Through Friday, Making One-Button Objects, Chip-Infused Hackday Saturday

“Press play” … “button-mashing” … the very criticism of digital music is often directed at the button or switch, even as the cult hit monome spreads arrays of buttons like a virus. Well, we’re still interested in what you can do with a button, so to fully focus you, we’re only giving you one button with which to play. The challenge of limiting interaction to one button has already spawned an explosion of entries from game designers, who have fought their way through intense competition for the legendary Gamma indie/experimental game competition. We’ll see the winners at the Game Developer …

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Wild Musical Inventions from Berlin Hackday

Nodes of musical events, arrayed onto virtual tracks, in Jakob Penca’s iLoveAcid sequencer. Take a weekend, and make something: that’s the challenge behind the Music Hack Day, which joins a growing phenomenon of events built around collective creation. (CDM held its own tangible interface hackday online, which I definitely hope to follow up soon!) Initiated by Dave Haynes of music sharing service Soundcloud, the Hack Day has already hit London. Many of the events were Web app-based and focused on consumption rather than creation of music, but we also saw a chordal synth plug-in and beer bottle percussion instrument. The …

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This Weekend: Music Hack Day Comes to Berlin, with Ableton, NI

Music Hack Day kicks off in London with Soundcloud hackers. Photo (CC) Alexander Ljung. Code, hardware, and software: Hack Days are all about getting actual stuff made. Berliners, the Music Hack Day that took place in London at The Guardian now gets underway in Berlin this weekend. For anyone who thought the first event was overly Web-centric, there are some new players in Berlin. Ableton is a sponsor, and Ableton, Native Instruments, and RjDj are all presenting hack sessions (in addition to the more Web-focused / consumer-focused 7digital, Songkick, Cloudspeakers, Mufin, SoundCloud, and Echonest). The awesome German musician magazine DE:BUG …

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Handmade Music Open Lab: Make Stuff, Get Inspired, Featuring Morgan Packard

Showcasing amazing projects is a good thing. But we know that no creation emerges fully-formed. They start from nothing, with lots of mistakes along the way. You get help and ideas from other people. And you need time. So this month’s Handmade Music in Brooklyn we’re declaring an Open Lab. Got a kit lying on your shelf, waiting to get made? Got a half-finished project that needs fixing? Just want to hang around some musical and visual DIYers and see what they’re up to? And just need a few hours to make some progress? That’s the idea. Software projects, hardware …

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More Hackday Goodies, with a Beer Bottle Percussion Machine

Electronics and code and whatnot are great fun, but a lot of people want to know, how can they add actual, physical motion to a project? I’ve rounded up the last few odds and ends from the London Music Hackday organized in the offices of The Guardian, and came across Alistair MacDonald and Mr. Duck’s Percussion Machine, which uses Arduino with servos to strike beer bottles. Here’s the perspective of the non-techie on the affair from the newspaper’s music blog: Beats and geeks at Music Hack Day Of course, I’ve heard from at least a couple of people that for …

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Music Hackday Goodies: Robot-Driven Radio, Free Chordal Synth, Lyrics by Decade, More

The Music Bore – Video 2 from Nicholas Humfrey on Vimeo. “I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t allow you to listen to Coldplay.” What would radio be like if playlists were not only robotic, but had robot DJs pulling information from the Interwebs dynamically? That’s the question asked by the winning team at London’s Music Hackday last weekend, which created an epic mashup of data sources to produce a voice-synthesized IRC chatbot that researches and plays music for you. Music Bore Music Bore was just one of a number of projects developed in the weekend of musical hacking, some for listening, …

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Tangible Interface Hackday: Music with Soda Bottles, Floor Toms, More

Fritzcrate Project / lusidLearn Early Demo from Michael Schieben on Vimeo. Knobs and faders can be rigid. Fancy multitouch devices can be expensive. But for the cost of a webcam and some spare materials, you can build computer interfaces with objects around the house, thanks to the power of open source software. In just one day, a group of artists in the CDM community, from Austria and Germany to New York to Australia, got quite a lot working with tangible interfaces. At top, Michael Schieben and Christophe Stoll experimented with using soda bottles to control software like Future Audio Workshop’s …

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Saturday, June 6 Tangible Interface Hackday is Here, in NYC and Around the World

Fritzcrate Project / RGB Color Mixer from Michael Schieben on Vimeo. As you can see, people have already begun playing with ideas for tangible interfaces. Oddly enough, two German gentlemen each named Michael (not aware of one another) have gotten a headstart, including the first experiment above in progress. We’ll be experimenting with new interfaces in New York and around the globe. (If that isn’t enough experimentation with new interfaces, the NIME conference – New Interfaces in Musical Expression – is happening now in Pittsburgh, and we expect reports back from that, too!) The event has also been featured on …

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Saturday, June 6 Tangible Interface Hackday is Here, in NYC and Around the World

Fritzcrate Project / RGB Color Mixer from Michael Schieben on Vimeo. As you can see, people have already begun playing with ideas for tangible interfaces. Oddly enough, two German gentlemen each named Michael (not aware of one another) have gotten a headstart, including the first experiment above in progress. We’ll be experimenting with new interfaces in New York and around the globe. (If that isn’t enough experimentation with new interfaces, the NIME conference – New Interfaces in Musical Expression – is happening now in Pittsburgh, and we expect reports back from that, too!) The event has also been featured on …

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