Dynamic, Morphing Type, Generated in vvvv

With a nod to the forms and shapes of analog-generated imagery, but fully digital, here’s another digital type project. Buchstabengewitter (perhaps translated “Letterstorm”), by Ingo Italic, uses generative patching to imagine type that emerges from three-dimensional clouds of geometry. It comes to us from the research laboratory at Letters are my Friend, the Berlin type hub mentioned earlier today. Description: Each letter is animated and morphed in vvvv. I tried to push the limits of a readable animated glyph. Each letter can be morphed into any glyph of the alphabet. That makes it easy to blend also several words into …

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Modulating Type with Synthesizer Knobs: Meek FM, Revisited

True to their roots in metal, stone, and wood, typography is generally imagined to be fixed in place. It’s hardly the sort of thing you’d imagine transforming in time, the way you would a musical utterance. Yet the Meek FM Typographic Synthesizer defies that convention. The 2007 project, designed by Rob Meek and Frank M├╝ller, was recently exhibited at Berlin’s Letters Are My Friends. That makes it a perfect time to revisit the project, and its notion of typography as something fluid, malleable, and temporal in the way synthesized music would be. From the description by Letters Are My Friends: …

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Watch Artists Talk About Making Sound From Matter; Thursday Event and Stream in Transmediale Prelude

Alex Nowitz for BodyControlled #2 from CDM on Vimeo. Electronic media artist Mario de Vega (Mexico City/Berlin) says his work plays with the creation of “unstable systems.” As part of the official Vorspiel, or lead-up, to Berlin’s massive Transmediale festival, here we get to visit two artists working with the materiality of live performance, drawing from the festival theme of “in/compatible.” The sonic environments they create seem poised on the brink of sonic chaos, a dance at the edge of entropy. CDM will again be editorial co-presenter of BodyControlled; you can see the show for free (donation suggested) in Berlin …

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Jer Thorp on Data as a Medium, in Full Talk from a Visualization Artist

“Wayne Gretzky and Spiderman are at the door, and they brought cake!” Speaking to the Eyeo visualization festival in Minneapolis, digital artist and designer Jer Thorp (aka blprnt) shows what’s possible with visualization and data as a medium. As the Data Artist in Residence at The New York Times and teacher at NYU’s ITP, he knows his stuff, and here he shares work from a person at the top of his game. In this long-form video, you can sit back and take in the whole presentation, which covers: https://openpaths.cc/: A unique visualization and data management tool that works with your …

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Music Making, and Living, with The Books’ Nick Zammuto, in a Touching Short Film

When we say “handmade music,” we really mean this sense of crafting something , of touching something – not so much the technique or the technology as the intention behind what you do. In a striking film portrait of Nick Zammuto for nakedmusicians.com, the craft of living is spotlighted as much as the craft of music making. Nick, is known for his role in duo The Books (with Dutch-born Paul de Jong), and their distinctive, rhythmic, homebrewed-original sound. Here, he covers his manipulations of everything physical and temporal. Sound sampling is a tangible process, the poetry of things put together …

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Monolake Explains Great Mastering Technique in 44 Seconds

At last, you, too, can achieve great mastering. Mastering – a step by step guide to good sound by monolake Sadly, as Robert Henke concedes: i still think it needs to be louder and it lacks dynamics and punch. I STILL THINK IT NEEDS TO BE LOUDER AND IT LACKS DYNAMICS AND PUNCH! It’s like banging your head against a brick wall. No further comment at this time.

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The Best New Stuff from NAMM, in Videos: Akai, Arturia, Livid, Moog, Smithson-Martin, Teenage Engineering

Can I have this fun, wacky, sound-shaping Arturia monosynth and the new Moog Minitaur, please? Actually, at their prices, you really could – and still spend less than the cost of a lot of standalone synths. There’s lots of new stuff for musicians. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to leave some of it out, and skip to what’s really interesting. Neil Bufkin did a great job last year covering NAMM for CDM, shooting some lo-fi, informal videos that got right to the heart of what we wanted to know. So, I’m pleased to share Neil’s work again, since …

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Geometric Reactive Audio Visualizations, Now Live in the Browser; How it was Done

Now, tripping out to visuals while you listen to music doesn’t require a separate app. You can do it right in the browser. And this pretty proof of concept not only creates dancing 3D visuals: it also demonstrates just how much is possible with 3D browser capabilities, and how they could interact with music, suggesting much more to come. Los Angeles-based developer Felix Turner of Airtight Interactive shares The Loop Waveform Visualizer. Tested for use in Google’s Chrome, it’s powered by two cross-platform, cross-browser, HTML5-associated technologies, WebGL and the Web Audio API. Give it any MP3 (you can even drag …

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The Live Mixer, Reimagined, in a Futuristic Touchscreen Device from Line 6

Photo: Marsha Vdovin, snapped for CDM in the mood lighting of the Line 6 press room at the NAMM show. Few things are as essential to music making as the experience of a live show. So it’s about time someone took some risks to see if there’s a better way to run live sound. Line 6’s new StageScape M20d is important because it does just that – it finally says the mixer as you know it doesn’t have to be sacred, and tries to build a better one. Traditionalists might be skeptical – and with good reason, as we see …

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Digital Performer Runs on Windows; Hell Freezes Over; SONAR Left in the (Windows-Only) Cold

Digital Performer, and Performer before it, has been a Mac-only program for almost as long as you’ve been able to buy a computer called “Macintosh.” The first Performer release was available in 1985. (Professional Composer, before that, was out in ’84.) Performer, accordingly, has had a big impact on the history of the sequencer, and later the audio and MIDI arrangement hybrid that came to be known as Digital Audio Workstation, throughout the history of the genre. But it’s never run on any Microsoft platform – until now. In an announcement I doubt anyone saw coming, MOTU has announced they’re …

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