Ableton Live to Lights: Hacking Max for Live to an LED Wall For a Brilliant Display

I like Drums. And Bass. from DJ Autom8 on Vimeo. Finally, laptop music need no longer be lit by some bad club lights and the glow of your MacBook display. Things are getting really interesting. Just ask Jonathan Thompson, a student who hacked Max for Live into an LED wall and got a blindingly-bright display grooving with the music. He writes: I absolutely love your site, and I have always wanted to contribute, but never have felt I had anything good enough to share with others. Well, I finally created something that I think others would enjoy. I am a …

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MusicMakers Hacklab Report: Blinking Lightbulbs with MIDI, Why Working Together Matters

It’s a wonderful time to be experimenting with technology and music. You can create something that looks like the stuff most people imagine as “the future” – elaborate dances of light, power over sound just by waving your hand, software that seems directly out of Star Trek. But you can do it with technology that is now reaching maturity – decades of experience of artists, engineers, and designers is at your back. “That’s not new,” someone might say. Exactly. Instead of technology being a disposable commodity, forgotten in a couple of years, it’s actually something you can get good at. …

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In Berlin, musicians and creators gather to work collaboratively on new means of creation and performance. Imogen Heap and her team are among the participants, presenting an interactive workshop on wearable tech. Photo from TEDGlobal 2012 in Edinburgh, by James Duncan Davidson.

Hack Into MusicMakers’ Future in Berlin [CTM Open Call]

Happy New Year, from the future. It’s too late for sci-fi movies with a dateline of 2013. If you want something futuristic, you’ll just have to get to work. That’s what we’re doing in Berlin at CTM Festival later this month, with some of our favorite artists and engineers and designers and artist-engineer-designers. And we’d love to have you join us. We’ll have live music to enjoy. That includes high-tech original creations — Sonic Robots’ real-life 808 drum machine and band, and Tarik Barri and Lea Fabrikant with their three-dimensional audiovisual space trip. Tim Exile will treat us to his …

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Kinect Hacking, Now in Next-Level Halloween Decorations

Kinect Ghosts from Ben Guerrette on Vimeo. Just how significant is the impact of Kinect and computer vision? Enough so that trick-or-treating kids might get to play a video game by waving their hands in front of someone’s garage. Which part of “we’re living in the future” did you not get, precisely? Ben Guerrette writes CDM: Here’s a short video of a Kinect project I put together for the Halloween Trick or Treaters. I turned my garage into a giant video game. Well, kind of. I just projected in it. It’s a simple “get the ghost” game where up to …

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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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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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