RYAT's production setup.

In LA, looking to what new tech means for music makers

This week, the eyes of the music world will look at what’s new in toys. But how about looking further, to how technology is used? Going deeper to what’s happening in live music and music making is the essence of our new series Practice Space. CDM is excited to host a living-room style gathering of musicians and performance artists in the heart of downtown LA, and we hope you’ll join us – in person and online.

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This Could Be Your Next DJ or Visual Controller: Allen & Heath Xone:K1

UK DJ builder Allen & Heath may be best known as a mixer company, not so much a controller maker. But that’s a pity, because they make one of the most compelling controller units on the market. Spoiler alert – the K1, like the K2 before it, feels great, has a terrific layout, works with anything you like, and more or less beats every other slim-line controller for DJing or VJing. Whatever you own now, you may find yourself wanting one of these to go along with it.

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Synthesizing Sound and Image: A Conversation with a Creative Duo from Korea [unrender]

From deep in Seoul’s underground, Maxqueen (Kloe) and Chang Park have forged an intimate audiovisual collaboration, in a rich dance of minimal, generated geometries in live music and image. Spanning Korea, Baltimore, Maryland, and now Berlin, they’ve played some of the biggest tickets in live techno (for Maxqueen) and digital media art (for Chang). We’re thrilled to have them playing together – in their individual projects and then a duo – in Berlin on Friday night. And we wanted to talk to them a bit about the craft of collaboration, and generating live performance through careful control of parameters in …

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unrender: Celebrating Visual Expression as Something Live; Online and in Berlin Friday

There’s not a word yet for visuals as event. We know it when we see it. And we know it in other media. With music, there’s no question when something becomes performative, when the human element is something you can’t subtract. But in electronic visuals, in light and image, the awareness of what is emerging in the medium seems latent. The narrow view of VJing and club visuals is dated. And disconnecting those media from generative and interactive work misses an explosive and dynamic new craft. Whether it’s clever work with optical analog and overhead projectors, or a delicately-constructed piece …

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City of Light: A Sparkly, Geometric Wonderland at Barneys, by Joanie Lemercier, All-Star Team

No wooden gingerbread houses and fake snow here. Visualist Joanie Lemercier teamed up with a dream team of artists to transform New York’s Barneys into a shining future fantasy. In Light Fragments, the city that never sleeps hosted the electronic artist from the City of Light, along with some very fine friends. The audiovisual installation took over Barneys’ show windows and a pop-up gallery. In “City,” paper, projection mapping, and 3D animation became an imagined skyline, teaming Joanie with artist Davy McGuire. “Quartz,” with digital rockstar Kyle McDonald, produced a parametric crystalline structure that refracts light into constellations of glowing …

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Data Privacy, The Terrifying 3D Animated Movie by Beeple [+VJ Clips]

Can shiny, rotating 3D eye candy have a message? They can if they’re in the masterful hands of motion graphics / visualist wizard Beeple, aka Mike Winkelmann. His latest short is retina-singeing, brain-stimulating imagination of the issue of transparency and data privacy, in the age of Snowden and the NSA, targeted Facebook ads, Foursquare check-ins, and Google Glass. And it works not simply because it’s impressive animation, but because that impressive animation reminds us that the science fiction universe we imagined is around us now – a Ghost in the Machine, Serial Experiments Lain, cyberpunk universe that can be utopian …

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Three Layers of Live Visuals: Flying Lotus + Strangeloop + Timeboy, In Immersive Scrims

Flying Lotus ‘Layer 3’ – A Red Bull Music Academy Film from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo. Immersion isn’t necessarily about big stage pieces, or hiding the performer, or scale, or brightness. It seems it should be about finding a creative connection between visuals and music, between visualists and musicians, and creating some dimension that suggests you’re seeing more than only what you’re seeing. Flying Lotus has long collaborated with Strangeloop and other Southern California visualists. True to his Los Angeles home, his label Brainfeeder routinely sets up cinema-style, laptop artists dwarfed by the big silver screen of the …

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Good Trips: Bubbling Colored Goo in Live AV for Laurel Halo [Hyperdub], Konx-om-pax

Laurel Halo: 2012 European Tour Trailer from Hyperdub on Vimeo. Trips through Europe are just a bit more trippy with the aid of Scottish visualist Konx-om-pax. His visuals will be along for the ride as Hyperdub’s Laurel Halo makes her way through Europe this fall, the perfect foil to her dubby experimental machinations live. At just 26 years old, the artist has fitted his strange, colored oscillations of 3D goo to some bass music giants, with beautiful results. Here’s what the folks behind Laurel Halo have to say about this latest collaboration, as she launches her autumnal tour: [The] AV …

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Investigating the Meaning of Mapping in Berlin Talk; Wood as Bones, Light as Flesh

Wood as Bones, Light as Flesh from ilan katin on Vimeo. There’s projection mapping, the trend, as in “hey, we need to get some projection mapping up in here.” Then, there’s mapping, the technique, the deeper sense of illusion and immersion in projection, in which current tools and output are just the first step toward more ubiquitous digital imagery. Making work is an essential way to understand that question. But talking about the ideas behind them can be critical, too. The video at top by Fail Collective is a perfect example of what immersive imagery can mean, when liberated from …

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Music and Visuals, in More Flexible Combinations, with Max for Live and a Giant Monster’s Mouth

Producing dazzling, elaborate visuals doesn’t have to mean ensnaring live music in pre-defined tracks. In the latest episode of this ongoing series, we look on Create Digital Music at a new show for the act ‘Feed Me’ – the kind of story I love, crossing the Music and Motion boundaries. Here’s a key excerpt on what it’s all about, via software programmer Mattijs Kneppers: “We all hit play”; this is exactly the problem that we wanted to solve. Jon builds his performances live, with separate audio tracks and segments, with live effects, free improvisation, etc., so every gig is different. …

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