Telemann

The next Web standard could be music notation

The role of the music score is an important one, as a lingua franca – it puts musical information in a format a lot of people can read. And it does that by adhering to standards. Now with computers, phones, and tablets all over the planet, can music notation adapt? A new group is working on bringing digital notation as a standard to the Web. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – yes, the folks who bring you other Web standards – formed what they’re describing as a “community group” to work on notation. That doesn’t mean your next Chrome …

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(CC-BY) Flavio Ensiki.

Stems for DJs and More: Here’s How A New Format Will Work

The most important thing to know about Stems, a new multitrack specification for audio, is that it’s simple by design. That simplicity means that it could really take off as a way of sharing music with multiple tracks, for DJing or live-remix applications. Stems won’t solve every problem of file exchange and sharing. It’s not a multichannel spatialization format. It’s not a sophisticated project format for storing metadata. I say that, because after we covered Stems at the beginning of this week, I found my inbox flooded with every use case for every file format imaginable, and complaints that Stems …

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Can Stems Finally Make Multi-channel DJ Audio a Standard?

The path forward is clear: there’s no reason in this age of digital producing and DJing that music needs to be stereo. The need is there, but so far, not the solution. A file format announced in a press briefing at Miami’s Winter Music Conference and made public today wants to succeed where others failed. It’s called Stems, and there are a few details that make it different. It’s simple. “Stems” – the format – include four tracks. So that could be bass, drums, melody, vocal, for instance. (Or bagpipe, castrati chorus, tambourines, and banjo. But the point is, dividing …

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Pioneer's CDJ sometimes seems as much a part of the club scene as ... a bar. An NI software update marries the decks and their onboard UI to Traktor's mix, cueing, remix, and library features. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Will Will, in the UAE.

Pioneer CDJ Gets Integrated with Traktor; Can’t We All Get Just Along?

Some surprise news out of Native Instruments today: NI’s Traktor can now integrate with Pioneer hardware, including the CDJ. We’ll see how the news will be received by DJs, but it at least suggests an attempt by the two companies to make their tools coexist in more peaceful fashion. The integration itself is best seen in the video, but it’s pretty impressive: for users comfortable with Pioneer’s flagship mixer (the DJM-900) and the CDJ deck, the stuff in Traktor is accessible directly from hardware. It could also be part of a larger trend: it’s computer functionality, away from the computer. …

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Joys of OpenGL in a Browser: WebGL 1.0 Release and Dev Goodies, and Play with Fractals Right Now

It’s a great time to be coding 3D – and a great time to be destroying your workday playing with 3D – thanks to free and open resources for OpenGL, now even in the browser. If lovers of 3D dreamt up a standard for getting hardware-accelerated 3D in a browser, they’d have a tough time topping WebGL. It’s cross-platform and truly (cough, H.264 video) royalty-free – not just for some people under some circumstances, but for everybody, all the time. With similar code to the OpenGL ES 2.0 API, porting to mobile (where it fits in your hand) or native/desktop …

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Op-Ed: Music Abstraction for AV Collaboration, A Proposal

Ed. Our friend Momo the Monster (aka Surya Buchwald) joins us for a guest column with a proposal: what if messages sent between music and visual software could be expressive? His idea is simple, but powerful: it’s musical semantics for live visual messages, as basic as knowing when there’s a bass drum hit. Momo introduces the concepts here; more audiovisuals coming shortly, so feel free to hit him up with some questions. -PK Last October, I was approached by the management of American Werewolf about creating some custom visuals for their show. This was the first time I’d been contacted …

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Apple's HTTP Live Streaming Proposal is Actually Pretty Cool, But it Needs Partners

It takes two to tango, and lots of people for a line dance. Yes, as the rest of the Web has noticed, Apple has just proudly touted the fact that it’s streaming its own press event in a format only people with the latest Apple devices can actually watch. Even Mac site TUAW, gearing up for today’s press event, thinks it’s pretty odd. But let’s skip straight to the good stuff: what’s this HTTP live streaming, anyway? The short answer is, it’s something cool – but it’ll be far cooler if Apple can acquire some friends doing the same thing. …

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Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming Proposal is Actually Pretty Cool, But it Needs Partners

It takes two to tango, and lots of people for a line dance. Yes, as the rest of the Web has noticed, Apple has just proudly touted the fact that it’s streaming its own press event in a format only people with the latest Apple devices can actually watch. Even Mac site TUAW, gearing up for today’s press event, thinks it’s pretty odd. But let’s skip straight to the good stuff: what’s this HTTP live streaming, anyway? The short answer is, it’s something cool – but it’ll be far cooler if Apple can acquire some friends doing the same thing. …

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Looking Beyond MIDI, What’s the Best Way to Represent Musical Notes Digitally?

Speaking in Hamburg to a terrific group of assembled locals from a variety of design backgrounds. And yes, this is the other part of my life behind me. I just seem to generally skip the years 1700-1985. Go figure. The history of music and the history of music notation are closely intertwined. Now, digital languages for communicating musical ideas between devices, users, and software, and storing and reproducing those ideas, take on the role notation alone once did. Notation has always been more than just a way of telling musicians what to do. (Any composer will quickly tell you as …

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And Just Like That, WebM, Vorbis, and VP8 Became Real Open Video Standards

What happened to the Internet standards advocates who got everything they ever wanted? They lived happily ever afte— now, wait a minute. Microsoft, Apple – you guys better not play the Grinch on this one, ‘kay? Photo (CC-BY) loveā™”janine. Shifts in standards usually take place at a glacial pace. This one may have just happened overnight. Yesterday, the future of Web audiovisual content remained murky. You could choose H.264, a format that all but locked out open source software and threatened license fees down the road. Or you could opt for Ogg Theora, a format that was open but had …

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