Subcycle, Insanely Futuristic 3D Music Interface, Reaches New Levels of Pattern and Sound

Compare the complex model of what a computer can use to control sound and musical pattern in real-time to the visualization. You see knobs, you see faders that resemble mixers, you see grids, you see – bizarrely – representations of old piano rolls. The accumulated ephemera of old hardware, while useful, can be quickly overwhelmed by a complex musical creation, or visually can fail to show the musical ideas that form a larger piece. You can employ notation, derived originally from instructions for plainsong chant and scrawled for individual musicians – and quickly discover how inadequate it is for the …


Ozone 5 Arrives: More Visual, Space Age UI, and Updated DSP in Mastering Tool

Let’s get straight to it: Ozone has already established itself as a do-everything mastering tool. It’s a suite of interconnected modules handling frequency and dynamics, designed to work together in an integrated interface. It does so much, in fact, that it’s hard for an upgrade to do more, but Ozone 5 promises new sound and visual feedback that could further entrench this popular tool. And that could explain how Ozone 5 stole the Audio Engineering Society trade show in New York. AES is a flurry of knobs, dials, and faders, but some of the major buzz we heard was just …


Across Time and Space, Tracing the Evolution of Western Dance Music: Data Visualization

Even from the birds-eye view of larger genres, the interrelations and ongoing transformation of music is dynamic, complex, and inter-connected. That’s the view in The Evolution of Western Dance Music, a map of musical styles in five-year chunks across the 19th and 20th Centuries, through Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. The project is the work of London/Seattle/New York Web agency Distilled, pulling genre births from Bass Culture, Last Night A DJ Saved My Life,The All Music Guide to Electronica, and Wikipedia. Having just edited a book entitled The Evolution of Electronic Dance Music, I find it extremely interesting to …


Bach Cello Suite No. 1, Visualized in Sweeping Arcs, and the Math Beneath

Alexander Chen, he of Kinect hacks and subways turned to strings, is back with another string visualization. Built in the browser (an interactive version is available), this work makes a visual accompaniment to Bach’s First Prelude from the Cello Suites. If you read music notation fluently, you may find the score itself suffices, but even so, the math to make this work – and the dance of circles across strings – is compelling. Alex, whose day job is with Google’s Creative Lab, talks to us a bit about the mathematics and process. First, his description: visualizes the first Prelude …


One Line of Code, into Music: Now with Visuals

This update I believe is worth a second post, as it makes visible the otherwise-mysterious algorithms producing music in our previous post. And yes, I believe this is “music,” naysayers aside. Whether it’s good music is in the ears of the listener, but if you can describe this much sound with this little code, imagine what’s really possible in computer music. Whatever it is you want to hear, it’s within the power of your imagination to describe it, on a score or in code, either one. Thanks to none other than Stephan Schmitt for the tip.


Random Fun: Novation Launchpad as Live EQ Display, Built in Processing

If you’ve got a whole bunch of colored lights, it seems only right to do something with them. Cacheflow sends a fun little hack with a Novation Launchpad. Of course, turning a Launchpad into a live EQ display means you can’t simultaneously use its lights to, like, play the Launchpad, but provided you have another controller, this could be a fun way to liven up your stage setup. We looked at a free e-book on Processing last week; if you’re playing with Processing, you can now use a handy, free library to integrate this simple and elegant coding tool with …


Spectral Layers Audio Editor Focuses on Editing Sound Visually, a la Photoshop

Can editing sounds be as easy as editing pixels in a tool like Photoshop? That’s the question asked yet again by an audio editor, in the announcement of a new tool called Spectral Layers, seen in a new teaser. Visualizing sound is not a simple problem, but you can do worse than the spectral view. Mapping frequency over time rather than just amplitude, the graphic spectrum illuminates components of a sound as we hear it, showing sonic energy of different frequencies in brightness and color. And audio editors have routinely made use of these views, whether as displays in various …


Design to Address Visual Performance in Music, Explained by a Giant Robot Face

Computing technology is an inherently disruptive thing, wonderfully so. It solves problems you didn’t know you had. It creates problems, then creates new problems in even trying to understand those problems. Simply using a computer is a kind of design statement. You’ve seen questions about what happens with computer performance and audience interaction. But, in AMALGAM, design student Jacob Lysgaard asks those questions, and proposes solutions, in a new way: with a giant talking robot face. (See above.) Laptop and electronic performance produces a number of symptoms that can be problematic. As the video roboface above puts it, you might …


Flickr Find: Harmonic Patterns on a Playground

Photo (CC-BY) Jan Tik. We celebrate 3.14, PI day, with some selections of mathematics, music, and visualization… Sometimes the results resemble scores, sometimes toys, and sometimes – more rarely – real musical instruments. But part of why I love computing as a window into music is its ability to visualize music’s mathematical beauty. I happened across this image from Flickr. It’s a chalk pattern on pavement for a children’s game (I’m not actually sure what game). But the math-compelled photographer found in it musical, harmonic intervals. I’ll have to sketch a little Processing and Pd design that plays with this …


Performing with Touch, Visualization: Futuristic iOS Interface Teaser

say Hello to KONKREET PERFORMER from Konkreet Labs on Vimeo. Berlin-based artist Shai Levy of Konkreet Labs shares their upcoming Konkreet Performer, an OSC controller application running on iOS that combines touch control with interactive visualization. The experience rethinks what A/V performance control could be, with a wild, alien interface of circles and particles interconnected with delicate meshes of lines. If you’re in Berlin, there’s a performance tomorrow evening (I’m not, so send pics!): Shai also has more to say on our own Noisepages community (which is launching in full form very, very soon, by the way). Excerpt: and …