NYC: Handmade Music Now Monthly – 12/11 Event, Call for Works, Beep-It Workshop

Handmade Music, the regular series of DIY music tech parties CDM hosts with Etsy.com and Make Magazine in New York, is back. And it’s back in a big way: the event has a new home in Bushwick and will be held on an actual schedule monthly. The first event is next Thursday, December 11. After the December debut, it’ll be every third Thursday of the month, starting with January 15, 2009. We’ve got a spacious, new home at the hip galleries and workshops of 3rd Ward in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We want to see your projects, from simple first-time creations …

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Don’t Call it Minority Report; Call g-speak a Spatial, Gestural Operating Environment

g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo. If Minority Report has become the benchmark by which gestural interaction is judged, that was always intentional. The film’s production team wanted to work with the people actually developing science fiction-like technology. And it’s sci-fi like technology. So, let’s not talk about how cool-looking the clip is above – not that it doesn’t look cool. After all, most of what you actually see on the screen is stuff you can do with your desktop computer and some projectors. So the question is, what benefit do you get from really nailing a gestural …

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Beep-It: Portable, Open, DIY Optical Theremin

Beep-it from Michael Una on Vimeo. Cast your shadow, shine a light, make a square wave synth make noise. Michael Una is at it again. This time, he’s created something called the Beep-It. It’s a wonderfully elegant design for a light-controller soundmaker, an optical Theremin. He describes it to CDM thusly: This minimalist electronic musical instrument eschews esoteric interface in favor of intuitive, expressive control.  One button turns the device on or off, which can produce a continuous tone or a rhythmic sequence.  One sensor varies pitch of the output waveform in response to ambient light.  The resulting system encourages …

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Alternative Theremin: On Your Wrist, in a Mug of Tea

Neither of these items is “news,” but since I missed them, you may have, too — and because they’re so absurd and wonderful, I can’t let that happen. Some things are timeless. Via Chris Cheung’s Hong Kong’s-based Special Interest Group comes the Theremin Watch, “Modified (circuit bend) from 大人之科學 kit set.” I love the idea of a wrist-mounted Theremin. On one hand (ahem), it does mean that you can calibrate relative to your body, because it’s always strapped to your wrist. On the other, I expect that’s still something of a challenge. But it’s not so often you get wearable …

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Theremin-Controlled Video Mixing, as Moog Meets VDMX

You’ve heard the Theremin as the eerily-beautiful musical instrument, but via the magic of pitch detection, it can be a controller for video, too. Sean McDonald of the Moog Foundation recently hooked up the original gestural, touchless controller to VDMX video software at the HATCHfest arts festival in Moog home base Asheville, North Carolina. The result: festival goers making sweet, sweet video mixes by waving their hands around the early 20th-Century invention. The Theremin has a special connection to Moog, too; not only are the Moog Music Theremins arguably the best available, but it was making Theremin kits that helped …

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How to Turn Theremin into MIDI, Free with Pd

Last month we saw Sarah Angliss using the Theremin as an audiovisual controller. If you’ve got a Theremin and want to try this yourself — or try some other similar continuous input — here’s a really simple example of a patch that converts audio to MIDI. It uses Pd, Max/MSP’s open-source cousin for Mac, Windows, and Linux. If you haven’t used Pd before, you should download pd-extended. It’s a stable, friendly installer for Pd with all the documentation and extras you’d need. Pd can be tricky to install, but this is friendly to just about anyone. Pure Data Downloads (choose …

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DIY 3D Controller: Inspired by Theremin, Powered by Arduino, Processing

DIY 3D Interface: Tic Tac Toe from Kyle McDonald on Vimeo. The Theremin, not too far off from its one hundredth birthday (start planning now), was a breakthrough in enabling a touch-free gestural control in space. Using the same principle that allows the Theremin to sense hand position, Kyle McDonald has created a 3D interface, and posted the process on Instructables. CDM gave him some of the inspiration: Your recent post, "Theremin as AV Controller", inspired me to finish an idea that’s been living in my sketchbook. It operates on the same capacitive sensing idea as the Theremin, but in …

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Theremin as AV Controller: Technical Details from Spacedog

You’ve heard the Theremin as a sound-making instrument. But it can be a MIDI controller, as well – an extremely sensitive and expressive one. Continuing our DIY round-up, here are the details in case you’d like to try it yourself. When we last heard from Sarah Angliss and Spacedog, we were introduced to their creepy Theremin-playing doll Clara 2.0. Now, they’re using the Theremin as an audiovisual controller, triggering audio and video samples from the 1968 film The Devil Rides Out and my personal favorite, a parakeet training record. The result is a new version of the ballad “Willow’s Song” …

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AirPiano: Touch-Free, Sensing Gestural Music Controller

Omer Yosha has created a beautiful, elegant interface that uses infrared sensors to control music applications. Touch-free interfaces, of course, date back to the Theremin, but Omer is trying some new things here, creating an invisible matrix of controls in the air. And I love the way the physical object looks. He writes to tell us about the details: I’m an Interface Design student from the FH Potsdam (near Berlin), i have a musical background, and the idea to create an AirPiano developed as i was playing around with the Arduino board, Processing and some IR sensors in my free …

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Theremin Music, Streamed Live from Ethermusic; Moog Guitar Official

Our friends at the Spanish-language site Hispasonic.com are streaming Theremin music live for free worldwide from the Ethermusic Festival in Moog country, North Carolina. (Pictured, right: Randy George.) Hispasonic TV When it’s not live, the previous recording plays on continuous loop. From Hispasonic’s Xabier: Now we are just replaying the yesterday concert. The next live webcast will be at 2:30 AM (GMT+2) – 08:30 PM (GMT-4). And speaking of Moog, here’s an update from Frank Schubert, who played at the show, regarding Moog’s new guitar: The show was great.  We opened up and then did a piece with Justin from …

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