Fract, Synth Studio as Game, Looks Better, Sounds Better, Wants Your Vote [Video, Gallery]

Amidst its future-arcade, glowing 3D architecture, Fract is a game. In a broken-down “abstract world,” you are piecing together puzzles, reconstructing machinery. But Fract is also a synth studio, one that promises the ability to create your own synth instruments, design your own sounds, and eventually piece together your own music. If Tron let you imagine a fantasy inside the computer, Fract takes you inside your synth. It’s like getting sucked into Reason. (Damn, now I want to meet Thor and Redrum…) I called it Myst meets music making when we saw it last year. Since then, the Montreal-based indie …

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From Gestures to MIDI: Geco Promises Music Applications for Leap Motion

Here we go again. Touchless hand gestures have been part of electronic musical performance ever since the Theremin first hummed to life almost 100 years ago. And those gestures embody the same challenges and promise. We have the ability as humans to think spatially, in three dimensions, and to have a tight sense of control via our muscles of gestures in space. We use gestures to communicate and to manipulate our world. Those same expectations can be disappointed in electronic systems, however, as they lack tangible physical feedback and may misinterpret our intentions. It’s easier to play with these ideas …

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DUO is a DIY 3D Sensor – Like Leap, But Open Source, From Gesture and Vision Veterans

Gestural input is already beginning to make Kinect look crude, offering new three-dimensional sensing approaches that combine low latency with precise gestures. That offers tremendous potential for new interfaces, and could in particular finally help solve the problem of how to intuitively work with three-dimensional interface concepts that don’t lend themselves to traditional touch and physical input. Leap Motion is already speeding toward its mid-May launch, complete with an app store ecosystem for developers wanting to push out new ideas to users. But Leap is a closed box. Apart from any philosophical objection, that means you can’t take it apart …

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Fractals, Bots, Nodes, and Patternists: Onyx Ashanti’s Cyborg Music Meets the Ensemble [Guest Post]

Get ready: from one more-than-human musical cyborg, a robotic horde of beatjazz artists. Onyx Ashanti isn’t satisfied just augmenting his own body and musical expression with 3D-printed, sensor-laden prostheses. He’s extending that solo performance with bots that crawl around and gesture for feedback, then – inspired by the organic beauty of fractal geometry – is binding together performers with his system in a networked system of nodes. Just don’t call it a jam session. Call them patternists. If this sounds crazy, it is: crazy in just the way we like. But amidst this hyper-futuristic vision of performance, Onyx also writes …

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3D Light Painting How-To: iPad + Open Tools + LEGOs with Mickael Le Goff

Monark teaser (How to do 3D light-painting) from Mickael Le Goff on Vimeo. When photography meets generative visuals, where real-for-real techniques come together with digital imagery, some special things can happen. Take the surprisingly-effective technique of 3D light painting. If you don’t closely follow our sister music site, you may have missed NI’s Monark synth. But the teaser for it is worth revisiting for its technique. Combining the iPad as a convenient portable screen with generative visuals and an open source 3D and Arduino control rig, it produces a rich, subtle effect that could be worth adding to your arsenal. …

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Magic Cube: 20 Bicycles Make Generative, Architecture-Sized Graphics and Sound

Bet your Spinning class was never like this. In an architectural installation in Lyon, France, sound and light – and a whole lot of tech – come together with 20 bicycle riders, as the cycles appear to generate streams of data that feed the generative, abstract results. The Magic Cube @Lyon2012 from pixelux on Vimeo. The cyclists can’t really generate this much power – there’s just not enough energy and efficiency in this system for that – but, via sensors, their pedaling can impact the pattern. Presented at Fête des Lumières at the end of last year in Lyon, this …

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Insane, Starship Control Panel Controls Sound Morphing-Synth in 3D: COSMOSƒ

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: manipulating sound presets should be as intuitive and powerful as regulating plasma coolant flow to the antimatter injector on a warp drive nacelle. I mean, knobs? How quaint. COSMOSƒ is a graphical morphing engine for sound, a standalone synthesizer with a wild, sci-fi interface. You can actually set up polar coordinates and navigate sounds through a sphere, in three dimensions. The sound engine is all internal, but looks like a lot of fun. (For more of this sort of thing, see the excellent, free and open source IanniX, which …

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Fabric and Architectural Form Begin to Fuse [3D Printing]

Articulated Fabric from Francis Bitonti Studio on Vimeo. Architects regularly theorize about 3D printing and a move to architecture that’s more fluid and flexible. But just what would that look like? This report today gives us a glimpse. The designer: Michael Schmidt, NYC The architect/3D research studio: Francis Bitonti, Brooklyn For Dita Von Teese, burlesque star, who’s able to wear 3D-printed garments fabulously, more power to her / see below… The 3D printer: Shapeways Via Designboom Description:

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Sailing Digital Seas: Exquisite Audiovisual Etudes Made in a Free Game Engine

30 seconds or more 07 – Will I ever make it home? from Victor Morales on Vimeo. Set to the music of Norway’s Pål Asle Pettersen, Victor Morales has created surreal digital landscapes made of textures that vibrate and transform in time to sound. And he’s being quite prolific. Working primarily with Crytek’s CryENGINE game engine – now free for non-commercial use – he is producing one short film each day. He tells CDM the visual engine helps produce these rapidly: It shows how powerful these video games engines are for the creation of strong visual material in very little …

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Musical Physics, Baby! A 3D AV Sequencer Box, Physics Resources for Max

The Box from Mike Todd on Vimeo. Knobs and faders, we love you on hardware. But when it comes to the unlimited possibilities of the computer, we know how to get the party on: “Add some physics bodies.” (See below; that’s really a quote.) Mike Todd, whose work we’ve seen before on CDMotion, sends us a physics-based sequencer/synth built in Max/MSP and Jitter. It’s a quivering, humming three-dimensional world of sound, in which visuals and noise are entangled in a single design. (Ableton Live acts as a sound engine.) As Todd says, he’s “not sure which CDM site this would …

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