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MICKEYPHON is a terrifying giant robot head that’s also a musical instrument

Inside the computer, music software very often looks like it always did – faux mixers and multitracks and piano rolls. But in the hands of designers, musical objects are appearing as something very different. And those iconic mouse ears seem to be … following you.

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Think Stormtroopers more than Diane Keaton when you hear her name. And don't expect her to give up any rebel secrets, really. Photo of the artist, courtesy the artist.

You Should Listen to Fuzzy Cut-up Goodness, Heavy Techno from Annie Hall [Detroit Underground]

Annie Hall – Random Paraphilia EP PROMO from annie hall on Vimeo. Spanish-born, Windsor-based producer/DJ Annie Hall is always something special, a gift to techno and experimental music. Pushing her digital sound to the edge, she can sharpen her sound to glitch, fuzz, but always with a sense of warmth and intimacy. It’s cut tightly, but manages to tread techno-electro paths in its asymmetrical grooves. There’s never an absence of forward motion: like one of those crazy new robotic insects, all the complex kinetic action somehow makes it sprint. And then, as she does this summer, she can head straight …

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‘Edge of Nostalgia’ is a Calming Ambient iPhone Album Transformed by Mic

Edge of Nostalgia from Michael McDermott on Vimeo. Ambient, and — actually, literally ambient. Mikronesia’s “Edge of Nostalgia” is a chilled-out 7-track record of gentle grooves and crystalline melodies, delivered as an app. That’s nice enough. But with the aid of your iPhone’s microphone, you and the environment around you become part of the soundscape. Ambient sounds are fed through great washes of reverb and chattering chains of delays. Recently updated for iOS 7, the result is an album that is different each time you listen. As the creator notes, plenty of records include stock sounds of field recordings. Here, …

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Wearable Visuals: Little Boots' Dynamic LED Dress, Like Tenori-On Fashion

Digital fashion is beginning to spread. The latest evidence is the dazzling light-up dress for Little Boots, a “Cyber Cinderella” garment that transforms into a blaze of colored LEDs during the encore of her current tour. The Creators Project (VICE) has a short documentary film on the process. Little Boots, an early adopter of the Yamaha/Toshio Iwai Tenori-On grid instrument, here demonstrates that the costume can be an extension of that matrix of lights. (Your next challenge: a wearable monome.) What’s significant about the designer in this case, New York-based Michelle Wu, is partly that she isn’t one of the …

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fl9riff

Wearable Visuals: Little Boots’ Dynamic LED Dress, Like Tenori-On Fashion

Digital fashion is beginning to spread. The latest evidence is the dazzling light-up dress for Little Boots, a “Cyber Cinderella” garment that transforms into a blaze of colored LEDs during the encore of her current tour. The Creators Project (VICE) has a short documentary film on the process. Little Boots, an early adopter of the Yamaha/Toshio Iwai Tenori-On grid instrument, here demonstrates that the costume can be an extension of that matrix of lights. (Your next challenge: a wearable monome.) What’s significant about the designer in this case, New York-based Michelle Wu, is partly that she isn’t one of the …

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Gantz Graf, the Max for Live Plug-in: Reactive-Visualizing Your Tracks

Hang about. I may have given away the punchline in the headline, and now there’s not much more to say. “Hey, is there a plug-in out there that I can just switch on and visualize music with?” I can’t count the number of times I get asked this. That could make the following a very popular download, indeed. Animator Alex Rutterford’s original Gantz Graf video, interestingly, was not reacting to audio. But generative technique has moved on since then, so aping the style of the visuals in a patch makes some sense. The results aren’t perfect, but they do demonstrate …

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Sailing Digital Seas: Exquisite Audiovisual Etudes Made in a Free Game Engine

30 seconds or more 07 – Will I ever make it home? from Victor Morales on Vimeo. Set to the music of Norway’s Pål Asle Pettersen, Victor Morales has created surreal digital landscapes made of textures that vibrate and transform in time to sound. And he’s being quite prolific. Working primarily with Crytek’s CryENGINE game engine – now free for non-commercial use – he is producing one short film each day. He tells CDM the visual engine helps produce these rapidly: It shows how powerful these video games engines are for the creation of strong visual material in very little …

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The Listening Tree: A Holiday Tree Whose Colored Lights Respond to Sound

Wintertree from Limbic Media on Vimeo. Winter: it’s dark. So, it’s no coincidence that holiday traditions from Christian to Jewish to Pagan to … uh, New Year’s … celebrate light. And it’s fun watching in this video the delight as colored lights respond to sound – not in the endlessly-playing annoying-Christmas-tune way, but in the “you can sing to a tree and it’ll light up” way. Limbic Media writes CDM with this project they did in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) commissioned Limbic Media to design an audio reactive tree for the holiday season using …

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With Pop-Up Store, Party, and … Rectangles, vvvv Celebrates 10 Years of Visual Power [Gallery]

It’s hard to believe – especially as the software remains at the bleeding edge of what you can accomplish with a GPU – but visual programming environment vvvv is now one decade old. It’s one of a handful of tools that has powered the most eye-popping projects of those years, and so it’s little surprise that users and artists around Berlin would pack a developer-led event on Friday to celebrate its birthday. This was no ordinary party. The big reveal for vvvv users: full DirectX 11 support is coming around Christmas – stay tuned for that. (The DX11 implementation is …

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3D Music Visualization, Powerful Editing, Rendering – Now as a VST Plug-in

I hear it all the time – people want something that just plugs in and visualizes musical inputs. But then, on the other end of the spectrum is a crowd that wants that and powerful editing capabilities. For both, this could be a compelling development. Image-Line, the developer behind the Windows music tool FL Studio (popularly known as Fruity Loops) have quietly released a VST plug-in built around the powerful open source, OpenGL 3D tool ZGameEditor. ZGameEditor Visualizer takes that engine, and adds musical visualization and movie rendering, plus loads of presets. (See video.) A modest Windows PC (or Windows …

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