Touching Reaktor, with Touchscreen Laptop, Touch Projections

Having looked at two examples of what the Lemur multi-touch hardware can do, the videos above illustrate directly what I’m talking about when I describe two different approaches. Metrognome is an insanely-talented guru in the modular instrument/effects-building environment Reaktor. He’s working to build new live performance tools that meld live arrangement / remixing / DJing with a kind of computer meta-instrument. It’s really a great illustration of how software can become a live instrument. It also represents one of two paths in thinking about what touch can do for live music performance. 1. Multi-touch as virtual controller: The Lemur’s design …

READ MORE →

Pixel Bender: Accelerated Filter Goodness in CS4

Earlier this week, I talked about some of the consumer-oriented feature improvements in Adobe Creative Suite CS4. But the most interesting development from Adobe is actually more on the developer side. Pixel Bender is a new format for making GPU-accelerated (and CPU multi-threaded) filters, which means fast blends (with different blend modes) and special effects. You can even use it for math operations. Now, whether or not you yourself are able to code these sorts of things, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of filters being passed around online. True, it means dealing with yet another way of creating these filters, …

READ MORE →

CHDK Powershot Firmware Allows High Speed Photography on the Cheap

The folks over at CHDK have been implementing custom firmware for the Canon Digic II and Digic III PowerShot cameras for some time – allowing for some awesome features for these small cameras. Previous added abilities such as shooting raw mode, USB tethered triggering, in camera motion detection and increased video recording options (compression options and no file size restrictions per clip). But recently a new fimeware build by firmware hacker Allbest has allowed some very impressive high shutter speeds and high speed flash unit timings. CHDK folks have done tests measuring ccd timing vs flash timing, as well as …

READ MORE →

Weekend Physical Computing DIY: Strip an Inkjet Printer for Parts

Since receiving my Arduino I’ve found myself looking at technology a little differently. As your post-production skills increase you tend to watch videos thinking: “I could do that”, or “I could do that if someone gave me lots of money and got out of my way”. In my post-Arduino life I now look at technology and think either, “I wonder how I could interface my arduino with that,” or “I wonder if anyone will mind if I pull that apart.”   Nobody will mind if you pull an old Inkjet printer apart. Every house has at least one in a cupboard somewhere, …

READ MORE →

Finally, Easy Custom Ableton Live Skins: SonicTransfer Live Skin Editor

I started using Live with version 1, and since that version, Live users have longed for an easy way to customize the color scheme in Ableton Live. It’s a no-brainer: two-dimensional interface, high-contrast UI elements, basic graphics — why not be able to choose the color scheme you want? Ableton’s own themes let you abandon the gunmetal battleship colors, but generally for garish nightmare schemes that seem to have escaped from the Windows 3.0 themes from Hell. SonicTransfer, a site that’s become an increasingly nice resource for tutorials and other info, took matters into their own hands: Matt built his …

READ MORE →

DIY Faux-Woodgrain M-Audio Axiom USB MIDI Keyboard; Viva K-mart

Bless K-mart and their $2.50 contact sheets of faux woodgrain. They can turn your average, ordinary plastic M-Audio USB MIDI keyboard into a retro-styled custom job that just screams, erm, class. Melbourne-and-London-based CDM forum reader soloandata did just that. (Talk about bi-coastal — they have K-marts there?) Kudos: it takes a steady hand to line up those contact sheets. The woodgrain looks great on the curved design of the new Axiom keyboards — tres 70s. Just finished Pimping my axiom-25. check that woodgrain! [Create Digital Noise] solo andata [Artist Page] solo andata [@Myspace] Thanks, Kane. Now the gauntlet has been …

READ MORE →

Arduino and Processing Beginner Links: LEDs, Physical Sensors, Lighting

I received my Arduino today, and in preparation I’ve been saving up some Arduino/Wiring/Processing links of interest to a newbie physical-computerer. If you haven’t Arduino’d before, here’s Todbot on why it’s a rocking little microcontroller. Tod also tells us how to make an Arduino Breadboard Shield, for quick circuit prototyping. You should probably familiarise yourself with the Arduino Board, then have a look at ARDUINO meets PROCESSING – physical computing and computer graphics site: Projects containing the basic physical interactions mediated by an Arduino board. The Arduino meets Processing project intends to make it as easy as possible for anyone …

READ MORE →

Prototyping Custom Gear: Friendly Plastic a.k.a. Shapelock

I received an email this morning from a friendly fellow Australian named Keith. He had googled his way to a short post on my site Jaymis.com looking for a source of Friendly Plastic/Shapelock/Polymorph in Australia. After a couple of emails back and forth I figured out that he’s Keith from plasq/Comic Life/Rax, and he figured out that I’m Jaymis from CDMu/CDMo, but we still didn’t have an Australian source for useful thermoplastics. Update!: Paul wrote in to tell us that he’s found a source of polymorph in Australia, at the soldergeekly favourite Jaycar! It’s reasonably expensive at $10/100g, but the …

READ MORE →