A Robotic Machine Worn on the Arm Turns Tattoos into Music

Symbols in on paper can be realized as music, so why not turn a tattoo on your arm into a musical score? That’s what artist Dmitry Morozov (“vtol”), Moscow-based media artist and musician, has done with “reading my body.” It does more than transform his body markings into sounds. He mounts a machine on his arm, as sensors scan the image from a stepper-motor driven path along rails. The strange robotic machine makes him a kind of cyborg photo scanner optical synth. And the results sound like a delicate solo on a violin, playing a lullaby to baby puppies. Kidding. …

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What if your DAW were completely open-ended and modular, allowing you to send audio and control anywhere, and control from any device - including touch? Or, if that's too abstract for you, what if Usine ran on the Mac?

Sensomusic Hollyhock: An Open-Ended, Modular DAW from Usine Makers, Now Mac + Windows [Beta Preview]

Driven by musicians’ need to do a lot of the same things, and expecting certain ways of doing those things, DAWs have traditionally been mired in the same molds. Sensomusic Hollyhock, an upcoming DAW from the makers of Usine, promises to be genuinely different. Like Usine, it’s built around an entirely open-ended, modular environment – you can patch together only what you need, and can patch together just about anything. But building on Usine, Sensomusic have created an entirely rewritten app, with new audio engine, rebuilt interface, new MIDI management, and, among other things, cross-platform 64-bit support for Windows and …

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Make Music with Anything: junXion Universal Send-Receive for Mac [Video Tutorial Round-up]

“So,” you say, “I’ve got a … and I want to connect it to a … to make music. How do I do that?” One strong answer to that question, if you’ve got a Mac, is junXion. Developed by the landmark audio research laboratory STEIM – a hotspot in Amsterdam that for years has been imagining new ways of making music by connecting things to other things – it got a big update recently. It takes lots of the inputs you might imagine (joysticks, mice, touchscreens, MIDI, OpenSoundControl, audio, Arduino-powered hardware and all of its sensors, and video sensing) and …

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InvisiBall: Play Tennis with Sound, Blindfolded – or Blind

Trust your ears. It seems a simple instruction, in the teaser video for this project by Stockholm-based producer/composer Håkan Libdo. But for those of us used to having vision, focusing in on one sense – even the sense on which we rely for music and sound – can be an extraordinary experience. If digital interface design has done anything, it has forced new ways of looking at design across senses, and not just in a weary repetition of “we always do it this way.” Playing tennis in InvisiBall becomes a new experience. Sonic cues along direct the ball from side …

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Touch, Plus Tactile: In Gaming as in Research, Physical Controls Augment Touchscreens

The gaming industry has made their bet, and it’s that touchscreens go better with tactile controls. Might digital musicians reach the same conclusion? A funny thing has happened on the way to the touch era. The vision of a device like the iPad is minimalist to the extreme: an uninterrupted, impossibly-slim metal slate, as impenetrable as some sort of found alien scifi object. The notion is that by reducing physical controls, the software itself comes to the fore. It’s beautiful conceptually … and then you find yourself tapping and stroking a piece of undifferentiated glass. For navigating interfaces – and …

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Unity Game Engine 3 Adds Real-time Audio, Mod Tracker Features

Nearing the release of Unity 3, the popular multi-platform game engine, the dev team offers thoughts on what excites them most in the upgrade. Amongst those features are some tasty introductions in sound. Real-time audio features could make Unity an appealing environment for people working on experimental 3D interfaces for sound or adding more interactive sonic and music elements to games. And a MOD tracker … well, if you have to ask, you probably don’t care, but some heart rates in a particular community just shot way up. From the blog: Samantha Kalman I’m most thrilled about the new audio …

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Wherein the Wii Waggle is Wanted: Two Other Game Music Control Mappings

Imagine a nightmarish, dark-world, alternative-reality version of Wii Music, one that sends Miyomato-san screaming. That’s what you get from tokoloten, in a very un-Nintendo noise performance, as found on comments. The Wii is just one of his tools: tokoloten uses a variety of objects such as magnet motors, infrared devices, game controllers… in order to hide his lack of conventional technic. Depending on the venue, the show might be ambient-like, experimental or electronica with weird cinematographic references. But it most often combines all of this. tokoloten is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s proof that the controller – any controller – …

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Raw: Wii Waggling Meets the Studio – in Gustavo Bravetti + David Amo + Julio Navas

Amo Navas Bravetti – Raw (live video) from Gustavo Bravetti on Vimeo. Sure, novel controllers are fun to watch, like our friend Gustavo Bravetti, driving a Brazilian crowd wild by waving his Wii remote live. But what if you can’t see the performance gimmick, if you’re just listening to the track? The pitch behind the track “Raw,” celebrating the fifth anniversary of Fresco Records, is just that. It’s a studio-produced track, but the artists wanted to maintain some of the improvised feel of the live music. The track pairs the hit DJ/producer duo of David Amo and Juli Navas with …

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Gustavo Bravetti, Driving Crowds Wild with a Wave of His Wii-Enabled Hands

Gustavo Bravetti – Alternative Controllers @ Tribaltech 2009 (SC edition) from Gustavo Bravetti on Vimeo. Friend of the Site Gustavo Bravetti is back, getting the young Brazilian boys and girls on their feet with his virtual reality glove and Wiimotes and gesturally-controlled electronica. Gustavo sends us this video from the 2009 Tribaltech SC Edition in Campinas. Having seen a lot of DJs take the easy way out at festivals in front of throngs of people, it’s great to see someone really play his laptop – and while some of us, ahem, look goofy waving Wiimotes around, Gustavo makes it look …

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