Grid Tricks: How Launchpad S Differs, Emulate Push with Launchpad, 11 Launchpad Display, More

Life on the grid gets better and better. Yes, these blinky, lighty arrays of squares do continue to proliferate. But musicians are also hacking away to make them more useful. And they do that with perhaps nothing as much as the Novation Launchpad, a kind of workhorse of the grid world. While one of the simpler grid controllers available, Novation’s hardware is also uniquely affordable – and uniquely rugged, standing up to plenty of abuse. Here, we get to see how the Launchpad S differs from the original, how both Launchpads can emulate Ableton’s flashy-new Push, and what happens when …

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Deconstructed Dance Floor: EVOL’s Strange Experiments with Light, Sound, and Acid

For all the years of “classical” electronic music performance from academia, the experience of entering a club or dance music program can be awfully avant garde and surreal. There’s a barrage of sensory input – flashing lights, strange, repetitive sounds. The Spanish/British duo Roc JimĂ©nez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp, aka EVOL, have taken that feeling to its extreme. And the results are weird, wonderful fun. (The two play Berlin Thursday night at N.K. on a diverse program including Chris Douglas and Bill Kouligas; N.K. is one of Europe’s most consistent venues for electronic experimentalism, and somehow will keep feeding …

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Begone, Mouse: The Latest Upcoming Ableton Live Touch Controllers [Gallery]

The “live” in Ableton Live suggests making musical decisions in real time – not slowly with painstaking editing, stopping and editing and drawing, but as you listen and work. But while the onscreen interface is built around the mouse, and the precision of the mouse, focusing on those settings in performance, DJing, or studio work really wants something else. So, you have two choices. One is to use external physical control, like a conventional MIDI controller or the just-released Ableton Push. And that works very well for many people. Or, you can use a touchscreen. The advantages of the screen …

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Bhoreal Makes Grids Color, Open, Controls Robots and Lasers; Final Hours of Funding

BHOREAL gets ready from MID New Media Design on Vimeo. It’s been almost a decade since the monome first began making appearances. Now, grids are everywhere – and that raises the question, where will the next innovation come from? What’s exciting about Bhoreal is that, far from simply cloning the monome, it realizes potential frontiers that the original monome couldn’t. And as Bhoreal reaches the final hours of crowd funding, the last chance to be first in line for the first hardware, it’s performing a lot of tricks to show off. Think lasers and robots. See the video at top …

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Cascading Topologies of Data, in 3D Surface and Projection Mapping

Yota Devices / Scenarios from onionlab on Vimeo. Beyond the tired repetition of look-alike work, collaborations between areas like architecture and visual design really can light up our cities in new ways. I spent some time today touring the Fab Lab Barcelona, a multi-disciplinary fabrication studio peopled by experts in architecture and design. What’s special about this space to me is not only the well-stocked array of tools, but a commitment to applying technology to new contexts. The campaign just wrapped up yesterday on a crowd-funded sensor board that will provide intelligent environmental data from around the world, called Smart …

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Motion Controlling a Water Drop: Entropy, An Arduino, A Laser Pointer, and a Gorgeous Watery Animation

In an elegant, balletic dive, taking an almost impossibly-long span of time, a single droplet of water falls and splashes, an animated logo peeking out from the inside. But it’s what isn’t there that may surprise you. There’s slow motion camera behind the scenes, meaning the usual way of doing this is absent. Instead, what you’re seeing is a stop motion time lapse – a record of the shifting patterns of entropy in nature, thousands of different droplets appearing as connected that in reality are not. It’s a trick of animation and high-speed lighting, not high-speed photography, stroboscopic illusion. And …

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Bhoreal: RGB Grid as Open Source Hardware – Kit or Ready-Made, Wired or Wireless

We are Bhoreal from MID New Media Design on Vimeo. Grids are suddenly everywhere – in music control, but also in visuals and art. And they’re lighting up in RGB. But Bhoreal promises to do some things other grids aren’t. Whereas the monome is a truly beautiful, handmade and rare object, its rarity – by design – means it’s hard to get. And readily-available commercial products aren’t open source, and while they fit certain needs elegantly, they’re designed to stick to those needs rather than allow easy modification. Bhoreal is this kind of blank-slate, do-anything colored grid you can turn …

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Cubepix, Kinetic Projection Mapping On A Moving Wall of Cubes [Arduino + OF + Kinect]

Cubepix Demo Test – by Xavi’s Lab from Glassworks Barcelona on Vimeo. The next step in projection mapping: kinetic projection mapping. Moving beyond the sometimes-clinical use of projection mapping to use three-dimensional objects as a surface, the addition of the kinetic makes the surface itself part of the motion. Cubepix is a direct, lovely implementation of that notion, as an array of cubes moves in concert with the images displayed on them. This project also clearly recalls the work of Daniel Rozin, whose wooden mirrors – one most notoriously displayed in the entrance lobby of NYU’s ITP media tech program …

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Reflections on Projection Mapping, as Masters and Apprentices Meet

Projection Mapping thoughts. Telenoika Mapping Workshop from Telenoika on Vimeo. The development of perspective illusion in Europe didn’t come from an individual artist. There was no single breakthrough moment. The refinement of the technique was a collective, communal activity, forged in workshops and apprenticeships. So, it’s fitting that the development of projection media around the same notions of perspective would be communal in the same way. Now, we’re back in Europe, but as a single focal point for a movement that’s truly global, now no longer controlled by guilds or the like, but as flat and open as the Internet. …

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A Duet for Piano and Building: Architectural Visuals, Mapped to Keyboard Playing

Mapping interactivo sobre maqueta “Piano & Mapping” from Perro Verde on Vimeo. In an audiovisual etude, a piano player is translated to architectural projection mapping in a new work from Barcelona. The translation is not overly strict, but instead makes a kind of counterpoint, a duet between pianist and building. No word yet on whether this will be realized at full scale, but – in the flat environment of a computer display, of course, you won’t see the difference. It seems this sort of light organ arrangement may gain renewed interest as musicians and visual artists alike tackle the question …

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