LoopMaker Animated GIFs on iPhone; What’s Your Favorite Mobile Video Loop Maker?

This is Loopcam from Loopcam on Vimeo. Having looked earlier this week at the historical saga and artistic development of the animated GIF, here’s one mobile app for iPhone that lets you easily create these on the go. (Some readers will translate that as a “grab a lot of footage for your next VJ set” tool for your pocket.) LOOPC.AM is a free iPhone app, a Berlin-based startup produced by Stockholm-born developer Tor Rauden K√§lligsten. It’s amusing watching the dot-com scene’s take on this sort of thing. To us, the need for animated GIF tools is self-evident. To those whose …

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LoopMaker Animated GIFs on iPhone; What's Your Favorite Mobile Video Loop Maker?

This is Loopcam from Loopcam on Vimeo. Having looked earlier this week at the historical saga and artistic development of the animated GIF, here’s one mobile app for iPhone that lets you easily create these on the go. (Some readers will translate that as a “grab a lot of footage for your next VJ set” tool for your pocket.) LOOPC.AM is a free iPhone app, a Berlin-based startup produced by Stockholm-born developer Tor Rauden K√§lligsten. It’s amusing watching the dot-com scene’s take on this sort of thing. To us, the need for animated GIF tools is self-evident. To those whose …

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Weekend Listening: Kishi Bashi Shows the Simple, Elegant Art of Looping

For all the sophisticated synthesis and remix tools out there, for a lot of musicians, the best thing sound technology can do is just give them a way to record and play. Looping is a simple technique – it involves recording a snippet of sound, playing it back, and then adding layers. But used masterfully, it can become transformative, producing rhythms and layers and letting solo artists accompany themselves. “How do I get started looping?” is a question I hear from a lot of musicians, particularly those who are already expressive with their instruments and voice. There’s a technical answer …

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Like a Wheel Within a Wheel: Beautiful Optical Turntables Generate Spinning Rhythms

Music is deeply tied up with motion; seeing that in a machine is somehow satisfying. Soundmachines, from the enigmatically-titled Berlin studio TheProduct*, is an interactive physical installation made from optical turntables. By moving the “tone arm” – really in this case an optical sensor attached to an extended mount – you can change rhythms and sound sweeps. We’ve naturally seen many visualizations, tangible and digital, that make loops into wheels. But it’s worth noting the particular connection to a kinetic experiment by The Books’ Nick Zammuto from the film earlier this week. In fact, my one criticism of this piece …

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DJing, Decks, and a Grid of Samples: NI’s New Take on Traktor

What should DJing software look like, anyway? It’s just a teaser, but for once, the idea is simple, straightforward, and clear. Native Instruments have taken their DJ software, Traktor, and combined it with a grid of pads for sample triggering and loops. The upcoming hardware/software combination we expect later this spring. At the risk of stating the obvious, what’s significant about adding loop triggering to any DJ set is that you can more easily move beyond playing and mixing tracks. Even without drum machines, this kind of manipulation is part of the grand tradition of DJing, made all the more …

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Grid Machine Slice: Custom Kontakt Sample Library, Gone Mad

I tend to tune out when it comes to sample libraries, but here’s one that takes the scripting capabilities of Native Instruments’ Kontakt sampler to extremes. The Grid Machine line developed by Lindon Parker (Channel Robot) and distributed by LoopMasters brings to Kontakt the sort of grid-based, sliced-up sample manipulation we’ve seen in the monome community and in custom tools in environments like Ableton Live and Renoise. Using KSP, the scripting environment in Kontakt, these produce entirely-custom instruments that cut, chop, stutter, reverse, mix, trigger, sub-loop, re-trigger, and modulate. You can change speed, mute, skip, reorder, and play patterns, and …

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Sound, the Final Frontier: Audio Collections as Planets in Space, Intelligently Related

Two spacey ways of finding media: music collections, heirarchy, and images of planets in Planetary for iPad, top. Sound and loop collections, “magnetic” relations, algorithmic categorization, and rapid torchlight auditioning in Soundtorch 2.0 for Windows, bottom. If your music and sound collections seem like outwardly-expanding universes, two new tools promise to bring order by representing media as virtual planets and stars. One works on albums and tracks on the iPad; the other uses computer-aided analysis of loops and samples (not just music) on Windows. One will make your eyeballs pop; one might help you manage gigs of samples for a …

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Native Instruments’ Razor Synth: Dubstep to Ambience, Free Tutorial and Loops

Native Instruments has a new synth based on the Reaktor engine, and it’s one about which to be genuinely excited. Taking additive synthesis to a new conceptual level, it works with the concept of per-partial control but adds functions like wavetables, enveloping, and effects to each partial individually. The result is a synth that gets sonically surprising in a hurry, and it represents the sort of multi-dimensional thinking I hope catches on in synthesis. In a step forward for Reaktor, this synth doesn’t just sound different – it looks different, too. Whereas incredible sonic creations have been hidden too often …

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Resolume Competition: Make VJ Loops for Kraak & Smaak

Kraak & Smaak – Squeeze Me from Kraak & Smaak on Vimeo. Kraak & Smaak are already on my good list. The Dutch duo/DJ team have contributed not only terrific music, but also wonderful videos like the flipbook-animated “Squeeze Me,” seen again above. (It’s one of those videos that can elicit that scream of “Argh, why didn’t I think to do that?” from your neighborhood visualist.) Now, Resolume is doing their first-ever VJ competition. The challenge: make three loops. If you win, get a EUR 500 contract to make 20 more clips. That seems reasonable enough: this tests the “bogus …

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Subcycle: Multitouch Sound Crunching with Gestures, 3D Waveforms

multi-touch the storm – interactive sound visuals – subcycle labs from christian bannister on Vimeo. What if you could mash, mangle, mush, and morph sounds with your fingers on a screen, watching the waveforms dance in response in three dimensions? That “what if” is expressed beautifully in a project by musician-developer Christian Bannister of Portland, Oregon, who works as Subcycle Labs. The result is like being able to touch sound directly. Three-dimensional forms morph and vibrate using visuals programmed in Processing, making architectural-organic shapes and spaces that really begin to “look” like sound. These forms can represent synthesis and effects …

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