Livid Cell DNA: Simple, Networkable, Multi-Headed VJ App, And Spiritual Successor to Grid?

This is quite a week for visualist software – the release of Resolume 3, the 1.1 update to GrandVJ, and now an announcement regard Livid’s lightweight VJ app, Cell DNA. At US$149, it’s a neat little no-nonsense app — there’s even a lighter Cell Standard. What strikes me about the interface is that it’s reminiscent of Vidvox’s now-defunct VJ app Grid. You get clip triggering, and not too much else. What’s nice here is the addition of multi-screen controls (available in other tools, but not necessarily in an entry-level app), and networked capability for running multiple machines. Feature list from …

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Want Free iPhone Multitouch Communication? Join the Crusade!

MSA Remote for iPhone from Memo Akten on Vimeo. Apple, apparently unclear on what multitouch clients actually are, have chosen to reject Memo Akten’s brilliant-looking MSA Remote client for the iPhone/iPod touch. The free(!) app could empower installations and performances with the standard multi-touch protocol TUIO, as used on the Reactable (and, thus, by Bjork, among many other folks). This is, sadly, the kind of second-guessing developers Apple has been doing far too much. But it’s also clear that Apple is a company that listens – when people shout and complain and gripe. So in that spirit, I’m shouting and …

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Crowdsourced Vocal Synthesis: 2000 People Singing “Daisy Bell”

Bicycle Built for Two Thousand from Aaron on Vimeo. The song “Daisy Bell” has a special place in computer history. Max Mathews, who had by the late 50s pioneered digital synthesis using IBM 704 mainframe, arranged the tune in 1961 for vocoder-derived vocal synthesis technology on technology developed by John Larry Kelly, Jr.. Kelly himself is better known for applying number theory to investing in the markets — an unfortunate achievement in the wake of a financial collapse brought down by misuse of mathematical theory. In 1962, Arthur C. Clarke happened to hear the 704 singing the Mathews/Kelly “Daisy Bell,” …

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Live Touch Control for Visuals: TouchOSC and vdmx, TouchOSC Editor Coming, the Future is Near

Much as I’m an advocate for live visualists becoming like musicians with eye candy, the needs of the VJ just aren’t quite identical to those of someone doing music, even DJing. But here’s the upside: I think people doing live visuals have even more reason to be excited about control possibilities with devices like the iPhone and iPod touch. These tools can match perfectly with the kind of subtle parameter control visuals often require. David Lublin of vidvox sends along some tantalizing examples of what’s possible, via the Vidvox forums. Basel-based griesgram has built pages of controls for the Mac-only, …

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Free OpenSoundControl on iPod, iPhone: Mrmr is Here

What if controllers were not only wireless and multi-touch, but could find software to control automatically, or share control between more than one person or more than one computer? On one-level, yes, Mrmr is a free and open source OpenSoundControl app for iPod and iPhone. But on a deeper level, it’s an illustration of how controllers could work in the future — not only Apple mobiles and multi-touch, but any control hardware and software. Imagine intelligently finding and sharing control seamlessly, whether you’re mixing music and visuals or sharing control with other people or working with more than one app …

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LiveAPI.org: New Open-Source, Unofficial SDK in Python Lets You Hack Ableton Live

“If only Live could …” Hard-core Live users dream of more than just an extra feature widget or two. They imagine a world in which they can hack and alter the way Live itself behaves. They want the ability to develop software that works with Live at a low-level. In short, what they want is an SDK. It’s a beautiful vision, but it would create challenges for Ableton: they’d have a whole new support burden, and any change to the program would mean having to update the SDK, in parallel. If only there were a way around this problem. If …

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Goodies from Networked Music Review Research Blog

Turbulence, the net art folks, have launched a “research blog” for music technology. Don’t let the “research” part put you off: it has pictures. And ring tones featuring pig sounds. (Hint to researchers: turn off the pig ring tone when you’re in the library.) There’s also a feature article from March with Jason Freeman, talking about projects from iTunes Signature Makers to audience-interactive musical compositions. Networked Music Review, the new sibling to our long-time favorite Networked Performance blog Calling things “research blogs” is catching on in many circles, and why not? The Internet’s hyperlinked universe and Google’s interconnected search algorithm …

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How to Run Ableton Live on Apple TV; Live Music + Visual Apple TV

Imagine the Apple TV as live music and visual instrument, and not just a way of watching archived Battlestar Galactica? Our friend Jeff Gambera has been busy hacking his Apple TV for just such unusual purposes. He’s gotten the real-time audio and music workstation Ableton Live working; even the demo song runs. (Plenty of people use Ableton Live with equal or lesser hardware; the aTV should easily beat many older G4s.) This is big news for one primary reason: it means the Apple TV is capable handling multi-channel audio with real-time virtual instruments and time stretching. That makes the ATV …

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Yamaha to Ship Toshio Iwai’s Tenori-On, But Will Open Hardware Win?

In June 2005, we first saw the Tenori-On, a futuristic music-making device covered in a grid of interactive, lit buttons, designed by the talented interactive artist Toshio Iwai as a prototype for Yamaha. Last week, Yamaha revealed some details about plans to make Iwai’s experimental device into a shipping product. (I missed this in preparations to fly off to Oahu.) Basic specs: 16×16 grid of buttons, MIDI out, sequencing, and perhaps most surprising, built-in sampling and Motif sound capabilities with internal speakers (plus line-out, naturally). (Notably missing: any mention of network capabilities, which was arguably the most compelling part of …

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NAMM: KeyToSound’s New Networked Patch-Sharing, Patch-Selling Supersoftsynth

Why should you get excited about Nexsyn, the hybrid soft synth/sample player available starting today from KeyToSound that was developed by Max Groenlund, creator of the Studio 9000 for Koblo? While I could ramble on about Nexsyn’s true stereo signal path, its 4 Gig Big Fish Audio sample library, its ability to load a 400MB piano in 15 seconds, blah, blah, blah, the most innovative and exciting thing about Nexsyn has nothing to do with any of that. It’s got to do with NetNotes. NetNotes is a proprietary browser that lets you audition Nexsyn presets from other users. You can …

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