dj2gomorebuttons

DJ Control: Up With Extra Buttons, Down with Clean and Store-Bought, Says DIYer

Praxis Doktor Andy is adding extra buttons to his Numark DJ 2 Go, ripping it apart and putting it back together again just in the name of making it more … button-y. But he also has something to say to the industry, something that might surprise you: There are too many good DJ controllers. He’s posted a full walkthrough of the modifications, enough so that you could duplicate it yourself if so inclined. But you might be equally inspired by a manifesto of sorts interwoven with the build pics. I’ll excerpt here my favorite parts: Digital Dj’ing has become too …

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midipal1

MIDIpal is an Open Box for Doing Stuff with Notes and Sequences and Things [Gallery, Interview]

Musically, compositionally, we think in notes and rhythms and patterns. MIDI may be a simple way of describing those elements, but it can be surprisingly expressive. And so, just as we have all sorts of boxes for adding effects to sound, there’s clear appeal to boxes that do stuff with musical patterns and information – a bit like a MIDI stompbox. We saw one example last week in the form of the MCP. Here’s another appealing “magical MIDI box” – and it’s also open source hardware. Created by Olivier Gillet, maker of the open source Shruthi-1 synth, it’s an affordable …

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syitcases

SJS-ONE: Open, Arduino-Based Synth, with Crazy Cases and Web Troubleshooting

SJS-ONE is an 8-bit synth that you add to an Arduino board, making it ideal for hardware and firmware tinkerers and lovers of unique monosynths. But we’ll give it bonus points for two other reasons. First, it has some really bizarre cases available as add-ons, which look a bit like punk birdhouses. (Birdhouse squats? Hot rodded bird tenant buildings?) Second, in a really clever move, they help you troubleshoot hardware issues with a Flash animation. It could make it clear even to a complete beginner how to use a multimeter (a measuring device that checks electrical connections). The Arduino design …

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Music Performance as Real-Time Special Effect: Kinect Jamming Gets More Futuristic

The V Motion Project from Assembly on Vimeo. It’s all real – in a manner of speaking. And it’s all real-time. But just what is a live performance made with cameras, gestures, and projection? It’s worth watching The V Motion Project and pondering those possibilities, amidst the flashy visual eye candy. It’s certainly optically impressive. It’s music made to be watched (and, in the video, filmed with iPhones and whatnot). Watch a second time, and you wonder: as we reach a new peak of maturity, decades into alternative interface design, what will come next? To say that this is a …

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livef1maschine

Traktor 2.5 Remix Decks + Custom Controllers: What You Need to Know, Why HID Matters

“People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware,” said computer visionary Alan Kay in 1982. And when it comes to making computer software into something you can control physically with your hands, that has made some music tool makers look to integrated hardware for control. But music users – DJs included – also expect to be able to use their own controller hardware when they play, an expectation cemented by decades of access to the standard MIDI protocol. That meant that Native Instruments stirred up some controversy from its users when it failed to match third-party …

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OpenFrameworks 007-71: Biggest Release Yet, More Examples, More Creative Coding Goodness [Details]

For creative coders, OpenFrameworks has been a godsend, taking the gnarly power of C++ and making it accessible to artists and designers, some of whom might never have touched code. It’s unlocking a lot of the amazing work we see, from interactive design to Kinect hacks. (See Gallery, above. This week, OpenFrameworks added a 0071 tag to its the 007 release it quietly released last year, which just about doubled the software in size. What’s in all that new heft? Well, it’s not bloat: critical tools that previously worked only as add-ons are now part of core, bringing lots of …

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styharp2

Matthew Herbert’s One Pig, On Tour, and the Making of a Sty Harp

Composing the sounds of an animal’s life cycle and ultimate consumption into a musical portrait, Matthew Herbert’s “One Pig” is in turns grotesque and sentimental, rock and opera. I expected squeamishness and vegetarian conversions when I saw it on tour, but instead, the crowd eagerly devoured the creature at the end. (Make of that what you will.) One Pig is in Manchester, UK tonight before continuing to Brighton and Portugal. As my own incurable appetite is for musical instruments, for me a highlight of the show is Scotland-based, American artist Yann Seznec’s Sty Harp. (See also our coverage of his …

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Cathode Rock: Kyle Evans Makes a TV Into an Oscilloscopic Axe of an Instrument

Pick up that TV and rock it, baby. While recalling a now-obsolete technology and the work of artists like Nam June Paik, de/Rastra is something of a (delightful) lie. In the form of a television, it appears to be a self-contained, vintage instrument. In reality, it’s a simulation, a CRT with “altered anatomy” that uses a computer to drive faux vintage cathode ray visualizations and to produce digital sound. But the synthesis of visuals with the body of a television is wonderful, a play on past and present technology that produces an impossible electronic now. The new soul of this …

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kinectarui

From Beautiful Ambient Modern Dance to Dubstep, Gestures to Music in Kinect (Download the Tool)

It started as some compelling demos or proof of concept, but it’s plenty real now: the tools for translating movement, gesture, and dance from the body to interactive music march forward. Empowered by Microsoft’s Kinect and an artist-friendly toolchain, even a single, clever developer can do a lot. Sound designer, music producer, and Max/MSP developer Chris Vik of Melbourne has been one of those busy early pioneers, with an incredible tool called Kinectar. So, the tech is cool and shiny and impressive: what about the actual music? And, even more importantly, what if all the hand waving and moving about …

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Milkymist is Digital Visual Synthesizer and Processor, Built as Sophisticated Open Source Hardware

Even before we get to the “open source hardware” angle, it’s special just finding something that can function as a self-contained, digital visual instrument. And Milkymist more than qualifies, as a video synth that can produce seemingly-endless generative outputs from raw image and live video inputs. But it is significant that this is open source hardware. Milkymist in its present form isn’t for everyone, but it’s evolving fast – and it’s a visual coder’s and hacker’s dream. Entirely custom hardware runs elegant scripts for effects like video feedback with razor-thin low latency and blazing framerates and performance. Add the open …

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