Deconstructed Dance Floor: EVOL’s Strange Experiments with Light, Sound, and Acid

For all the years of “classical” electronic music performance from academia, the experience of entering a club or dance music program can be awfully avant garde and surreal. There’s a barrage of sensory input – flashing lights, strange, repetitive sounds. The Spanish/British duo Roc JimĂ©nez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp, aka EVOL, have taken that feeling to its extreme. And the results are weird, wonderful fun. (The two play Berlin Thursday night at N.K. on a diverse program including Chris Douglas and Bill Kouligas; N.K. is one of Europe’s most consistent venues for electronic experimentalism, and somehow will keep feeding …

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oscillating continuum, Meditative Installation, and AV Work of Ryoichi Kurokawa

oscillating continuum from RYOICHI KUROKAWA on Vimeo. oscillating continuum is an audiovisual haiku, an object creating an sonic architectural object. At first, it appears stunningly minimal, but close up there’s a terrific sense of detail to the glitching soundscapes and accompanying digital waveform visualization. Intricate particles swirl and then suddenly blink into explosions, to be replaced by sharp lines and gentle hums. The piece then takes on a sense of resonating stillness, electrified equilibrium. Details on this Japanese artist: oscillating continuum RYOICHI KUROKAWA Audiovisual installation 2013 2 square displays | 2ch sound Duration: 08’00” Loop Ryoichi Kurokawa also has some …

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Why Mobile Low-Latency is Hard, Explained by Google; Galaxy Nexus Still Musicians’ Android of Choice

Saying your device isn’t as responsive to sound as you’d want is a bit like saying you’re feeling sick to your stomach. The symptom is easy to describe, and everyone would agree it’s not a desirable state. But the fix can be rather complex. And when it comes to engineers who care about music and sound, experiencing latency – or its equally evil mirror cousin, crackles-and-pops – will make you sick to your stomach. Google I believe is deserving of some criticism over this issue. Years of subsequent updates saw the company largely silent or unresponsive about critical audio issues. …

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At NODE, A Community of Digital Artists Meets to Discuss Transforming the Future

NODE13 – Forum for Digital Arts, Documentary from NODE Forum for Digital Arts on Vimeo. Here’s some ambition in an event description: NODE, the Frankfurt digital arts festival, is interested in how circuits and code are transforming the world around us. And unsatisfied with just talking about it, they get a group of people together who are doing it. NODE is built around vvvv and includes a lot of technical content around that Windows graphical programming tool, but it also incorporates work from a variety of techniques and tools – even some analog ones. This video from out of the …

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Pro Tools 11 Boosts Performance, Video; USB Interfaces Add iOS Support; AVID Uncertainties Remain

Avid has announced Pro Tools 11, the latest version of their flagship DAW. There are no whiz-bang features in this upgrade; instead, it seems Avid was solely focused on performance. Those improvements look promising; real-world performance is one of those things that makes the biggest difference in day-in, day-out use. The engine rewrite is joined here by top-of-class video integration, benefiting from Pro Tools’ sister products in video at Avid. These still will do little to sway users of other DAWs, but that’s not new. What is new is seeing a Pro Tools upgrade overshadowed by uncertainty about its developer. …

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Stepping Through Music, Interactively: Drum Kits and Monomes Navigate Notes

Left to right, beginning to end, the same in a loop — there’s no reason music has to work this way once you’ve got a computer. But if you associate generative or algorithmic music with some sort of magical black box machine you switch on, an automaton spitting out notes while you sip tea and stroke your beard, think again. Here are two examples that use interactive structures as a way to make music more live, not less. One is the latest creation from the ingenious mind of monome creator Brian Crabtree (who, perhaps unexpectedly, seems to have redirected the …

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What Does it Mean to Be an Electronic Instrument?

The electronic music analog to visual media’s question “is it art?” is clear. “Is it really a musical instrument?” Ableton will this week officially launch its Push hardware with Live 9; we’ll have an online exclusive review alongside that release. I know that the company is fond of calling it an “instrument.” For a profile by the German-language magazine De:Bug, Ableton CEO Gerhard Behles even posed with a double bass, the Push set up alongside. The message was clear: Ableton wants you to think of Push as an instrument. We’ll revisit that question regarding Push, but this isn’t only important …

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Hap to Make VJs Happy: Codec Looks Better, Plays Faster on GPU, Free [Mac]

Hap as in happy sounds about right. Hap is a family of free and open source video codecs for Mac OS X. The notion is that the computer’s GPU – rather than CPU – does the heavy lifting of decoding frames. Because GPUs are optimized for lots of parallel operations in a way CPUs are not, that means the ability to use higher resolutions. And, best of all, you can get this for free. The code that makes Hap work is already up on GitHub, and you can begin using it right now if you’re in VDMX. I quickly polled …

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The VJ Rigs That Power Momo (for deadmau5), Eclectic Method, Live [VDMX]

What’s making performance video shows tick for the like of live visuals for deadmau5 and Eclectic Method? And once those tools are in order, how do the artists express their ideas live? Vidvox, makers of Mac live visual tool VDMX, have kicked off their own blog offering some insights into how people are actually making stuff with their software. We saw one very nice example portfolio yesterday working with VDMX. And here are two more excellent examples. First up, our friend Momo the Monster, who last guided us through his live Glitch Mob show, is now working on deadmau5. The …

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V-4 Video Mixer, Now HDMI: First Look at Roland’s V-4EX

For years, the Roland V-4 was the battle axe of the VJ and visual performance scene. Not owning one almost meant you weren’t serious about playing. And the ubiquity of these at community events meant more collaborative and back-to-back sets. Then computers evolved past – and even dropped – composite/component analog video outs, and the V-4 was left behind. The V-8 was a step forward, but still couldn’t keep up with the shift in video ins and outs. At last, we get the Roland V-4EX. Like the original V-4, it’s a four-channel mixer with effects. And it shares the V-4’s …

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