nodebeat

NodeBeat, Visual Sequencer for iOS + Android Built with Free Tools, Back on Android Market

NodeBeat is the kind of experimental music application that’s thriving in the age of the multi-touch tablet. Its dynamic interface and sound are built on the foundation of free and open source software tools regularly covered here on CDMusic and Motion. OpenFrameworks, the Processing-like C++ library, handles the UI, as libpd, the embeddable version of graphical media environment Pure Data, manages the sound. What you get is an open-ended plane on which you can graphically array sequences, far away from the standard grid, for generative and sequenced music. It’s good fun, which made it a hit on iOS. Developer Seth …

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Isle of Tune: City Simulation as Music Sequencing, Soon to Leap from Browser to Mobile

A music score is, in essence, a way of making space into time: traversing notation from left to right and top to bottom, you move through a series of events. So, why not make that spatial map an actual map, as in the familiar, isometric interactive cityscape popularized by Will Wright’s classic game Sim City? Isle of Tune does just that: lay out trees, houses, and city streets, and you sequence musical patterns as virtual islands. It’s available right now on the Web, powered by Flash – Chrome users can even get a one-click install via the Chrome Web Store. …

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MO

What Makes a Truly New Instrument? Human Gestures Power Winners of Guthman Competition

Interlude Consortium’s competition-winning MO makes everyday objects interfaces and does some surprisingly-sophisticated analysis of gestures. Nearly as long as we’ve had electronics, musical inventors have tried to imagine new electronic instruments. In the crowded world of new instrument design, the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition has emerged as a key prize for the best work, with creations battling fiercely for attention. But in the oddball world of sound and music, how do you judge a winner? As a starting point, organizers this year asked the judges what they personally found important. With an expert panel including synth pioneer Tom Oberheim …

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Virtual Theremin Made with Kinect; Real Thereminists Will Make it Useful

Therenect – Kinect Theremin from Martin Kaltenbrunner on Vimeo. Who says technology has to move fast and die young? Leon Theremin may have been a full century ahead of his time, before computers, before transistors, before jet engines or atomic power or rockets. ReacTable creator Martin Kaltenbrunner has a virtual Theremin prototype built with Microsoft’s depth-sensing, 3D Kinect camera. And what he really needs is some players of the real Theremin to help develop it. Martin writes CDM:

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Kinect with Anything: TUIO Gestures from Kinect

TuioKinect from Martin Kaltenbrunner on Vimeo. Post hacking, Kinect is starting to look like it could be a do-anything controller in the mold of Nintendo’s Wii remote. Martin Kaltenbrunner, of ReacTable fame, has already posted a convenient application that maps gestures from Kinect to TUIO. (TUIO is a lightweight set of message specs atop OSC, one that can easily be supported by any application and platform, and which is already used by a number of tools.) The app opens countless musical and visual interactive applications. As Martin describes it: TuioKinect tracks simple hand gestures using the Kinect controller and sends …

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Apple Magic Trackpad as Multi-Touch Input, and Cross-Platform Multi-Touch

Apple today, alongside beefed-up iMacs with quad-core and Mac Pro towers with twelve, introduced a $69 Bluetooth trackpad accessory with multi-touch gesture support. http://www.apple.com/magictrackpad/ I’m not a huge fan of trackpads over mice, but yes, this does give you a cheap multi-touch input to play with. And we haven’t seen much in the dirt-cheap, under-$100 space. Wacom’s Bamboo Pen & Touch is a fun, decent-enough tablet available at a street price about the same as the Magic Trackpad. But its “multi-touch” functionality consists of a set of hard-wired gestures – developers can’t get at discrete touch points directly on the …

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Looking Beyond MIDI, What’s the Best Way to Represent Musical Notes Digitally?

Speaking in Hamburg to a terrific group of assembled locals from a variety of design backgrounds. And yes, this is the other part of my life behind me. I just seem to generally skip the years 1700-1985. Go figure. The history of music and the history of music notation are closely intertwined. Now, digital languages for communicating musical ideas between devices, users, and software, and storing and reproducing those ideas, take on the role notation alone once did. Notation has always been more than just a way of telling musicians what to do. (Any composer will quickly tell you as …

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Touch: Argos Builds Interfaces for Windows, Mac, and Soon iPhone, iPad, Beyond

Argos Interface Builder, v0.20 from Dimitri Diakopoulos on Vimeo. You know the game: you decide you want exactly 8 knobs and 10 faders. But your hardware interface has 8 knobs and 8 faders. And then you realize you could use 4 more knobs. The appeal of touch interfaces is clear: you get controls that grow and change. So now, a generation of mobile apps is working on giving you that flexibility on touch devices. The iPhone is just the start: now the iPad, with greater real estate, will go head to head with 5″, 8″, and laptop-sized screens running Android, …

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Touch: Bridge iPhone and Max/MSP Control

What happens when an interface is no longer locked to the screen? What about making control simply work from your hand, on a different screen, with awareness of the world around it? Simple as the early implementations may be, that’s really the vision behind mobile control applications for music and visuals. c74 is a lovely iPhone-based app that uses a Max/MSP patch to generate interfaces from a patch that run on your handheld. It isn’t just a control surface, though; access to native APIs on the phone also provide other features. GPS for specific location. (How you use that is …

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Free RFID Reader Connects Real World Objects to Music, Teaches OSC in Pd

RFID tags may have negative privacy associations when they’re used without someone’s knowledge. But embed these simple identifiers intentionally, and they can be a cheap, flexible way of tagging the world around you. Add OSC support with a free tool, and you can make anything into a basic music controller. That’s what Martin Kaltenbrunner – best known for his work on the ground-breaking ReacTable music table – has done with his own free software. It’s simple enough that you can easily make use of it, or take it as an opportunity to brush up on OSC and Pd. This sort …

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