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An iPad Controller for Ableton That’s Gesture-Friendly, Free: Conductr, Now with X/Y [Gallery]

Ableton Live’s iPad-augmented control can take some forms. There are apps that do everything, replicating the mouse so that you can go directly to touch for every single task and avoid your computer completely (Touchable, for instance). There are specialized controllers, which focus on a few tasks or a particular device or Max patch. And then there’s Conductr, and it’s something a bit different. First, as of June, it’s free – or freemium, anyway. The free version is limited to four tracks and eleven scenes, but it’s enough to give you a taste. And with user modules, it’s easily a …

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Cubase iC Air, erm... artists' rendering. Just about got that mix right. (Hold on - red ball. This track is not going to be premeditated.)

Cubase Goes Futuristic: Motion Hand Gestures Control Music in Free Add-on [Details]

When it comes to big, flagship audio tools, you don’t get a whole lot of sci-fi in your software. That makes Steinberg’s announcements this week more of a change of pace. They aren’t the first to talk about virtual studio sessions, or even gesturally-controlled music. But seeing this as an add-on to Cubase, not just an experimental hack, counts as news. And Cubase users can add on those futuristic capabilities in the form of two new tools. You can fly through Cubase sessions with gestural controls using depth cameras (on Windows) or LEAP Motion (on Windows and Mac). And you …

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Hands Off: Apple Wants to Pull Orphion Music App Over Touch APIs

Apple’s devices have earned praise from developers for consistently supporting multiple fingers in predictable ways. But to go further with expression, one developer made use of the size of contact area on the screen. Any time a developer goes beyond “public” or official APIs, there’s a chance Apple will eventually balk. We knew this was a risk to the excellent music app Orphion when we covered it, but hoped, in fact, that if the app were successful, Apple might reconsider. Unfortunately, today we learn from developer Bastus Trump that Apple will remove the app. And that means, at the very …

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Gestrument, Shaping Music with Kinect, Touch, and Acoustic Ensembles [Videos]

Swiping through clouds of timbre and melody, using Gestrument is an experience of a different musical animal. Jesper Nordin and Kymatica / Jonatan Liljedahl created the iPad version, available now for ten bucks. But it’s worth looking at that side by side with Gestrument for Kinect, as the same metaphors can translate across input methods. Both employ a kind of meta-composition – instrument as conductor of musical structures, more than an object for exclusively solo expression. What’s especially nice is hearing these digital, synthesized environments meld with acoustic instruments. The solution may not convince everyone yet, but there’s clearly potential …

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luanna

In a Swirl of Particles, luanna Uses Gestures to Touch Samples [iPad]

luanna is a beautiful new application out of Tokyo-based visual/sound collective Phontwerp_. Amidst a wave of audiovisual iPad toys, luanna is notable for its elegance, connecting swirling flurries of particles with gestures for manipulation. I imagine I’m not alone when I say I have various sample manipulation patches lying around, many in Pd, lacking visualization, and wonder what I might use in place of a knob or fader to manipulate them. In the case of luanna, these developers find one way of “touching” the sound. As the developers put it:

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Interaction in Thin Air: New Research from Microsoft, MIT Uses Magnets, Sound, Space

With multi-touch fully exploited and the basics of camera vision largely understood, interaction moves to the realm of free space, “augmenting” your world with gestures that find some physical connection. They surprise by working in some way that seems intuitive and natural, somewhere away from what seems to be the realm of the computer. And early in the month of May, we see a flurry of new research in just this area. Not one but two projects from Microsoft hold potential, and one from MIT Media Lab is just … absurdly cool. A summary: “Levitated Interaction Element,” out of the …

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Guiding Movements with Light: New Research Project Teaches You Gestures [Kinect]

“Natural interaction” is the phrase commonly applied to gestural interfaces. But a gesture is only “natural” once you’ve learned it. And as everyone from interaction designers to game makers have discovered, that can leave users confused about just what gesture they’re supposed to make. (Ironically, the maligned conventional game controller doesn’t suffer so much from this problem, as its buttons and joysticks and directional pads all constrain movement to a limited gestural vocabulary.) A team of researchers has just shared a new approach to the problem. Coming from Microsoft Research and the University of Illinois’ Computer Science department, authors Rajinder …

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When Any Gesture Can Make Music: Conceptual Studies for Kinect

While we’re on the subject of making music with Kinect, the 3D computer vision camera with depth-sensing, here are some other experiments into how music might work. As with the classic Theremin, those musical gestures tend to be mapped against two-dimensional axes in space. And from there, things become wide open. Johannes Kreidler, a musician and artist known for irreverent and inventive experiments in music, shares his studies for the Kinect, which he terms “conceptual music.” A solo “for violin” can involve literally waving a violin around. “House music” can mean making music whilst ironing a shirt. Any gesture in …

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Kinect with Anything: TUIO Gestures from Kinect

TuioKinect from Martin Kaltenbrunner on Vimeo. Post hacking, Kinect is starting to look like it could be a do-anything controller in the mold of Nintendo’s Wii remote. Martin Kaltenbrunner, of ReacTable fame, has already posted a convenient application that maps gestures from Kinect to TUIO. (TUIO is a lightweight set of message specs atop OSC, one that can easily be supported by any application and platform, and which is already used by a number of tools.) The app opens countless musical and visual interactive applications. As Martin describes it: TuioKinect tracks simple hand gestures using the Kinect controller and sends …

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iPhone, iPad for Wild Performances: Nonstandard Sequencing, Ableton, Gestures

Whatever the platform, you can expect musicians to do weird things and make noise. (It is, after all, our raison d’ĂȘtre.) In this case, while the input controller is an iPad or iPhone, the emphasis remains on running sound from additional gear, whether an inexpensive hardware synth in the form of a Korg monotron or the ubiquitous Ableton Live. From the iOS inbox this week… Top: nonstandard sequencing. Developer Franz Keller’s Radarhead 19 is one of the more unusual creations I’ve seen on iOS, a somewhat inexplicable (in a good way) alternative sequencer. It’s available now on iTunes. Give it …

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