With Just One Contact Mic, Any Surface Magically Becomes a Gestural Instrument

Look around the room you’re in. Drum your fingers against some of the objects around you. Now imagine that you could turn those touches into any imaginable sound – and all you’d need to play them is a single contact mic. And we’re not talking just simplistic sounds – think expressive, responsive transformation of the world around you, all with just that one mic, thanks to clever gestural recognition. Bruno Zamborlin has made that idea a reality, with hold-onto-your-chair results. It’s not available yet for public consumption, but it’s coming. Bruno explains to CDM:

READ MORE →
Rob_Papen_Punch

Rob Papen Punch: Sample+Synth Drums, Now Shipping; Software Drum Machine Scene Looking Hot

In a sea of software and hardware, a handful of releases every year stand out. On the software side, one of the most promising is Rob Papen’s Punch. It reflects a number of trends in soft synth design – given a choice between sampling and synthesis, it choose both; 64-bit support comes standard; pattern sequencing is built in. But it’s worth examining for two reasons: one, independent soft synth designer Rob Papen has done some of the best work in recent years, and two, it appears to offer a rich set of practical features in equal measure. The video above …

READ MORE →
imeasequencer

Indie Music Devs Band Together with Deals on Synths, Effects, Tools, through 5/23

Game makers and (particularly Mac) utility developers have joined forces to do various bundles of their software. I have to say, I generally like the model – particularly the fantastic Humble Bundle of indie games. That collection not only encouraged people to try adventurous (often experimental) independent game titles, but gives some of the proceeds to relevant charities. Linux users have been buying up the bundles disproportionately, contrary to the idea that they won’t spend money on software, and some of the developers even set a goal to earn enough money to open source their tools. (The open source software …

READ MORE →

Video Tips on Live 8’s Vocoder, Collision Devices, Plus Live 8 Review

Still evaluating Live 8 – or want to learn more about how to use it? You can now read my review of Ableton Live 8 free on Keyboard Magazine’s site: Ableton Live 8 Review [Keyboard Magazine] See also (via comments) Nick Rothwell’s review for Sound on Sound June [subscription or US$1.49 fee required] Keyboard doesn’t yet have comments, so feel free to discuss – or disagree – here. I wanted to back up a little bit and consider Live as if for the first time. Now, I had also personally heard at least Robert Henke complain at one point that …

READ MORE →

Immersive Music: Revo:oveR Installation, Lightbent Synth, Max + Unity

As an addendum to the last story, Ivica Ico Bukvic sends along an example of the [myu] Max/MSP + Unity game engine combination in action. Here’s the surprise: Unity isn’t generating visuals. Instead, Unity simulates ripples created by movement in the space, and builds physical models that are sonified and spatialized by Max/MSP. Speaking of work involving art museums and the combination of Max and Unity, VJ Anomolee notes in comments his own work with the pairing. Lightbent Synth is an in-progress piece with alternative controllers and sensors that produces sound with a novel visual representation (sound’s very quiet in …

READ MORE →

Goodies from Devine: Modeled Electric Piano, One Shot Recorder, Reincarnated Krishna

It’s a tough time for the music tech industry like so many industries. But there are beautiful products coming from independent developers – indie, boutique shops crafting musical instruments in code. The folks at Devine Machine, makers of the likes of Guru and Lucifer, unloaded three big announcements overnight – enough to make you think there’s some obscure trade show going on at the end of March no one told you about. Here’s the capsule view of why they matter:

READ MORE →

Intimate Control: Multi-Touch, New Models, and What 2009 is Really About

Multitouch Prototype 2 from Randy Jones on Vimeo. 2008 has been an amazing year for music technology. But I can’t bring myself to look back on it on this New Year’s Eve: not when there’s so much to look forward to in 2009. Case in point? An extraordinary, innovative new controller that in a matter of hours was already spreading among connected music technologists around the planet. At the end of the day, it’s not hard to describe what you might want out of an expressive music controller. Most people would agree on that. The challenge is really an engineering …

READ MORE →

Physics for Music, Visuals: Free pmpd Patch for Pd, Max/MSP, SuperCollider

As we continue physical modeling month, here’s a free piece of software that lets you create music and sound (and visuals) using real-world physics: pmpd, free external for Pd Johan Strandell writes: It’s not physical modeling in the usual sense; pmpd simulates things like friction, acceleration/deacceleration etc.; i.e., more useful for control of parameters rather than synthesis in itself. Some of the examples are really intriguing, but I’ve only scratched the surface on it. An article about it would be great, to see what other people are doing with it. Consider your challenge accepted. May take me a while, but …

READ MORE →