Across the Universe: Mind-Blowing AV Performance Makes Music a Spacey Trip

Turning music and sound into three-dimensional worlds often yields something that fields like a trip through space. But this feels like a real trip. Through pulsing, glowing starfields, “Versum”‘s audiovisual movements are brain-bendingly transformative. Artist Tarik Barri has created an integrated world of sound and image that makes the interface and the compositional realms seamless. It seems as though this really is a musical universe, through whose harmonies of the spheres you can fly like. Boldly going, indeed. Ingredients: Max/MSP/Jitter, Processing, Java, SuperCollider, GLSL [the 3D shading language], and … some serious skill and time, I imagine. The work has …

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Visual Code Sketching, to Go: Processing on the iPad, iPhone, Coming Soon

Processing has done wonders in popularizing for designers and artists the notion of using code to express visual ideas. Now, what if you didn’t have to fold the hinge of your laptop to explore ideas? What if it were as near as an iPhone or iPad? (Or, I suspect, other platforms, too?) PR0C3551N6 isn’t the first tool to venture into these waters, but it looks like it could be the most sophisticated yet. Bring up your device’s touch keyboard (you’ll need some way to tap up that code), and start sketching. Through the power of Processing.js, you can run your …

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Physics Animation, Ping Pong Game in Adobe Illustrator – No, Really, Thanks to Free JavaScript Library

Generative physics animations in Illustrator most certainly fall into the “because it’s there” / “for no very good reason other than it’s possible” category. But the results are hilariously awesome. See above, Adobe fans. The tool behind this is very cool, too. Processing lovers who don’t already know the insanely great toxiclibs library – and its ability to unlock complex math and geometry magic with very little effort – should absolutely go explore: http://toxiclibs.org/ [links, documentation, and loads of terrific tutorials and demos] It’s Java-ness makes it ideal for other Java-based projects, too, including Android. But that library, in turn, …

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Shake It Like Euclid: Grooving Patterns, Open Source Tool, Now Sends MIDI – Watch

There’s something about symmetrical rhythms, it seems: through the power of math, these rhythms sound really good. We’ve looked a couple of times before at the spread of the Euclidean Algorithm for producing rhythms; see below. Wouter Hisschem√∂ller has updated what began as an in-browser Flash tool to build an free and open source, Java-based MIDI utility. You dial in the rhythms you want, and now, with the addition of MIDI output, you can play those rhythms in any software of your choice. (Ableton Live plays the part of the MIDI recipient in the video above.) Yes, you can actually …

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Favorite Synths Emulated in the Browser, Monotron to Minimoog; A Chat with the Developer

The beauty of modeling an instrument is that it involves ideas – taking a design from one context and translating it to another. With software, we’re able to put sound-making things everywhere, from obscure game consoles to a tab in your web browser that can distract you with music instead of Facebook updates. In the process of moving those ideas from place to place, we discover things. Just ask Shannon Smith. He’s been on a great tear emulating favorite synthesizers in free toys for the browser. Through the power of the Internet, the New Zealand-born, California-based developer heard from Japan-based …

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Nanoloop Comes to Android, with its Lovely, Minimal Music Idea-Making Interface

I think the first time I really understood handheld music making was when I first tried Nanoloop on Game Boy. While the more-popular LSDJ tracker is powerful, Nanoloop’s interface was unlike anything I’d seen before: aggressively minimal, it embodies in its interface design the feeling of a blank sheet of paper. Adding an idea feels like composition, like genuinely exploring open-ended possibilities and discovering what melodies may result. Now, Nanoloop – already on iOS – is available for Android, too. It remains simple stuff, the sense of what a music maker looks like when designed for your hand rather than …

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Processing, Enroute to 2.0, Gets a Major Refresh, Better OpenGL

From the early days, a 2003 printout of Processing’s source code. Photo (CC-BY) Niels Heidenreich. Processing helped bring coding to designers, artists, and creators who never thought they’d code. The beauty of it is, in a world where people often feel technology gets worse with age, Processing is getting better. Thank co-creators Ben Fry and Casey Reas and a team of volunteers. Processing 0193 was released today, the latest pre-release (emphasis: pre-release) of the 1.x series. That puts Processing enroute to a landmark 2.0 release some time this fall. Why does this matter? A few big improvements: OpenGL, performing faster. …

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Processing, Live: Popular Visual Code Tool, Meet Live-Coding and Clojure, Lisp

For some of us, coding is a slow, methodical process, and there’s even some appeal to the rhythm of it – do a series of things, try it, stop, go back to code… But if you’ve ever dreamt of coding and seeing immediate results — whether just to speed your coding solo, or even to code in live performance — you’ll like this news. live-processing clones the capabilities of Processing, the elegant, open source visual/multimedia coding environment, but adds live-coding capabilities. Aside from the live-coding aspect, it’s generally more compact and more dynamic. The secret is Clojure, a dynamic programming …

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Turn Ordinary Cell Phones into Beautiful Noisemakers

In your pocket, or perhaps orphaned in your closet, is a sophisticated piece of electronics going to waste. So, whether you’re suffering from iPhone envy or simply want to put toxic used electronics to useful musical applications, the cell phone noisemaking project at GetLoFi could help make a happier, noisier world. The ingredients:

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Java on the Mac is Oracle's Problem Now; OpenJDK the Path Forward

Finally, Mac Java support and development is no longer stuck in an Infinite Loop. Photo (CC-BY) Roger Schultz Parts of Java’s future may still look murky, but at least you can say this: it’s Oracle’s problem, not Apple’s. My previous rants: Opinion: Apple Has Killed Mac Java; OpenJDK Just Got Way More Important for Processing (executive summary: OpenJDK is the way forward) Java on the Mac is in Serious, Serious, Serious, Serious Trouble (executive summary: OpenJDK is the way forward, and Apple and/or Oracle have to get involved for it to work) Happily, Oracle and Apple have indeed gotten involved. …

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