With ‘This Exquisite Forest,’ Animations That Evolve, Collaboratively

With all this talk about the future of art being in browser windows and such, you might forget to ask the question – why? What will it actually look like? Artist Aaron Koblin has been, perhaps more than any one artist, someone who has pondered what form art made by online crowds might take. His work has often revolved around data – the trails left by masses moving in the air, data set of Thom Yorke’s 3D face given to artists. When the crowd is the source of that data, Koblin has uniquely walked the line between optimism and criticism. …

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midistuff

MIDI in the Browser: HTML5 + MIDI Document Up for Review, Audio Improving, Too

Hey, why the heck not? (CC-BY-SA) farnea. Imagine connecting to MIDI gadgets – inputs and outputs – and sequencing musical patterns from a browser. (As a developer, imagine doing that from JavaScript. As a user, imagine doing that right inside your browser window with a music app.) For now, such things exist only on a document, but they could be coming to a browser near you. Not bad for a standard that dates back to 1983. The W3C has a document up for discussion, for those of you technical enough to get involved: https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/audio/raw-file/tip/midi/specification.html The news comes from an excellent, …

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Patchosaur: Audio, MIDI, and Max/Pd-Style Patching, in a Browser, Because You Can

If you’re looking to build your own instruments and effects and sequencers and play with patching, you really don’t want this software. No, seriously – while a fascinating, fun tech demo, something like the desktop Pd or Max is probably what you want. (As we saw earlier this week, Pd-extended just got much easier to use, and it’s free.) This makes sound, but it’s also buggy and in progress and likely more of interest to coders. Okay, now having scared off some people, let’s talk nerd-to-nerd for a second. Patchosaur, an open-source, GitHub-hosted project by BADAMSON, is nonetheless seriously cool, …

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mapulatorheader

Max for Live Gems: Easier MIDI Mapping, Automation Recording, and Alternative Sequencing

As Max for Live has matured, this tool for extending the functionality of Ableton Live has played host to a growing wave of brilliant custom tools – enough so that it can be hard to keep track. This month saw a few that deserve special mention. In particular, two tools help make MIDI mapping and automation recording easier in Live, and point the way for what the host itself could implement in a future update. (Live 9, we’re looking at you.) And in a very different vein, from Max for Live regular Protofuse, we see an intriguing alternative approach to …

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Geometric Reactive Audio Visualizations, Now Live in the Browser; How it was Done

Now, tripping out to visuals while you listen to music doesn’t require a separate app. You can do it right in the browser. And this pretty proof of concept not only creates dancing 3D visuals: it also demonstrates just how much is possible with 3D browser capabilities, and how they could interact with music, suggesting much more to come. Los Angeles-based developer Felix Turner of Airtight Interactive shares The Loop Waveform Visualizer. Tested for use in Google’s Chrome, it’s powered by two cross-platform, cross-browser, HTML5-associated technologies, WebGL and the Web Audio API. Give it any MP3 (you can even drag …

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hydra

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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diasporanoise

Diaspora: On a Fledgling, Open Social Network, Users Gather to Make Noise

Diaspora is an attempt to build a social network that contrasts with the locked-garden vision of Facebook, one built on open source software, open exchange of information, and distributed – rather than centralized – communication. I already let slip that we’ll be rebooting our own social endeavor, Create Digital Noise, in the new year. But it’s also telling to see the first noises emerge on Diaspora. If you wrote off this service when it was in early testing, perhaps overwhelmed by its ambition and crowd-sourced nature, you may be pleasantly surprised. As users gain invites, the service is surprisingly stable …

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bachdrawing

Bach Cello Suite No. 1, Visualized in Sweeping Arcs, and the Math Beneath

Alexander Chen, he of Kinect hacks and subways turned to strings, is back with another string visualization. Built in the browser (an interactive version is available), this work makes a visual accompaniment to Bach’s First Prelude from the Cello Suites. If you read music notation fluently, you may find the score itself suffices, but even so, the math to make this work – and the dance of circles across strings – is compelling. Alex, whose day job is with Google’s Creative Lab, talks to us a bit about the mathematics and process. First, his description: baroque.me visualizes the first Prelude …

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Max 6 in Public Beta; For Home-brewing Music Tools Graphically, Perhaps the Biggest Single Update Yet

Above: Cycling 74’s just-released video highlights enhanced audio quality; our friend, French artist protofuse, has a go at working with the beta and showing off the new user interface. (See C74’s official take on the new UI below. Max 6 in Public Beta; For Home-brewing Music Tools Graphically, Perhaps the Biggest Single Update Yet Just because a music tool fills your screen with tools and options doesn’t necessarily make it easier to realize your ideas. From the beginning, the appeal of Max – as with other tools that let you roll your own musical tools from a set of pre-built …

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Terrific Tablet Wireframes in Adobe Proto, as Adobe Touch Picture Comes Together on iOS, Android

Wireframe tools are all the rage, but you have to take particular note of the design work done by Adobe Proto – partly because they’re an industry heavyweight, but also because the app itself is generally cool. (Why Adobe then insists on dry presentations of cool apps, I have no idea. Anyone want to do some spec marketing on this for them to show them how it’s done?) The big draw: export to HTML, CSS and JavaScript. And those languages could increasingly become a lingua franca for creative visual development just as they have for sending things to the Web. …

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