Send MIDI messages faster than ever, right from the command line

Quick! Send a MIDI control change message! Or some obscure parameter! Well, sometimes typing something is the easiest way to do things. And that’s why Geert Bevin’s new, free and open source tool SendMIDI is invaluable. Sorry to nerd out completely here, but I suspect this is going to be way more relevant to my daily life than anything coming out of NAMM this week. In this case, whether you know much about how to use a command line or not, there’s almost certainly no faster way of performing basic MIDI tasks. Anyone working with hardware is certain to want …


Make DJ Charts from Traktor, and More Free Playlist Tricks

If DJing with vinyl leaves traces in our memory, recollections of physical handling of album sleeves and crates, then for digital DJing, we must rely on data. Traktor DJ is quietly noting everything you do as you play – at the gig, in the studio. The key is how to do something with that data. The coolest trick came last month from our friend Tomash Ghz – he of the superb Digital Warrior, among others. (Very keen to get back to my desk in Berlin to muck about with the latest step sequencer there, but I digress.) Tomash has whipped …


Need a Tempo, Fast? Grab Your Web Browser

It’s the little things. This just got added to my bookmarks; maybe it’ll be on yours. Press the spacebar repeatedly, and you get an accurate BPM count for a song. It’s actually useful to help learn to recognize BPM, as well, if you listen frequently when at your computer. (The trick used to be to look at the second hand of your wristwatch, as two ticks would be 120 bpm – but that requires an analog wristwatch.) And yes, surely this will be one of the first native Apple Watch tools when its native SDK ships next year. Thanks …


Robotic Mapping Pulls a Model Building, Tron-Like, Into the Virtual

MPS – Building Presentation from White Kanga on Vimeo. A model building rotates, light spilling over it. A virtualized sun creates shadows and accelerated days. And then, halfway through, the building still gliding in circles, it’s as though you can see through the building to wireframes beneath. The latest illusions from the White Kanga crew aren’t simply mapping as a novel way of making projection look three-dimensional. They appear to alter the reality around the object itself, playing with our perception’s ability to see animation as something fluid and real. Or, to put it another way: moving the subject, not …


What’s on Your Holiday Wish List – Beyond the Usual Suspects? (Open Thread)

Disco Christmas! Photo (CC-BY) paparutzi. Yes, it’s that gift-y time of year again, which naturally means among lovers of music technology, thoughts turn to gear wishes and dreams of new hardware. We’ve asked in the past what readers want in their stockings and presents – and, just as interestingly, what they’d give to others. And you’ve come up with fascinating ideas. This year, I’ll frame the question a bit differently: what, beyond the usual suspects, would you love to have? Books or music collections? Handmade or boutique items? Unique tools and toys that’d help you be creative? And what would …


Augmented Reality, Inside Jitter

Hey, Jitter fans: jit.artkmulti is an external for Max/MSP and Jitter that brings the powerful, marker-based augmented reality capabilities of ARToolKit to Max. We’ve seen a lapse in interest in marker-based tracking, I think, with the advent of technologies like Kinect, but it’s still useful for certain applications – and this makes it really easy to play around with if you’re a Jitter maven. This appears to be early in development – see the caveats in “known issues”: Hard coded for 640 x 480 : other dims don’t work, changing dims causes crash. Only one jit.artkmulti object at a time, …


An Augmented Tree, and Free Tools Power 3D Voxel Projection — on Leaves

In Lit Tree, the design team Kimchi and Chips create dances of light across a potted tree, augmenting the plant life by transforming its leaves into voxels. 3D volumetric projection create clouds of light. In time, it could even impact growth – a kind of bonsai technique with light. Given the work’s relevance both artistically and technically, I wanted to learn more about the way the project was conceived and constructed. Kimchi and Chips artist Elliot Woods, who collaborates with interaction designer and visual artist Mimi Son in Seoul, responded with yet more than I expected. Behind the work itself …


Coding for Artists: Visual Thinking and Sketching with Kaleido, Processing

Kaleido Demo from Agnes Chang on Vimeo. Part of the beauty of working with code is that it can refine the way you think, challenging you to make design ideas into systems. But what’s often a challenge for beginners – heck, sometimes even for experienced coders – is thinking through the ways in which component parts function and combine. We’ve seen code systems and visual patching systems, but Kaleido is something a bit different: it uses visual diagrams to loosely reinforce ideas in the code. Because it’s not rigidly attached to the code, you can use it to sketch out …


ProFORMA Model Acquisition: "Passive" 3D Scanning

3D modelling is one of my visualist achilles heels. I don’t seem to have the kind of brain which can deconstruct objects into geometric solids. So it comes as no surprise that I’m extremely interested in 3D scanning (CDMo tag). We’ve previously looked at the work of Kyle McDonald, who’s dealing in “Structured Light” scanning. I’ve been in touch with Kyle, so more on this very soon. In the meantime, Noisepages member Runagate has posted about ProFORMA, a promising 3D modelling technique using a single video input. Created by Cambridge Engineering PhD student Qi Pan, ProFORMA uses a fixed camera …