Messe Oddities: Pioneer Steelz Audio Type T Automates Dance Battles

I’m immediately attracted to things I can’t identify, so here’s one of the less expected bits of hardware from the Frankfurt Musikmesse show’s digital audio 5.1 hall. (That’s the hall’s actual number – surround sound similarity is coincidental.) Someone at Pioneer worked out how to combine the timer used in chess, the boombox, some DJ effects, and dance battles, and the result is this: the STEELZ AUDIO Type T, evidently new and under glass at Musikmesse in Frankfurt this week. I think it deserves special mention for its sheer oddness. (And hey, maybe this is a product for someone somewhere!) …

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Pd, Everywhere: Free libpd Gets a New Site, New Book on Making Mobile Music Apps

Pure Data (Pd) is already a free, convenient tool for making synths, effects, and sequencers and other musical generators. But imagine stripping away all the things that tie it to a platform – UI, specific hardware support – so it will run just about anywhere, on anything, in any context. That’s what libpd, a free, embeddable, open source (BSD) tool for making interactive music, does. Coders can take their favorite language and their favorite platform, and just plug in the power of Pd. They don’t even have to know almost anything about Pd – they can let an intrepid Pd …

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Bitwig Introduces New Production+Performance Studio; Looks a Lot Like Ableton Live

For years, since the launch of Ableton Live, many have waited for a worthy rival, something that combines production and live performance for music users. Live isn’t without alternatives – Renoise, for instance, has earned some fans, though it isn’t necessarily built for live performance. But few provide the same real-time workflows. Bitwig, based in Berlin as is Ableton and featuring some Abletronic veterans, today took the wraps off its own Bitwig Studio. The good news is, it’s looking as though it might shape up to be a viable tool for DJing, performing, and making music. The bad news is, …

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Playing 3D Geometries Like Instruments: V-Module for Ableton + Max for Live

Improvising with 3D geometries as though they’re an instrument, Amsterdam-based artist Fabrizio Poce has harnessed Max for Live to play with generative visuals in real-time in a music environment. You can see the work he’s doing, or try assembling your own chains of visuals with his free Max for Live device V-Module. He explains to CDM why he’s turned to this kind of tool in his work:

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Rainlith: A Robotic, Responsive Rainstick, Powered by Kinect

In a responsive, real-time sculpture, the simple sonic qualities of a rainstick become electronically enhanced. Rainlith, a “kinetic sound art” work by Rui Gato, makes the rainstick itself robotic, its sounds transformed in space in a way that is itself sculptural. Responding to movement in the space using Microsoft’s Kinect, the apparatus is a geektastic brew of just about every tool you could imagine involved in this sort of construction. The artist shares full details, reproduced here in both English and Portugese – and Rui, thanks for sending this in:

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An Orchestra of Lightbulbs Makes a Canopy for Theatrical Performance, in Cinder Code

Drawing from historical lightbulbs, powered by creative code (the open source, C++ tool Cinder), “So… I was at a party last night” is a symphony in responsive electric lights. The reactive portion is relatively simple – sound analysis switches lights off and on in clusters – but the objects themselves move to the fore. The bulbs and their natural physical characteristics makes for a fusion of digital choreography and 19th-century technology. Andrea Cuius-Boscarello, a veteran of Random International, United Visual Artists, and Cinimod Studio, collaborated here with a designer whose background crosses between digital and interior and physical, Roland Ellis. …

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From Your Voice to Sculpture, Handheld Augmented Visuals

Artist James Alliban sends his mobile app Konstruct, which translates speaking, singing, whistling, and blowing into generative three-dimensional forms, then maps them to an augmented reality marker. It’s vocal improvisatory art. A version is planned for iPad 2, which seems appropriate – the tablet form factor becomes a canvas. It looks like great fun to play with, and promises options for visual settings as well as the ability to save. My only question is whether the AR tag is really essential, or if the app could simply use location and orientation sensors on the mobile device. I imagine it depends …

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Mobile Game Audio 101: A Unique Reference to Crafting Mobile Sound; CDM E-book Discount

Charming, original hand-draw illustrations by Peter Jungers spice up the title. Sound and music for games is already a growing frontier for professional music careers; mobile, then, triply so. But with the expanded opportunities come unique challenges. Learning about them requires real-world experience, and short of word of mouth, that kind of knowledge is often scarce – even in the Web age. Composer, sound designer, and audio director Ben Long has put his sonic thumbprints on games and TV networks alike, and has recently turned his attention to sharing some of the industry secrets of the mobile realm, with work …

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AVCLASH: Insane Interactive Audiovisuals, Free in Browser, via Flash

AV Clash – Tag Mash from Video Jack on Vimeo. What if you could witness the birth of life at a microscopic level in some alternate, digital universe? And what if it made a deliciously-raunchy racket? That’s the sense I get looking at AVCLASH, a free audiovisual interactive artwork built in Flash that runs in your browser. The creators describe it to us thusly: AV Clash (www.avclash.com) is a Web-based project by Video Jack (AndrĂ© Carrilho and Nuno Correia, with Gokce Taskan), which allows for the creation of audiovisual compositions, consisting of combinations of sound and audio-reactive animation loops. The …

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Adobe to Bring Audition, Wave Editor and Post Tool, to the Mac

Audition, a favorite, previously Windows-only wave editor from Adobe, is coming to the Mac this winter. Adobe is touting native surround support, multi-channel effects, and performance optimizations; you can check out how the new tool looks at Adobe Labs. The public beta is due this winter. Interestingly, Adobe is pushing the video side of this more than audio, even though Audition is popular with audio users. The demos are hosted by video specialist Jason Levine, and “post production” is the phrase that keeps coming up. The Mac is quickly becoming spoiled for choice with dedicated wave file editors, maybe enough …

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