Rhizome Round-Up of iPhone Art

Reflect by Joshua Davis – separate post on this coming, Joshua! When the iPhone was first unveiled, many of us hoped that was was effectively a palm-sized Mac could be used with some of the same freedom that a computer could, that its screen could be used for pocketable art. That transformation has unquestionably come to pass. The iPhone hardware itself isn’t actually all the different from a lot of other smart phones, but Apple has made access to audio and graphics systems easier than on many other devices. Case in point: the Android platform from Google works with OpenGL …

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DIY Sequencer Videos: the Foundation of Techno, Reimagined in New Hardware

I ask you: what is the foundation for rhythmic electronic music? I suggest that the humble step-sequencer is the backbone of many of today’s musical genres and memetic evolutions. To have electronic rhythm, you need to start with a clock and go from there, dividing it into fractions and multiples. Then start assigning sounds to those divisions and you’re pretty much there- techno is happening. I’ve been working on prototyping a sequencer-synth and in doing research, I’ve come across numerous projects that tackle this idea with great enthusiasm. Because a sequencer can drive any type of electronics, projects tend to …

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Macworld: Becoming a Mac Visualist – Live Visual Resources

Once, digital image editing was a fringe medium. Now, almost everyone who uses a computer does basic image editing. So, I’m pleased to get to talk today at Macworld Expo about live visuals and reactive/interactive animation. I chose some relatively simple examples since time was short, just to cover the basics. I think some of these might be useful to people at the show and away from it, so I’ll share them here. Visualism 101 DJs and computer musicians have turned electronic and electrical music into live, improvisatory forms. Likewise, motion graphics, video, and animation are evolving from being exclusively …

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The Best of 2006 for Visualists

Forget predictions. It’s hard enough just processing (or is that Processing) the powerful, new visual tools digital artists got in 2006. With that in mind, we, the Create Digital Motion co-editors Peter Kirn and Jaymis Loveday, take a fond look at our favorite tools and art for 2006. And you can bet that this list is as much a look forward at what we’ll be using in 2007 as it is a look backward. (Peter: Also, everything Jaymis says, I second. We really need to find something to disagree on. We’d make a terrible movie review duo.) Check out our …

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Ars Technica DJ Software Review Round-Up, But Where’s djDecks?

The mighty Ars Technica regularly takes on technically-intense reviews of processors and operating systems, but this time they’ve turned their attentions to something else altogether: DJ software. Dave Girard helms the review, with an exhaustive look at both basic DJ virtual decks (Disco, FutureDecks Lite, DJ1800) and full-featured software (VirtualDJ, Traktor DJ Studio from Native Instruments, and MixVibes Pro). (Thanks for the tip, Ryan Pollack!) DJ Software for Windows and Mac OS X [Ars Technica] The DJ apps get the full Ars Technica treatment, down to helpful figures explaining how DJing works for the uninitiated. Traktor DJ wins handily on …

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Tips: Vocoders + Ableton Live; Vocoder Resources, Free Universal Vocoder Plug-in

Vocoding is capable of a broad range of sounds, from the traditional “robot talking” effects to unique, organic-sounding synth and drum effects. Like many commonly-used techniques for synthesis and processing (and qualifying as both), vocoder effects can be cliched — but they can also be used to great effect. Before today’s vocoders, there was the voder, developed at Bell Labs as a sound compression mechanism. From “As We Think”, Vannever Bush 1945, via Obsolete.com. The only real challenge in using vocoders in software is routing, since you need two signals — a carrier and a modulator. People are regularly asking …

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Max/MSP Resource Roundup: Computer Music Special [Updated]

Welcome, Computer Music readers — feel free to drop me a line. Here’s a roundup of Max/MSP resources, as a companion to the feature story on Max I wrote for Computer Music Magazine. Max is a deep, deep program, but to get you started, I’ve lined up: Unusual controllers for performance (tablets to game controllers) Cool Max projects (flaming sound organs to musical punching bags) Essential Max tools (my favorite add-ons and upgrades) It’s everything you need to start making weird, futuristic music and art. Well, not quite everything, but enough to blow my mind, anyway. I’m planning more online …

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