Can Stems Finally Make Multi-channel DJ Audio a Standard?

The path forward is clear: there’s no reason in this age of digital producing and DJing that music needs to be stereo. The need is there, but so far, not the solution. A file format announced in a press briefing at Miami’s Winter Music Conference and made public today wants to succeed where others failed. It’s called Stems, and there are a few details that make it different. It’s simple. “Stems” – the format – include four tracks. So that could be bass, drums, melody, vocal, for instance. (Or bagpipe, castrati chorus, tambourines, and banjo. But the point is, dividing …

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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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Microsoft and the WebGL “Threat”: WebGL’s Future, Even on IE, May Still Be Bright

All this power, all this technology, and … yup, we’re making another aquarium. Works for me. As part of WebGL’s ongoing growing pains, Web engineers have gotten into a war of words that finds even some Microsoft engineers squaring off against other Microsoft engineers. Look closely, though, and you’ll see some real progress on making WebGL a wider reality – and, behind the headlines, promise we may still see it in Microsoft’s flagship browser. In a recent, widely-disseminated post, Microsoft’s security engineering blog recently called WebGL “harmful.” The post didn’t mince words, referring to two reports by Context Information Security, …

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Microsoft and the WebGL "Threat": WebGL's Future, Even on IE, May Still Be Bright

All this power, all this technology, and … yup, we’re making another aquarium. Works for me. As part of WebGL’s ongoing growing pains, Web engineers have gotten into a war of words that finds even some Microsoft engineers squaring off against other Microsoft engineers. Look closely, though, and you’ll see some real progress on making WebGL a wider reality – and, behind the headlines, promise we may still see it in Microsoft’s flagship browser. In a recent, widely-disseminated post, Microsoft’s security engineering blog recently called WebGL “harmful.” The post didn’t mince words, referring to two reports by Context Information Security, …

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Op-Ed: Music Abstraction for AV Collaboration, A Proposal

Ed. Our friend Momo the Monster (aka Surya Buchwald) joins us for a guest column with a proposal: what if messages sent between music and visual software could be expressive? His idea is simple, but powerful: it’s musical semantics for live visual messages, as basic as knowing when there’s a bass drum hit. Momo introduces the concepts here; more audiovisuals coming shortly, so feel free to hit him up with some questions. -PK Last October, I was approached by the management of American Werewolf about creating some custom visuals for their show. This was the first time I’d been contacted …

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Your Skeleton, a Live Digital Visual Controller, Thanks to Kinect: What's Opening Up

Dancing, digitally, anyone? Capturing full-body motion has tended to be imprecise and primitive, expensive, complex, non-real-time, or sometimes a combination. Rapidly-paced open source development around Microsoft’s Kinect 3D depth camera is proving the future doesn’t have to be that way. The results, piping control data in real-time to any visual, music, or other software, demonstrate your full body as input. We can look through our own eyes at another human being and be aware of how their skeleton is moving through space. Here, our computers no longer have to be in the dark about the same awareness. The video above …

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Your Skeleton, a Live Digital Visual Controller, Thanks to Kinect: What’s Opening Up

Dancing, digitally, anyone? Capturing full-body motion has tended to be imprecise and primitive, expensive, complex, non-real-time, or sometimes a combination. Rapidly-paced open source development around Microsoft’s Kinect 3D depth camera is proving the future doesn’t have to be that way. The results, piping control data in real-time to any visual, music, or other software, demonstrate your full body as input. We can look through our own eyes at another human being and be aware of how their skeleton is moving through space. Here, our computers no longer have to be in the dark about the same awareness. The video above …

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Real Sound Synthesis, Now in the Browser; Possible New Standard?

Bloop HTML5 Instrument inspired by Brian Eno’s Bloom from Bocoup on Vimeo. HTML5 and Javascript Synthesizer from Corban Brook on Vimeo. Pioneers like Max Mathews’ Bell Labs team taught the computer to hum, sing, and speak, before even the development of primitive graphical user interfaces. So it’s fitting that the standards that chart the Web’s future would again turn to the basics of electronic sound synthesis. A group of intrepid hackers and Mozilla developers and community leaders are working to make an audio API a standard part of this generation of Web browsers. (Note: not some unspecified future browsers – …

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Novation Launchpad: Impressions Video, Questions and Answers

I got to spend yesterday working with the Launchpad; see the video above which I think should help you get a sense of scale and what it looks like. (Also on YouTube) We have additional videos from other sources below. It’s only been public for less than 24 hours, but as we did with the APC40, I think it’s time for a superguide answering questions about the Novation Launchpad controller. The Launchpad and the way it works reveals a lot about how controllers work with Ableton Live. You may be surprised to learn a lot of this doesn’t require a …

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Democratizing Creative Tech: Julià Carboneras, OFFF (English + Espanol)

Gijs Gieskes setting up, as I look on (bottom left). Photo courtesy OFFF Festival. What does it mean to truly democratize technology? When is DIY more than just the creation of an object? That’s the question asked by our friend Julià Carboneras, who curated the new Nerdeferences feature of the OFFF digital design conference in Portugal last week. DIY is more than just cool devices, argues Julià: it’s social hacking, too. He brought together myself, Instructables.com founder Eric Wilhelm, and musical inventor and artist Gijs Gieskes (who stole the show, showing some creations live onstage). But there was a bigger …

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