Bob Moog’s Birthday: Learn Synthesis, Benefit Swag, Apps, and a Playable Google Doodle [Videos]

Sound technology pioneer Bob Moog’s birthday is May 23, and just about the whole Web will be in on the celebration. Play Google like a Minimoog: Google’s Doodle, the image you see on their homepage, is one of their best yet: it’s a fully interactive, playable Minimoog synthesizer. You can even record and playback little musical sketches and share with friends. Since the Earth is round, Google Japan gets an early scoop. (Yes, the Moog sun will rise first on the land of Roland, Yamaha, and KORG.) Bonus (for Web nerds): this all uses the Web Audio API, which promises …


Google Maps, Brought to Life, as Human Movement Occupies Digital Space

As ubiquitous in our lives as the digital landscape of sites like Google Maps can be, they’re in some sense private space. They strip our world of human beings (or freeze them in strange, invasive shots taken by roving vans), and put that space in the exclusive hands of private publishers. (Or, at least, one beginning with the letter “g.”) That has helped the groundswell of interest in OpenStreetMaps as an alternative. But looking deeper, we’re reminded of our role in physical and imagined space and what mapping itself can mean. A film by Roel Wouters takes a creative approach …


Clean, Sweet, and Bubbly, SodaSynth in Unexpected Places – Like Chrome Browser Native Client

SodaSynth runs natively in Chrome. With soft synths a dime a dozen, how do you set yourself apart? Defying conventions is a pretty good start, and a team of developers who built the Mixxx open source DJ tool are doing just that. SodaSynth from Oscillicious is a soft synth with a different approach. With no effects and, surprisingly, no filters, SodaSynth is all about the oscillators. But apart from its ready-to-layer sound, the developers are also making their software run in new places: aside from a VST, there’s a version for HP’s defunct TouchPad and, more interestingly, the first major …


Cyber-Illusion: A Digital Magician Unafraid of Revealing Secrets, History, in Google Talk

Cyber-illusionist Marco Tempest speaks in a full length video to the Innovators@Google series at Google’s New York offices. Marco, whose work we’ve followed before, is unique in that his presentation isn’t just a series of visual tricks, however wondrous. He roots his work in the history of magic and illusion, not only technically but as cultural construct. Then, he’s confident enough in his technique to reveal the (often open source) technologies behind the illusions. For me, that makes the effect no less magical; perhaps as a sometimes-coder, it makes it more so. Watch in particular for some wonderful doodle projection …


Les Paul Google Doodle Gives Us… Google Homepage, The Song, by Tim Exile

Electronic musician, vocalist, and inventor Tim Exile is back; while the Google Doodle today of an interactive Les Paul inspired lots of people to invest some time fiddling and hacking, in Tim’s case, it inspired a whole song. And, to my knowledge, it’s the first time the homepage of Google got its own ode. Bet the Googlers didn’t expect this response. All of this serves as a serious reminder: sometimes simple and ubiquitous is good. It also shows the serious value of silliness. Here, here. Previously: Les Paul Google Doodle, Animated – and Scripted with SuperCollider


Les Paul Google Doodle, Animated – and Scripted with SuperCollider

Electric guitar pioneer Les Paul is one of the all-time greats in music instrument invention, so the guy clearly deserves an animated Google Doodle of his creation that you can play. Strum chords, pluck with the mouse, and even record phrases on Google’s homepage. (See video, above.) Since Google Doodles are archived – and since you can look at the code by choosing a View Source feature in your browser – these little novelties also have a life beyond their one day of glory. (Note, you may need to visit the US site if you’re in a part of the …


Androidcontrollerism: Hardware Options on Android, in Detail; Android Player Piano

Adding hardware to tablets, as it has with decades of computing technology, can open up new worlds for software and music. It can animate a conventional piano, or provide new physical interfaces for touching music. But let’s not wait for it to happen; let’s get hacking. Following on today’s line of thinking about hardware-augmented touch, I’d like to look a bit at the recently-transformed landscape on Android. iOS users can connect to external hardware via the Core MIDI protocol or, via official channels, through the Apple Dock Connector. That’s not a perfect situation, however. Hardware developers have to be approved …


Touch, Plus Tactile: In Gaming as in Research, Physical Controls Augment Touchscreens

The gaming industry has made their bet, and it’s that touchscreens go better with tactile controls. Might digital musicians reach the same conclusion? A funny thing has happened on the way to the touch era. The vision of a device like the iPad is minimalist to the extreme: an uninterrupted, impossibly-slim metal slate, as impenetrable as some sort of found alien scifi object. The notion is that by reducing physical controls, the software itself comes to the fore. It’s beautiful conceptually … and then you find yourself tapping and stroking a piece of undifferentiated glass. For navigating interfaces – and …


Flash Reaction: Apple’s Cloud Looks Useful, But Likely to Mean Little to Artists Initially

The Cloud is more than a hard drive in the sky. Photo (CC-BY) wheresmysocks. Indies, don’t fear the Apple. The world with Apple’s iCloud doesn’t appear to be that radically different than the one we had before. And that’s a good thing: the Web, not any one cloud sync service, is still the most revolutionary technology for connecting music to listeners. Updated: commenters online read this as complaining, so let me clarify: cloud sync has already had unfair expectations placed on it. It remains a no-brainer for Apple to implement. The question is, from an artist’s standpoint, what expectations should …


With Creative Commons Support, YouTube Grants Remix Culture Official Sanction

VJs and visual artists remixing video have long simply grabbed what they want, when they want it. But now, the community increasingly faces a choice: will it play by the rules? The payoff could be more than moral good will or karma. If visual artists begin working with Creative Commons-licensed materials, they’ll add the incentive for other artists to remix their own work freely. And following official rules could mean the freedom to share your creative output without having to worry about navigating takedown notices or angry rights-owners. Given the importance of posting showreels to getting gigs, that could be …