Beatsurfing: At Last, a Controller for iPad That Lets You Draw Layouts Onscreen, “Surf” Controls

Beatsurfing – The Organic MIDI Controller Builder – Official Teaser from Vlek Data on Vimeo. There are already some exceptional touch controllers on iOS. But that means it’s doubly time for something new. Even among the best touch apps for iPad, there are some common themes. Layouts, if they’re editable at all, generally require a computer app for making and adjusting sets of controls. And (while Lemur is a notable exception), many restrict you to virtual simulations of conventional buttons and faders, rather than using a range of novel controls. That seems to ignore some of the potential of the …

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Two MIDI Tools for Playing iPad/iPhone, One Whimsical, One Practical

From top, MIDIWriter uses what would normally be your text input for music; MIDI Studio takes a more conventional – but nicely-implemented – approach. Equipped with MIDI, a phone or tablet can communicate with a vast range of standalone hardware and computer software for music. So, what to do with that power? Two recent applications show just some of the breadth of possibility, one from Japan, one from Ukraine. One provides an array of powerful tools, combining into one application a lot of functions that have otherwise been available only in separate apps. One takes a more novel approach. Each …

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Live, Creative Animation, as OSC Meets Cinema4D (Animate as You Jam on an iPad, etc.)

Electronic musicians have known for some time that the ability to get hands-on control can make something feel live – and alive. It’s just as true for real-time control of animation. At last, animation is getting that real-time, performative feel in the newest generation of software. For fans of the 3D tool Cinema4D, that makes the arrival of OSC big news. (OSC stands for Open Sound Control, though here, that’s a misnomer – sound doesn’t need to be involved.) With the Camera GripTools OSC XTension now available, you can open up this production powerhouse to input from iOS and Android …

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Make Music with Anything: junXion Universal Send-Receive for Mac [Video Tutorial Round-up]

“So,” you say, “I’ve got a … and I want to connect it to a … to make music. How do I do that?” One strong answer to that question, if you’ve got a Mac, is junXion. Developed by the landmark audio research laboratory STEIM – a hotspot in Amsterdam that for years has been imagining new ways of making music by connecting things to other things – it got a big update recently. It takes lots of the inputs you might imagine (joysticks, mice, touchscreens, MIDI, OpenSoundControl, audio, Arduino-powered hardware and all of its sensors, and video sensing) and …

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Max for Live Gems: Easier MIDI Mapping, Automation Recording, and Alternative Sequencing

As Max for Live has matured, this tool for extending the functionality of Ableton Live has played host to a growing wave of brilliant custom tools – enough so that it can be hard to keep track. This month saw a few that deserve special mention. In particular, two tools help make MIDI mapping and automation recording easier in Live, and point the way for what the host itself could implement in a future update. (Live 9, we’re looking at you.) And in a very different vein, from Max for Live regular Protofuse, we see an intriguing alternative approach to …

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MidiPads is a Versatile iPad Drum Pad Controller, Controlling Everything from Modulation to Traktor

The iPad as a controller is at its best when it plays to its strengths, letting you use that continuous finger control do something useful. So that makes MidiPads worth a look. It’s a strikingly-versatile drum pad controller with all of the kinds of features you might want, and with a major version 1.5 release this week, looks even more useful as a control addition to your studio. First off, it’s got all of the I/O you could want: USB MIDI (so, use the Camera Connection Kit and a class-compliant interface, or dedicated interfaces like iRig MIDI and MIDI Mobilizer …

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rePatcher: Make Your Computer a Real Modular, with Knobs and Cords; Pd and Max Right Now

For the last few decades, generally speaking, we’ve had computers, and we’ve had physical, modular, analog gear. Computers are endlessly patchable, but not using physical cords. Modulars use physical cords, but they lack the flexibility (and affordability) of a computer. Now, US$25 and an Arduino can change that. rePatcher is a simple, tangible modular interface for computers. It could work with any software, but right out of the gate it already works with two popular (virtual) patching environments, Max/MSP and the free and open source Pure Data (Pd). You use physical patch cords to make connections, and those connections are …

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Look at Me, I’m Flying: SpaceNavigator Hardware + Blender

While poking around the site of that brilliant GLSL iPad app, among many wonderful goodies (see link below), I found this excellent demo of SpaceNavigator, the 3D control hardware. Got my SpaceNavigator in the mail today. It’s a 6-dof HID that works great with Blender. I threw together this test scene to get to grips with flying, it certainly has a slight learning curve but is well worth it. The speed you can navigate around your scene is fantastic and is perfect for finding new camera angles and planning/recording camera paths. I have one of these, and played a bit …

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Look at Me, I'm Flying: SpaceNavigator Hardware + Blender

While poking around the site of that brilliant GLSL iPad app, among many wonderful goodies (see link below), I found this excellent demo of SpaceNavigator, the 3D control hardware. Got my SpaceNavigator in the mail today. It’s a 6-dof HID that works great with Blender. I threw together this test scene to get to grips with flying, it certainly has a slight learning curve but is well worth it. The speed you can navigate around your scene is fantastic and is perfect for finding new camera angles and planning/recording camera paths. I have one of these, and played a bit …

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Touch to Control: Usine Learns Music Parameters with the Magic of OSC

Touchable tablets may be all the rage at the CES trade show, showcase to consumer-friendly gadgetry. But quietly, developer Sensomusic has accomplished multi-touch control of an open-ended music system on standard-issue PCs and accessories. They’ve pointed the way to just what this mechanism could be. The latest video isn’t terribly easy to see, but it realizes something that has been the dream of fans of the music control protocol OSC (OpenSoundControl). “Learn” functionality lets you touch a control, then assign that control to something in your music software. But because these functions have relied on MIDI, they’ve generally been a …

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