More on Quartz Composer (Free Interactive OS X Tiger Tool)

[Updated:] Check out the new QuartzComposer blog; I’ll be reading! -PK I looked earlier this week at Quartz Composer, an interactive eye candy development tool that not only creates slick RSS newsfeed screensavers, but even allows audio and MIDI input and outputs MIDI control, perfect for live performance and VJing. Developer Pierre-Olivier Latour has posted […]

Interactive Music Innovations: Reports from Cybersonica

Huggable musical orbs? A tabletop music game in which you throw around virtual MIDI balls? Digital windchimes? Installations of giant ears, spheres, and a washing machine you stick your head into? Playing with sound like this must mean you’re at Cybersonica, London’s massive interactive music + sound technology expo. And CDM was there to — […]

fREQ: Free Drawing, Shadow-Based Instrument

Not new, but worth mentioning: fREQ is a project exploring the conversion of drawn waveforms into sound: visual waveforms control a drone in real-time. You can download a free mouse and keyboard version (PC only). That's fun, but the installation version (first shown about a year ago) is cooler: it takes an outline of the […]

Tabletop, Block-Based Music Making: The List

There's been an explosion of so-called "tangible interfaces" for music: the basic scenario is, there's a table, possibly with projections, and little blocks or objects or projected thingies you can play around with and move to produce sound. (Tangible = something physical you can move or touch, as opposed to an interface that's intangible, like […]

Nintendo, Interactive Artists — Whither the Stylus?

Convincing people to embrace new control methods is hard. Just ask Nintendo. Sure, here at CDM we talk about making music with a graphic tablet input, sock puppets — you love that. But the gaming market is conservative; many still don't get the inclusion of a stylus on the Nintendo DS. And that, friends, has […]

Electroplankton: Underwater Musical Game for Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS is already a model for thinking creatively about handheld interaction, but a game slated for Japanese release called Electroplankton looks to be the most creative yet. It's hard to say exactly what it is — maybe just as confusing even if you do read Japanese — but it appears to be an […]

100 km/h Spinning Speaker

Yes, it's an award-winning piece of interactive installation art, but we're keyboardists here: it's also the world's largest, fastest, most terrifying Leslie rotary cabinet. Spatial Sounds scans the space for visitors, then spins up to 100 km/h in a circle, varying speed and direction. Understatement from the artist: "Closer investigation would be tempting fate, with […]

Sequencing with Architecture: Instant City

First colored blocks, now city blocks: Swiss-based collective Rosen & Spademan has constructed a "music building game table" for creating modular compositions with transparent blocks, converting improvised architecture into sound. (thanks, near near future) Their biggest goal, they say: getting people to grab the objects and play. You can explore this and other projects on […]

Mac-Powered Punching Bag for DJs [Updated]

Sure, DJs could opt for products like Final Scratch that provide a traditional turntable interface for the computer, but why not . . . a punching bag? Version 2.0 of Max/MSP-powered SoundSlam lets you punch to trigger audio and even has a virtual trainer that coaches you as you go. Add a floor mat you […]

Unlikely Sound Equipment II: Synth-in-a-rock

I get these kind of requests all the time. "Peter, thanks for the helpful coverage on the USB MIDI controllers, but when will someone finally release audio hardware I can really use, like a concrete block that plays algorithmic music for 30 years?" Yes, folks: it's a piece of concrete. With a DSP chip inside. […]