Amon Tobin's ISAM, Behind the Scenes; Ask Your Questions

By now, you’ve likely heard about the eye-popping, three-dimensional architectural live visuals for Amon Tobin’s immersively-transmedia tour ISAM LIVE. It’s clearly a new high water mark in live audiovisual experience. So, how were the visuals done, and who did them? Derivative, the developers and visual collective behind the Touch Designer software that powered the show, have written up a detailed look at how the show works. Isabelle Rousset sends her article: A Behind the Scenes Report on the Making of the Show Visuals and Delivery Systems We’re in touch at CDM with Derivative and the folks who worked on the …


Survey: Which VJ – Visualist Software Do You Use Live?

Preparing for a live gig. Photo (CC-BY) Jaymis Loveday, from whom we do hope to hear again on CDM. Visualist. VJ. Live visuals. Visual performance. Live cinema. Whatever you call it, we want to know what you use. What’s on your screen when you boot your Mac, Windows, or Linux laptop — or iPad or PSP or Game Boy or … something else. It’s time for a new, proper survey of Create Digital Motion readers and the wider community. The more results we get, the broader the picture of our scene we’ll see, so please, please, please spread this post …


Open Thread: What is Virtuosity on a Drum Machine?

Photo (CC-BY-SA) bdu. Electronic music has always had a funny relationship with musicianship. It isn’t playing a traditional instrument; instead, it lies somewhere between instrumentalism and composition, between playing and conducting. Sometimes, that scale is tipped away from virtuosity of any kind. But lately, I’ve had an increasing number of conversations with people who make the tools with which we make music about what this all means. I’ll be able to share one of those conversations in a bit, but I’m curious to hear what readers think. Computers are fairly open-ended devices, so let’s take the familiar drum machine. What …


Tell Us Your Picks: Top Visualists, Best Work, Vital Technologies of 2010

Photo (CC-BY) Paulo Barcelos. It’s the end of another year. And it’s time to do a proper look back at the best of visualism – the best live visual sets, the best interactive visual work, the best experimental motion, and the most significant technologies that emerged in 2010. Too often, lists of “best VJs” focus entirely on clubland and commercial success, while videos and motion graphics stick to conventional work. So, we need your help. Last year, we had some terrific, thoughtful responses from readers – well worth re-reading now: Tell Us Your Picks: Top Visualists, Best Work of 2009 …


Looking for the Overlooked: What Was Your Favorite Music of 2010?

Photo (CC-BY) Hryck. / Todd. As the inevitable “best music of 2010” arrive, so, too, do complaints. Why are the lists the same? Why is an obvious choice overlooked? Why is a less-known choice overlooked? So, it’s time again for readers to discuss. What was your favorite music of 2010? Mixes, albums, singles? Unless your favorite was recorded entirely to tape, nearly any genre and instrumentation has gone through the filter of digital recording, mixing, and mastering. Almost anything might be said, rightfully, to qualify as digital music. What were the albums that inspired you, sonically, compositionally? What were your …


A CDM Holiday Gift Guide: Musical Goodness, All Under $200

Photo (CC-BY) JD Hancock. We users may sometimes gripe, but music technology gives us an impossibly wide variety for which to be thankful. From free (as in beer, as in freedom) to high-end and spendy, from software plug-in to acoustic instrument to solid-state electronics to toy, you’d run out of time and money long before you ran out of exceptional, music-inspiring choices. I think the passion people feel for music is the cause: economics and logic be damned, we’re all glad to make music part of our life, both as makers and consumers. Tools aren’t everything – it can be …


A Very Visualist Holiday: Tell Us What Eye Candy is Worth Wishing For

Photo (CC-BY) Valerie Renee. Musicians get loads of gift guides. Still photographers, too. Visualists – people who care about live visuals, fun synesthetic toys, experimentation for your eyes, and visual innovation – not so much. Let’s change that. Whether it’s a book about Nam June Paik, a set of lenses, a novel live controller, we want to hear about it. If you make something you think would work as a gift, if you have something on your own list, or suggest something for someone just getting into this stuff, do let us know. And yes, we’re doing this on Music, …


Make a Wish Come True: Help Don Create Digital Music

Photo (CC-BY-ND) Atomic Sprinkles. A man named Don Waugh, friend of a CDM reader, is facing some serious challenges. He’s just lost his wife, and faces severe, possibly life-threatening health problems. There’s a campaign underway to get him a liver transplant. But Don doesn’t only want to fight for his health: he wants to make music, too. While significantly hearing impaired (or even arguably mostly deaf), he wants to make some of the industrial music he loves. Chris G aka Metrosonus, Don’s friend, tells CDM he’s working on getting a gear drive together. What’s going unused in your closet could …


Dear Santa… Tell Us What Musical Stuff is on Your Wish List

Photo (CC-BY) magma666 / Scott. What’s truly wish-worthy? Is it a manuscript paper notebook? An iPhone app? A glitched-out hardware effect? A DAW? A sample library? A CD or book? Before we put together some of our own suggestions for this year’s gift guide, we want to hear from you. You can add to your own wish list. You can add something you’ve gotten yourself you think someone else – or even a beginner – might want themselves. If you make something you want people to know about, be you a large vendor or garage maker, you can pitch us …


Brains, Computers, Focus: How Do You Stay Productively Creative?

The original pomodoro. Photo (CC-BY-SA) borgmarc. For an artist, being productive and being happy are often closely intertwined. Whether you’re polishing off an album, practicing your instrument, patching or coding a new musical tool, or managing your career, music requires immense levels of focus and discipline. Then there’s the matter of the stuff that tends to be an obstacle: your day job, your to-do list, your taxes. Most musicians aren’t full-time, but even if you are, sometimes the greatest challenge is simply hurdling everything that isn’t your music, leaving you time for what is. Digital technology is naturally the bread …