get a glimpse at Johnny DeKam’s live video rig. (Kevin Johnsrude caught this one, and reminds us that “envy is one of the seven deadly sins.” Better keep that in mind.) Actually, we can divide this into “things to envy” and “things to note.”

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Visual Scratch: Live Laptop Visualization of Scratching

Jesse Kriss, who created an interactive visualization on the history of sampling, is back with a new project that translates live turntable scratching into computer visuals: Visual Scratch At the heart of the system is the computer turntable control system Ms. Pinky, as seen here previously powering vibrating furniture and hiding out in tree trunks. Jesse uses Max/MSP to generate the scratching sounds, then hooks up a second laptop to output visuals. Processing, the open-source software that promises easy coding even for artists, handles the eye candy. You could use the same approach to generate sound, however; Processing can work …

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CDMotion Preview: How to Choose a MIDI Controller for VJing

As Peter has already dropped the Create Digital Motion word I feel like I’ll be able to get away with calling this a CDMotion preview. “What midi controller should I use for VJing?” is similar to “How long should my piece of string be?”. Without knowing what you’re using the string to produce, what kind of environment the string is going to be used in and what programs the string is going to control, there isn’t really an answer. So I’m going to start with “How are the midi-controller requirements for VJing unique”, and then give you my current solution …

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