Ableton + Max for Live + Jitter = MIDI-Controlled Video

Max4Live Jitter-MIDI demo from Greg Lorincz on Vimeo. Ableton’s Max for Live places not only the audio and MIDI capabilities of Max/MSP in Live, but video and 3D as well, in the form of Jitter. There is one significant caveat, in that you can’t live-patch in Jitter when running inside Live – you can’t get live video output while the patch is open for editing – if you don’t own a full Max/MSP/Jitter license, too. You have to lock the patch in order to get video output while running inside Live. (As near as I can tell, this is to …

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CDM and Creative Commons “Non-Commercial” Images

(CC) Giulio Zannol. Sampling and online reuse are enormously common in our culture today. But if you really believe in making some of that culture freely accessible, it follows you must also make free licenses explicit. Simply taking something because it’s there isn’t fair to the person who created the content, whose rights should come first, and it doesn’t help advance the cause of free content. If we want content to be more freely accessible, we need to give first priority to those materials explicitly licensed for free use. All of that is to say, we need to obey the …

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Here Come the Fixes: Live 8.1.1 Begins Squashing Bugs

(CC) Pikturewerk. Minor releases and bugfixes don’t generally make CDM news, but this is a special occasion. Ableton founder and CEO Gerhard Behles got everyone’s attention this week by making the rare public announcement that Ableton’s development team was temporarily halting work on new features to focus on fixing bugs. That has prompted some seriously impassioned discussion, on the Ableton forum but also here on CDM. Look past some of the hyperbola and name-calling, and you’ll see some insightful comments on both sides. In fact, the whole affair reveals a lot about how music software customers view bugs, updates, support, …

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NodeBox 2: Free, Python-Powered Tool Gets Visual Patching, Windows Support

Free tools like Processing and OpenFrameworks have provided elegant, quick coding for live graphics, but their interfaces have tended to be code-based. One exception has been the Mac-based Field, which provides graphical patching. Now, you can add NodeBox to that list. This free graphical creation toolkit, built on Python, had long allowed tinkering with and exporting beautiful illustrations, but its interface used code exclusively – and it ran on Macs only. Now, NodeBox 2, in an actively-developed beta, runs on Windows and adds a graphical patching interface. The “Core Vector” Nodes act as much as a set of macros as …

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Tell Us Your Picks: Top Visualists, Best Work of 2009

Another calendar clicks by. Printable calendar and photo by Joe Lanman. Visualists: it’s time to talk about the work that inspired you over the past year. As I go through the top electronic music albums of the year, it occurs to me that a similar compilation is badly needed in the world of visuals. What live visual work has inspired you most over the past twelve months? By “live,” let’s assume live projection, live visual performance / VJing, interactive visuals, projection mapping, interactive software, and interactive installation. Were there posts here on CDM that you found especially exciting? Who were …

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Round-Up: Robotic Drummers, Robotic Percussion

So, your human drummer can’t bang out the elaborate breakcore beats you’ve composed, huh? Build your own robotic replacement, putting the magic of positronics into rhythm. That’s what the folks of Texas Central Positronics and the David Crowder Band have done with Steve_3po, the robotic drummer. It brings new meaning to “drum machine,” blending acoustic sound with programmed rhythms. The secret to controlling this machine with MIDI is none other than one of our favorite kits, Highly Liquid’s MIDI Decoder. For more on that side of things, see the recent story by Mike Una here on CDM: DIY MIDI In, …

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Got a Product at NAMM? Get in Our Guide, Request Meetings; Correspondents Wanted

Yes, folks, NAMM is big. Photo (CC) bigdrumthump.com If you’re introducing or demonstrating new products at NAMM, and you’d like to be considered for CDM’s curated NAMM products guide, let us know. Incidentally, since I don’t represent the NAMM organization, that can mean anyone in LA around NAMM or otherwise timing announcements that week, whether or not you’re an exhibitor. One- and two-person shops are as welcome as big manufacturers, as always. There is no charge to be in the CDM guide, excepting the need to have something cool. We can’t cover everything and want to avoid information overload, but …

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Ableton Suspends Development to Focus on Bug Fixes for Live 8

Killing bugs dead, as pictured in a sign in Ikaho, Japan. Photo: Rick Hall. New features are great, and yes, it’s often us users asking for them. But reliability and stability are more important to most of us. It’s therefore a welcome surprise to see Ableton’s CEO post the following message on Ableton’s forum today, announcing that the company will put new features on hold until some reliability issues are fixed. For developers other than Ableton, it should be telling to see how users respond — if this kind of frankness inspires confidence rather than concern, it could mean that …

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