Eye, Ear, Body Candy: The Pulsing, Geometric AV Worlds of numbercult

Sometimes, to quote Depeche Mode, words are very unnecessary. Instead, lose yourself for a few minutes in the vibrating mathemagical lands of numbercult, audiovisual immersions in which sound and geometry fuse in a strange, abstract dance. Their most recent creation, found via Richard Devine’s prolific Facebook wall and posted earlier this summer, explores an actual audiovisual sequencer. See it at top: Connected is a graphical/musical sequencer system. a three way flow of information, between graphics, sound and external triggers shape the composition. Recorded in real-time. But actual functioning interfaces aside, I’ll leave you with some other video clips that traverse …

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Fun with Waves, As Videos Reveal Guitar String Movement – and iPhone Shutters

At bottom, a strobe and high-speed camera accurately represent the way in which a string is moving. At top, a video taken with an iPhone camera distorts your sense of how the string is moving by capturing instead images of standing waves, caused by the rolling shutter on the device. The video isn’t wrong – it’s just showing you beautiful visualizations of standing waves that make visible how the shutter works on the camera more than they do how the guitar works. Full disclosure: I love waves. Analog, digital, acoustic, we’re talking vibrations in sound (and other substances, as well …

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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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Processing 1.5 Arrives: Android Support, GLGraphics OpenGL Awesomeness

For people coding for visuals, Processing just keeps getting better. And for people who aren’t … well, you might just want to give it a second look, as a growing global army of people who never fancied themselves coders suddenly start typing up new creations. A new release makes mobile development easier and corrects lots of bugs. But specifically of interest to readers here, powerful libraries for 3D help make Processing an intensive tool for creating visuals. With the aid of running of your GPU, they can also deliver eye-popping real-time performance not normally associated with Java. Processing 1.5 In …

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Melodies Found in Barcodes, Then Shared, via iPhone

Strings of numbers are everywhere in our world, tucked just outside our awareness alongside identifiers like bar codes. Dutch media artist and inventor Leo van der Veen simply plucks that information and brings it to the fore. Barcodas is a barcode-scanning iPhone app that deciphers common EAN and UPC codes and translates them into musical patterns. Pick the scale you want, and out comes a melody. I’ve engaged in similar silliness myself, but in a sign of how handheld tech has changed, a project I did a few years back involved a USB scanner I purchased at an office supply …

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Art + Computational Aesthetics Call, and a Delicious Panoramic Projection Nerd-Out

As the level of knowledge and expertise in visual expression and science continues to explode, so, too, do gatherings on these topics grow in importance. Allen Bevans writes to bring readers’ attention to a call for works for a seriously sophisticated conference in Vancouver: I’m a long-time reader of both CDMs, and I also happen to be co-chairing the Art track of the Computational Aesthetics 2011 conference, which takes places August 5-7 in Vancouver this year (just before SIGGRAPH). The conference goal is to build bridges between the Arts and Technology communities, with a special focus on visual art and …

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Euclidean Rhythms in Ableton MIDI Clips for Polyrhythmic Good Times; Microtonal Operator

Ready to make your Ableton Live pattern programming a bit more polyrhythmic with the power of math? In Monday’s reflections and round-up of cycles and circles, I mentioned Euclidean evenness and Godfried Toussaint’s research. The basic idea is that a mathematical algorithm for spacing pulses has a lot in common with traditional preferences for polyrhythms spanning everything from rock hits to conga patterns and musical cultures around the world. Reader Tony Wheeler has turned those patterns into MIDI clips so you can drop patterns into Ableton Live. Drum patterns and dance music are obvious applications, but this could be an …

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Circles and Euclidean Rhythms: Off the Grid, a Few Music Makers That Go Round and Round

Loopseque on the iPad. Courtesy the developer. We continue our 3.14 celebration with a round-up of circular logic. There’s no reason apart from the printed score to assume music has to be divided into grids laid on rectangles. Even the “piano roll” as a concept began as just that – a roll. Cycles the world around, from a mechanical clock to Indonesian gamelan, can be thought of in circles. Imagine an alternate universe in which Raymond Scott’s circle machine – a great, mechanical disc capable of sequencing sounds – became the dominant paradigm. We might have circles everywhere, in place …

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Flickr Find: Harmonic Patterns on a Playground

Photo (CC-BY) Jan Tik. We celebrate 3.14, PI day, with some selections of mathematics, music, and visualization… Sometimes the results resemble scores, sometimes toys, and sometimes – more rarely – real musical instruments. But part of why I love computing as a window into music is its ability to visualize music’s mathematical beauty. I happened across this image from Flickr. It’s a chalk pattern on pavement for a children’s game (I’m not actually sure what game). But the math-compelled photographer found in it musical, harmonic intervals. I’ll have to sketch a little Processing and Pd design that plays with this …

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Pythagoras, Upcoming iPad App, Recasts Frets to Make them More Harmonic

To celebrate what in the US we call 3.14 or PI day, today I’m offering stories that deal with mathematics and circles. First up, an app named for the great philosopher who is credited – even if perhaps ahistorically so – with finding that ratio and ratios in harmonies. Technology has long introduced innovations that make playing easier for specialists and non-specialists alike. Just ask anyone who plays an instrument like the guitar – frets, and the simplified notation that went with it, go back centuries as a means of allowing more people to make music. Developer Rob Fielding wants …

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