Motion Controlling a Water Drop: Entropy, An Arduino, A Laser Pointer, and a Gorgeous Watery Animation

In an elegant, balletic dive, taking an almost impossibly-long span of time, a single droplet of water falls and splashes, an animated logo peeking out from the inside. But it’s what isn’t there that may surprise you. There’s slow motion camera behind the scenes, meaning the usual way of doing this is absent. Instead, what you’re seeing is a stop motion time lapse – a record of the shifting patterns of entropy in nature, thousands of different droplets appearing as connected that in reality are not. It’s a trick of animation and high-speed lighting, not high-speed photography, stroboscopic illusion. And …

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C64s, Control Voltage, MIDI … iPads, Keyboards and Audio: NAMM Saturday [Gallery, Impressions]

Everything old is new again. And everything new is everywhere – at least if we’re talking iPads and so on. At Anaheim’s massive gathering of music gear, there were some definite themes. Photographing for CDM, James Grahame and Marsha Vdovin give us a look at the tools on the floor. James has stumbled upon various fascinating oddities, and of course the booth celebrating MIDI’s 30th anniversary. (We’ll be talking more about MIDI’s history and legacy in the coming weeks.) From top, the keyboard models that made the history first connection, and a Commodore 64 talking to an iPad. Synthtopia has …

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Korg MS-20 Mini, Up Close: Gallery, By Candlelight

Korgs by candlelight… If you’ve been up close and personal with an original Korg MS-20 (or own one yourself), this gallery may actually be redundant. But we have some stills from our upcoming video short on the MS-20 Mini to prove what Korg’s reissue of the 1978 original looks like. There is something unreal about seeing the same instrument, shrunken. And yes, because it’s Berlin in winter, and we were in the basement of Mindpirates, we broke out some candles. It’s a great way to unwind on a January night. Stay tuned for our upcoming series, The Phantom of the …

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Hands-On Jam: MeeBlip SE with Koma Elektronik Delay, Filter [Gallery, Video]

A wintry afternoon sometimes calls for putting the work on hold and spending some time jamming. So, this week (in approximate celebration of Sinterklaas), I headed around the corner to the offices of Koma Elektronik, the boutique all-analog gear producer. Here’s a few minutes of combining digital with analog, each with its own timbres and applications. In the digital corner: the iOS step sequencer Phaedra (watch for an update on that soon), and our open source MeeBlip SE synth. On the analog side: Koma’s BD101 delay/gate and FT201 filter/sequencer. In the digital world, we get the flexibility of MIDI sequencing …

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SonicPhoto Focuses on Transforming Images into Sound, with Precision Harmonies, Stereo [Windows]

Translating between the visual and the musical is never a perfect science. But maybe that’s the point — maybe it’s the oblique quality of transforming a picture into a sonic score that’s so appealing. SonicPhoto is the latest application to attempt the feat. Following in the footsteps of MetaSynth and Photosounder, it makes each pixel a source for harmonic information, scanning across the image from left to right. As such, the process and results are related to those in each tool. But developer Daniel White has added some twists. He notes that, unlike Photosounder, he has skipped a sound importer …

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Music for Plants, Music by Plants, in Two Eco-Themed Album Releases [Listen, Galleries]

These green things, for once, are the stars, in Data Garden Quartet. From the installation version in Philadelphia. All Data Garden photos courtesy the artists. “On lead synthesizer, a philodendron …” (And the crowd goes wild…) Vegetation may not be the first association you have when thinking of electronic music. But two new albums, each released via Bandcamp, celebrate biological life of the green, leafy variety. One is a benefit compilation, with proceeds going to help trees and music inspired by that green goodness. The other uses plants as “performers,” generating its form from plant life in an installation and …

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Pictures at an Exhibition: Essential New Gear and Reflections from NAMM

Dewanatron’s Brian and Leon were on-hand with their unique inventions. Photos by Marsha Vdovin for CDM. For the lover of musical instruments and technology, southern California’s NAMM show is a giant toy shop. It’s work for many of its attendees, of course, but we know many of our readers dream of the objects that will make their next creations. And sure, inspiring lust is not our aim; on the contrary, there is some love that goes into these things. In the ideal, that’s the relationship of creator and consumer. These are things not to be bought and discarded, but kept …

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3D Image Capture on Mobile? Scalado Multi-Angle Demo

Apologies for the marketing video, but the technology here looks compelling. Using multi-angle capture, phone camera tech vendor Scalado presents an impressively-seamless illusion of “3D image” on mobiles. There’s definitely potential here, and while I suspect Scalado won’t be the only entrant in this arena, their demos and SDK look like they could be serious contenders. Scalado’s tech, they say, is already in more than 900 million handsets. Their current SDK has tons of eye candy and power: Face Detection Face Tracking Auto Focus Smile Detection for better capturing Blink Detection for avoiding capturing of closed eyes Burst Capturing with …

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Analog, Digital: Fortune Cookie of Wisdom

Transcription: Digital circuits are made from analog parts. No further comment. Via the wonderful Rucyl, artist and blogger of Saturn Never Sleeps. Both her Tumblr and the blogging she does for SNS are terrific spots to visit when you feel stuck for creative energies. That to me is the Web at its best: directed procrastination, like connecting jumper cables to the part of you that makes new things. Tech, used only for its own sake, can’t do that. http://rucyl.com/ http://saturnneversleeps.com/blog/ And on that note, below, some music from our SNS friends:

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