Multitouch VJ App Uses Microsoft Surface, Reactable-Style Nodal Interface

Microsoft Research have added live, collaborative visuals to their bag of tricks for the Microsoft Surface multitouch table. Of course, in the process, they’re really demonstrating not only what you might to with Surface but with multitouch interfaces in general. In fact, it’s particularly odd that Microsoft hasn’t apparently made the connection with more generally-available multitouch hardware coming out, particularly with multitouch APIs built directly into Windows 7. HP is already shipping a mainstream laptop with a convertible, tablet-like form factor. And I don’t need to point out that this could lead to cross-platform, open source applications, not just those …

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The Mobile Audio Workstation: Trinity Linux Hardware, Now with Free Ardour DAW

For mobile work, your choices have traditionally come down to one of two choices: either lug your laptop and audio interface, or get dedicated recording hardware with far fewer capabilities. We’ve been following the evolution of the Linux-powered Trinity mobile recorder for over a year now because we’re interested in what could happen between those two extremes. Prototype Trinity recorders initially failed to impress on the software side: the bundled software focused on Audacity 2.0, a fairly basic waveform editor. That already allows far more than what’s possible with dedicated hardware recorders, but maybe not quite enough to warrant leaving …

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Interactive Table as Synth, Via New, Better Bjork Tour Vids; Microsoft Surface Snickering

There’s a simple problem: sound is invisible, and sound synthesis concepts don’t have any physical reality. Knobs, faders, patch cords, keyboards, infrared sensors, touchpads, and the like all work quite nicely for synthesizing sounds. But take a closer look at Bjork’s use of the reacTable, an interactive multimedia interface that uses a camera to track the movements of blocks on a surface. They really are using it to make sounds, those sounds really are visualized in a nice new way (watch the waveforms connecting the blocks), and while the result is some swoopy synthy sounds, the interface does make making …

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Microsoft Unveils Surface, Multi-Touch Digital Table, But Why Not Make Your Own?

The good news: Microsoft is taking multi-touch, camera tracking, and gestural technologies seriously, and they have what looks like a very nice implementation that will be one of the first commercial implementations. The bad news: it’ll cost US$10,000 out of the gate. That high price will mean you’ll see at places like T-Mobile stores and Sheraton hotel lobbies first. But what you need to know: you can build your own version, thanks to available open source tools, with is likely to be more useful for music. Good sources of commentary: New Media Initiatives Blog at Walker Arts Center, which notes …

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Microsoft Goes Multi-Touch at Midnight; Musicians Might Look Further into Future

Musicians, behind the technological curve? Not when it comes to interface design: we’ve been consistently ahead. Little wonder, as digital musicians look for ways of making digital media more expressive, with centuries of physical interface design in musical instruments to push those demands further. In other words, Microsoft is up to something, and I look forward to whatever it is, but it’s the long view that will ultimately matter more. Numerous outlets are reporting that Microsoft is expected to introduce its gestural, multi-touch technology, called PlayTable. I’m not quite sure why the product name sounds ripped off from the ReacTable. …

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Pacemaker: 120GB Pocket DJ MP3 Player

We’ve seen DJ parties with iPods and now handheld remote controls for DJ software. But what about building mixing features into the portable player itself? That’s the idea of the Pacemaker, a new portable player promised for Fall. Pacemaker site (Warning: auto-plays music) Tonium, the mysterious manufacturers’ site DJ features and mixing are internal to the player, and there’s rich playback support in general. You can cross-fade on the unit itself, and add effects, with dedicated headphone and line out jacks and cueing features. There’s a multi-function touch control for all these features. As a player, it looks great on …

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FRONT: Prototype Knob-Slider Musical Interface

Vienna-based design firm GP designpartners sponsored the FRONT musical interface design as part of its annual student thesis project. We’ve certainly heard these promises before for alternative interfaces: “a really new music instrument — without using classical paradigms. an instrument for new sounds, that gives the musician the possibility to express himself — even live at stage. with great expectation we are awaiting the jimmy hendrix of the 2010s.” The design itself has simplicity going for it, certainly — but it may not live up to its radical promise. Basically, it’s a twistable knob, with touch-sensitive capacitance, in a slot …

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Inside Details on the Linux-based Trinity Audio Recorder

Roland Stewart of Trinity Audio Devices writes in to clear up a number of the questions we had about their upcoming portable Linux-based audio recorder. While the device is a bit pricey, with a list expected at US$999, it will certainly do things other devices can’t: it’s a full-blown computer, but without the power consumption problems usually associated with that, and it’s price-competitive with some of the higher-end hard disk recorders, but with the ability to run any Linux software you want. That last point is where some of the more interesting details emerge. I’m not sure it’ll make me …

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All-in-One Linux Recording Device: Just the First of New Mobile Devices?

UPDATED: I’ve gotten additional details straight from the source, with specifics on specs, design concept, and software from the Trinity device’s creators; see our updated report. LinuxDevices.com has an extended report on a new all-in-one recording device built with Linux; it’s been met by skeptical readers at Engadget and Music thing. There’s little point in spending a whole lot of energy now worrying about this product as it’s right now only a series of product renderings and a largely vague website. It’ll probably appeal to someone, with a large, built-in LCD screen, portable form factor, integrated XLRs, and the ability …

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