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How Akai Advance Could Best NI’s Komplete Kontrol in Smart Keyboards

Smart keyboard controllers that integrate with software have been something various makers have tried frequently over the years, with various degrees of success. Propellerhead helped lead the way with Automap in Reason, which could cleverly link on-screen controls to devices. But by the time this was translated to multiple pieces of software, the resulting “automatic” features could be harder to use on than off. I tried at various points Novation’s ReMOTE, M-Audio’s Axiom Pro, and Cakewalk’s A-PRO keyboards, and found them all to be perfectly nice hardware – once I gave up and turned the automatic stuff off and just …

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The DIY Display: OSCAR is an Open, Ultra-high-res Screen Controller

It’s about time the maker movement tackled display technology. Enter OSCAR (Open SCreen AdapteR). It’s the sort of super high-resolution 9.7″ LCD panel you’d expect trapped inside something like an iPad, but you can connect it directly to a computer via Arduino. Now, the actual “DIY” bit here is pretty simple: it’s just the interface. But even just having the interface is fairly useful. The display tech itself remains mass-market, mass-produced, but by adding that raw display part to the interface, you can build your own projects – and there are clearly some installation and other DIY projects just waiting …

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Live 9.1 Preview: Dual Monitors, More Push Sequencing, High-Quality Sample Rate Conversion

In the midst of a pop-up week of events held with Köln’s Kompakt Records, Ableton has offered a surprise peek into what’s coming soon to Live. 9.1 is a free update for all users, adding some widely-requested features. There’s no release date yet – we’re awaiting a more formal announcement with details soon – but we have gotten a look at what’s in store. Ableton’s Dennis DeSantis gave attendees a demo of three upcoming features: 1. Dual-monitor support, finally allowing you to see Arrangement and Session Views side by side 2. More functionality in Push, including step sequencing of melodies …

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Turning 24 Touch Displays into a Multi-Player OS: Obscura's Steve Mason [NXNE]

15,360 x 3240 resolution on 24 interconnected touch displays: this is no iPad. Toronto-based freelancer Amanda Connon-Unda headed to Toronto’s hottest interactive conference for CDM to catch Obscura’s Steve Mason, revealing what it’s like to design a massively-multiplayer “spatial” OS. It’s been a long journey as the SF firm went from thinking big with projection mapping to rethinking touch interaction. Here’s what Amanda learned. -PK Steve Mason is brimming with enthusiasm. The VP of innovation at San Francisco’s Obscura Digital is describing the new design of their spatial operating system, before a crowd gathered at the North by Northeast Interactive …

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Turning 24 Touch Displays into a Multi-Player OS: Obscura’s Steve Mason [NXNE]

15,360 x 3240 resolution on 24 interconnected touch displays: this is no iPad. Toronto-based freelancer Amanda Connon-Unda headed to Toronto’s hottest interactive conference for CDM to catch Obscura’s Steve Mason, revealing what it’s like to design a massively-multiplayer “spatial” OS. It’s been a long journey as the SF firm went from thinking big with projection mapping to rethinking touch interaction. Here’s what Amanda learned. -PK Steve Mason is brimming with enthusiasm. The VP of innovation at San Francisco’s Obscura Digital is describing the new design of their spatial operating system, before a crowd gathered at the North by Northeast Interactive …

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PixelPusher to Make Networked Syphon Displays from LEDs, Easily, in Crowd-funded Project

LEDs are poised to revolutionize displays, but that future isn’t “evenly distributed” yet. And that’s why some emerging projects are so intriguing. Think instant displays, addressable from any computer – including with Syphon. Just plug Ethernet on one end, into strings of these: That’s the idea behind PixelPusher, a project currently on Kickstarter. Development appears complete; they’re using crowd funding to support doing a run of a thousand of these, made in California. The notion is networked lighting arrays you can address from a computer, using Syphon or free apps they’ve built with Processing. (For anyone who uses Processing, this …

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I Want My IR TV: A Giant Screen Made of 625 Remote Controls

From the avalanche of discarded, used electronics, artists are beginning to make new works. DeFunct/ReFunct, as covered here in some detail recently, appeared last week at Berlin’s Transmediale. But for a uniquely-elegant transformation of the old into the new, Chris Shen shares his TV screen made of some 625 remote controls, as installed in an East London gallery. It can’t be seen with the naked eye, but through any IR-sensitive lens, the screen comes alive. It’s television for other electronics, then, the remote controls putting on an infrared show for an audience of sensors. Chris sends CDM this description: 625 …

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3 Things You Can Do in Ableton Live Now: Modulation, Dual Displays – Sorta, Pressure Grids

The Ableton Live 9 beta is trickling out, but not officially released until next year. Ditto that saucy new Ableton Push controller. And some users are complaining about things that aren’t in the feature list for Live 9. Waiting’s no fun. Let’s do stuff now. Here are three examples of things you can do right now, today, with your current version of Live. In fact, all three wind up being applicable to Live 9, too. 1. Modulate anything. First, I’ll start with my favorite. EXT, at top, is a free Max for Live device that does modulation. Unlike the new …

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In Black Droplets, the Monochrome LCD Transformed Into Medium

If previous generations worked in paint, now we can work in monochrome LCDs. That’s the message of a beautiful work entitled IRIS, making use of lowly LCD displays to produce a mirror made of dots. The description: IRIS is a unique media canvas with matrix of conventional information display technology – a monochrome LCD. Through the phased opening and closing of circular-segmented black Liquid Crystal, IRIS can create various patterns and control the amount (size) of passing lights. IRIS is an interactive medium for visual simplicity which uses the passage of ambient light, not emission of light itself. Interactive mirrors …

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ArKaos Officially Enters Mapping Game With MediaMaster 3.0 [Mac, Windows]

If mapping wasn’t already a horse race, it is now. ArKaos adds significant mapping technology to version 3.0 of their high-end media server, MediaMaster Pro, out now and shown at the UK’s PLASA show this month. Now, of course, here at CDM, we’re eager to see the next phase of ArKaos’ mapping strategy, which involves rolling out the mapping features to us poor bohemians everyday VJs in GrandVJ. Based on what I saw at Messe, powerful as the media server is, GrandVJ users shouldn’t be disappointed. But this is already showing off some of what ArKaos engineering is doing. MadMapper …

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