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More Renoise Step Sequence Goodness: Launchpad + Lauflicht (Other Controllers, Too)

There’s a beautiful immediacy and tactile quality to hardware step sequencers. And there’s all the flexibility, convenience, and power of software. Solution: combine them. We’ve been following various custom creations for the music production tool Renoise – the latest being a lovely performance grid, and back in 2009, the beginnings of Launchpad grid sequencing. You can thank Renoise’s powerful API, which allows its users to modify the way the app works with surprising ease (at least for the hack-inclined), all for free. The latest is Lauflicht, an 8-, 16-, or 32-step step sequencer for the Novation Launchpad controller (or, alternatively, …

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In Max 6, Big Banner 3D + Animation Features for Jitter, Alongside Usability Improvements

We’ve been waiting for some time to learn what was next for Jitter, the 3D, matrix data, animation, and video side of Cycling ’74’s Max 6 graphical multimedia development environment. (Phew!) The wait is now at its conclusion: Cycling has released details of what’s changed, as well as an extended video sneak preview above worth a full watch. Jitter users will see new workflow improvements, usability, and features that help you figure out what the heck object you need and what the heck it does. But there are substantial new tools for actually creating graphics, too – arguably beyond even …

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Music from Code: In Simple Text, Live Coding Steve Reich-ian Rhythms with Free Overtone

Writing code for music may still seem a remote notion to the vast majority of even geekier digital musicians, but as exemplified by the language Overtone, it looks very different than coding once did. Whereas sound code was once a type-and-render affair, new coding environments focus on live coding. They use elegant, lightweight modern languages that take up less space. And they can be surprisingly musical, coming remarkably close to just typing “play a c major chord.” Not to say that you won’t look plenty geeky doing it — but, hey, if you can’t impress slash frighten your friends a …

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A Killer Performance Grid in Renoise Shows Off This Hackable Music Tool

If you just want to fire up Renoise, the modern tracker/music production app, and not worry about the fact that its innards are hackable, you can. But for a reason why you might at least want to explore customization of this music tool, give the video above a look. It starts sleepy and slow … and then, part of the way through, as creator Dac Chartrand starts demoing the tool, something really special happens. (Anyway, that’s what I think. See if you agree.) Dac explains his work, completed at the recent Montreal Music Hackday: My Renoise hack was Grid Pie. …

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MachFive 3, in Pictures: Hybrid Sonic Powers, Nerdy Programming Features, and Prettiest Sampler Yet?

MOTU’s MachFive sampler, while perhaps not getting the kind of attention rivals from NI and Steinberg have, has had in its history some compelling features. Those features were in a multi-window interface, though, that not all of us loved – while I can’t find the review, I know when I covered it for Keyboard, I praised powerful editing features like the slicer but lamented the UI. MachFive’s new UI looks radically different. The tabbed layout and modules and preset browsing all recall NI’s products, but there are new twists, too, like slick, readable waveform views, gorgeous EQ visualizations borrowed from …

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Physics Animation, Ping Pong Game in Adobe Illustrator – No, Really, Thanks to Free JavaScript Library

Generative physics animations in Illustrator most certainly fall into the “because it’s there” / “for no very good reason other than it’s possible” category. But the results are hilariously awesome. See above, Adobe fans. The tool behind this is very cool, too. Processing lovers who don’t already know the insanely great toxiclibs library – and its ability to unlock complex math and geometry magic with very little effort – should absolutely go explore: http://toxiclibs.org/ [links, documentation, and loads of terrific tutorials and demos] It’s Java-ness makes it ideal for other Java-based projects, too, including Android. But that library, in turn, …

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Les Paul Google Doodle, Animated – and Scripted with SuperCollider

Electric guitar pioneer Les Paul is one of the all-time greats in music instrument invention, so the guy clearly deserves an animated Google Doodle of his creation that you can play. Strum chords, pluck with the mouse, and even record phrases on Google’s homepage. (See video, above.) Since Google Doodles are archived – and since you can look at the code by choosing a View Source feature in your browser – these little novelties also have a life beyond their one day of glory. (Note, you may need to visit the US site if you’re in a part of the …

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Polycode, New Open Source Framework with C++ and Lua; Awesome Pixel 3D Game Sample

Creative coding is rapidly moving from the domain of a handful of gurus to a broader audience, powered by lightweight, flexible frameworks that quickly translate code to visuals. Now, that said, the thought of another framework to learn could be overwhelming, what with the superb Cinder (C++, Mac, Windows, iOS), OpenFrameworks (C++, Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS), Processing (Java and JavaScript, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web, iOS)… Fortunately, PolyCode, the creation of Ivan Safrin, has plenty to recommend it. It has out-of-the-box support for 2D and 3D physics libraries, and a Lua API for scripting via that elegant, compact language. It’s …

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Customization-Friendly Renoise 2.6 Arrives; Duplex Controllerism Explained

The tracker for the rest of us – now more customizable. Click for full-sized version. Ever wish your music software could do something your way, something it can’t do now? Wish you could just get in there and change it yourself? That’s some of the ambition of Renoise 2.6, the multi-platform music creation tool. By opening up the entire music tracker to scripting, users can create custom functionality and control surface. But scripting – while it sounds like the domain of hard-core geeks – doesn’t have to be daunting. That’s important, as presumably you want to spend some time making …

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Renoise 2.6 Could Set New Bar for Control, Customization, Openness

Renoise, the tracker-style music production host, has gotten a massive injection of customizability, scriptability, and hackability. If all you want to do is plug in some controller hardware and have more tangible control of music making, that scriptability can be nicely hidden away. But if you are ready to hack on your music app, this is some enormous news. For that reason, Renoise 2.6 is being called even by its makers the “Renoise Geek Edition.” But if this hackability catches on, it could mean a music tool that’s more fun to use for everyone – not just scripting geeks. 2.6 …

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