Loop points, at last. Side-by-side editing on iPad, too. Photos courtesy NI.

$5 iMaschine App Grows Up, with iPad Support, New Features – And Entertains Amazing Kids

iMaschine was always an intriguing drum machine, with uncommonly-simple on-the-go audio sampling and a workflow that lets you bring drumkits back into Maschine on desktop. But it was hampered by limitations: you couldn’t set loop points properly, and there was no version for the iPad. iMaschine 1.1 doesn’t give you everything you’d ever want, but it gives you enough in a free update (or US$4.99 new) that it could practically be called iMaschine 2.0. New in this release: Native iPad support, with a generous layout that takes advantage of the added space by putting editing and performing on the same …

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Responsive Kinect Dancing Goes Hip-Hop [Video, Tips]

Body mapping and dance/visual fusions are still explored only in fits and starts, compared to the extent of live music and visual performance in other media. So, it’s encouraging to see this latest experiment from dancer Christian Mio Loclair. Working with Microsoft’s Kinect, the slowly-undulating tendrils of visuals behind him create visual counterpoint for headstands and hip-hop dance techniques. Far from running up against latency, here there’s a sense of visuals that answer the moves with a slow sigh, creating a kind of living architectural space behind him. The tools: ofxOpenNI and ofxCV work with OpenFrameworks to analyze imagery from …

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Augmented Dancing: Kinect Maps Video Onto a Moving Body

As input device, Microsoft’s Kinect has its shortcomings – largely summed up by saying that you don’t always want to be waving your arms around through space just to accomplish a task. But one place Kinect really shows the potential of mainstream computer vision is in its ability to track the body. And that means some serious possibilities for making human beings into dynamic projection surfaces, augmenting their bodies with projected imagery. I remember some frustrating experiments with this on my own, working in a residency a few years ago at Dance Theater Workshop. Francois Wunschel writes in with an …

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More Cute, Yellow Keepon Robot Videos

The Keepon Robot — a bopping yellow bot — was easily the technological darling of 2007. It sent even the most skeptical, hardened technomage into spurts of giggles. So, we’re giving you more: take note, because you, too, could learn to dance to the electrical sounds in the club if this robot can. (Thanks, Mandy, for all the links!) And yes, Carnegie Mellon is advertising how cool they are in these videos. In these days of geek chic — and with involvement on various projects just beginning with the Keepon — I can’t really argue. (I wasn’t paid to say …

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MIT Students Build USB Dance Floor in Dorm

As seen on Slashdot: a group of students at MIT have constructed a Disco Dance Floor, with over 1,500 LEDs and covering 128 square feet. Dance on it, and pressure sensors trigger some 4,000 colors. Jeez, I knew I shouldn't have gone to Sarah Lawrence; these MIT folks don't mess around. Not only are the colored patterns surprisingly sophisticated, but it interfaces with a Linux audio player to work with the grooves. So how do you build your own? Check the detailed construction details, though consider what they learned: don't ever do this: "Don't try to build a disco floor …

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Make Music with Dance Dance Revolution Pads

Dance Wednesday continues, so get your dancing shoes on. You can trigger audio and video with a Dance Dance Revolution pad (or any USB game controller). Resources: You'll want some kind of PS2-to-USB converter so you can plug it into your computer, for starters (here's an example). Then check out software like STEIM's JunXion (Mac OS X), which maps USB input to MIDI, or, better yet PSmaX (Mac/Windows), which is designed specifically for this purpose and runs standalone or (if you've got it) in Max/MSP. (Savvy Max users might also map the dance pad to the OSC protocol.) Examples of …

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