Art From Trash, as ReFunct Media Makes a Symphony from Obsolete Gear [Videos]

Obsolescence: it seems inescapable, as generations of old gear are replaced with shiny, new ones. But one person’s discarded electronic trash can be an artist’s electronic treasure. ReFunct Media is a collaborative to make something out of all that used junk. In parades of strange, twitching machines and orchestras of electronic noise, gear goes from landfill fodder to art stars. The collective effort has made its way from Ireland (Imoca, RuaRed) to France (Gaité Lyrique) to, most recently, Berlin and the LEAP gallery, where we catch up with it in the form of some raucous video documentation. The artists themselves …


Make Music with Anything: junXion Universal Send-Receive for Mac [Video Tutorial Round-up]

“So,” you say, “I’ve got a … and I want to connect it to a … to make music. How do I do that?” One strong answer to that question, if you’ve got a Mac, is junXion. Developed by the landmark audio research laboratory STEIM – a hotspot in Amsterdam that for years has been imagining new ways of making music by connecting things to other things – it got a big update recently. It takes lots of the inputs you might imagine (joysticks, mice, touchscreens, MIDI, OpenSoundControl, audio, Arduino-powered hardware and all of its sensors, and video sensing) and …


Touch, Plus Tactile: In Gaming as in Research, Physical Controls Augment Touchscreens

The gaming industry has made their bet, and it’s that touchscreens go better with tactile controls. Might digital musicians reach the same conclusion? A funny thing has happened on the way to the touch era. The vision of a device like the iPad is minimalist to the extreme: an uninterrupted, impossibly-slim metal slate, as impenetrable as some sort of found alien scifi object. The notion is that by reducing physical controls, the software itself comes to the fore. It’s beautiful conceptually … and then you find yourself tapping and stroking a piece of undifferentiated glass. For navigating interfaces – and …


Luz: Live Motion Graphics, Controlled by Anything, Free on Linux and Now with DMX

Luz is a promising, surprisingly-powerful tool with a clean UI that lets you connect a huge range of inputs and generate visuals. It’s fully free and open source on Linux – possibly reason to try a Linux dual-boot for experimentation, even if you’re not a regular user. And now, a new release adds DMX support. Working with actors and dynamic parameters, it looks extraordinarily easy to create quick visual effects. And it’s especially nice to see a tool that focuses on generative modules rather than emphasizing video. For input, connect MIDI (notes and controls), gamepads, joysticks, Wii remotes, Wacom tablets, …


Wherein the Wii Waggle is Wanted: Two Other Game Music Control Mappings

Imagine a nightmarish, dark-world, alternative-reality version of Wii Music, one that sends Miyomato-san screaming. That’s what you get from tokoloten, in a very un-Nintendo noise performance, as found on comments. The Wii is just one of his tools: tokoloten uses a variety of objects such as magnet motors, infrared devices, game controllers… in order to hide his lack of conventional technic. Depending on the venue, the show might be ambient-like, experimental or electronica with weird cinematographic references. But it most often combines all of this. tokoloten is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s proof that the controller – any controller – …


OSCulator, Magic Bullet for Mac Alternative Controllers, Updated

Want to hook that joystick / Wii remote / Guitar Hero controller / something odd to your music software? If you’re on Mac, OSCulator is the do-everything solution. It’s pay-what-you-like software ($19 minimum for PayPal), and it just got a big update: Announcement: OSCulator 2.6 [Unidentified Sound Object, as seen in our sound design round-up] Download page, with changelog [] There’s a lot new in release 2.6; highlights include: Preset management Graphical OSC routing editor Wii Guitar Hero support (preliminary) Hook up more: up to 2 virtual HID joysticks, up to 8 Wiimote (does anyone own that many?) Make keyboard …


Get Ur G33k 0n! Dorkbot Chicago this Wednesday; CDM in Perth, Brisbane

CDM World Tour: catch up with Mike and Liz in Chicago, and Peter and Jaymis in Perth and Brisbane (Australia)! Dorkbot Chicago Any CDM-ers in the Chicagoland area are most warmly invited to this months Dorkbot at Deadtech, 3321 W. Fullerton Ave., on Wednesday at 8pm for food, drink, and brain-swelling information regarding micro-sampling and alternative musical controllers like QWERTY keyboards, game joysticks, and bicycles. This week’s presenters will be Liz McLean-Knight and Michael Una, contributors to CDM. See you there! ByteMe, Perth; CDM Me, Brisbane Australia is CDM’s second home, land of crazy creative contributors and designers, and birthplace …


Bidule 0.8: Interactive, Now With Joysticks

How much do you get out of this "point-one" upgrade to interactive modular software Plogue Bidule (OS X/Windows)? An insane amount, including these highlights: Use joysticks, mouse, keyboards, and other HID devices for MIDI controls New audio looper with more options: graphical loop point editing, adapts automatically to meter and stretches time, and more A zillion new modules, including 32-channel audio playing and recording, a spectral file looper (!), and lots of new MIDI objects VST bridge, bugfixes on OS X Head to Plogue and check it out. It's beautiful — even visually. It's elegant. It's simple. It's stable. It's …