Visual Sequencing: Cityscapes, Liquids as Musical Icons, for iPhone and Live in Cologne

Christian Sander’s Synse is an iPhone app that contains three audiovisual sets, a sort of self-contained “VDJ” VJ/DJ/visualist/music experience. As such, it represents a small slice of what may be coming in this scene.

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walter

Reaper 4 is Coming, Adding More Flexible UI to Lightweight PC-Mac DAW

Reaper 4.0 has hit prerelease, the latest version of this $40+, lightweight (measured in a handful of megs) DAW for Windows or Mac. The banner feature is called WALTER, “Window Arrangement Logic Template Engine for REAPER.” The idea: you should have your music production screen look the way you want, with elements moved to whatever you like. Jeffrey James points us to this release and explains that the feature allows you to “design the DAW the way you want it.” For instance, normally Reaper displays meters horizontally. Add a snippet of code telling it that’s not what you want — …

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Cakewalk SONAR X1 Rethinks Windows DAW’s User Interface

Cakewalk’s SONAR has always been a compelling choice of DAW on Windows. Under the hood, its 64-bit processing, 64-bit mix engine, balanced complement of editing features, and quite-nice array of instruments and processors has held enough appeal. But then there’s the interface, which hasn’t held up to the tools underneath. Being pretty isn’t only cosmetic; a visually-refined interface is just easier to look at and use. And aside from aesthetics, moving between editing views or just managing what’s visible on-screen in SONAR can be a chore. It’s a problem not unique to Cakewalk’s DAW: the leading music workstations now simply …

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Drawing Sound: Crazy Touch Interface Sound Experiments with Usine, PC

The quickest route to expressing an idea remains the gesture of a hand. That gesture may be crudely interpreted through today’s touch displays, but the immediacy remains. Presumably because of some of the device’s limitations, a lot of the experiments with the iPad have involved controllers that operate independently from sound software, like a remote control. Those interfaces, while useful, largely simulate existing hardware controls in a more flexible form, rather than introduce new ideas. But it seems the long-term potential for touch devices is in designs that unite touch, graphic, and sound in a single piece of software, exploring …

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Rethink Drawing: A New iPad Interface Recalls the Ruler, Compass, 1963’s Sketchpad

What should computer graphics look like? How should drawing on a virtual screen work? They’re questions we take for granted now not so much because we’ve found every optimal solution, but because we’ve grown accustomed to certain habits. Nothing against Adobe Creative Suite, but that tool would never have been possible without experimentation in user interface by its early designers, or the work of ground-breaking engineers like Bill Atkinson (creator of MacPaint). One of the bonuses of the heightened interest in the iPad is that artists and coders are revisiting those questions. (The Apple SDK, JavaScript, Processing, OpenFrameworks, and other …

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Rethink Drawing: A New iPad Interface Recalls the Ruler, Compass, 1963's Sketchpad

What should computer graphics look like? How should drawing on a virtual screen work? They’re questions we take for granted now not so much because we’ve found every optimal solution, but because we’ve grown accustomed to certain habits. Nothing against Adobe Creative Suite, but that tool would never have been possible without experimentation in user interface by its early designers, or the work of ground-breaking engineers like Bill Atkinson (creator of MacPaint). One of the bonuses of the heightened interest in the iPad is that artists and coders are revisiting those questions. (The Apple SDK, JavaScript, Processing, OpenFrameworks, and other …

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Luminair Could Make iPad the Killer DMX Show, Lighting Controller

Luminair for iPad – multi-touch DMX lighting control – A Quick Preview from Synthe FX on Vimeo. Controlling lighting has been caught in a kind of Stone Age – expensive, inelegant, awkward, and antiquated. But while the iPad’s impact has perhaps been overstated with some problems (“it’ll save publishing! it’ll replace all other computers! it will transform how you think about life!”), here in this far more limited but important niche, I think it could be downright revolutionary. You can thank the app developer. Luminair showed potential on the iPhone and iPod touch, but on the larger real estate of …

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iPhone Day: Star6 Demonstrates Elegance of Mobile UI, Live Mobile Music with Style

The novelty of the iPhone or [your favorite device here] may fade. But part of what matters in mobile design is thinking about how to create interfaces and uses that can scale to the size of your palm. That can mean embracing radical simplicity, and reducing an interactive, digital musical object down to its essential noise-making functions. In acoustic instrument design, that means economizing sound production in a form. In the digital world, it means finding the interactive role you’d want to bring with you onstage, in the length roughly equivalent your fingertips to your wrist. I’m a few weeks …

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Adobe Rants Produces Unexpected Glitch Art

While we’re on the subject of User Interface… Adobe, as makers of the dominant creative software that powers the planet, are certainly due some criticism. But beware the wrath of the angry user. Via lili katschen on Twitter, I see the Intersphere has its own forums for endless Adobe gripes. Now, don’t get me wrong: I have Adobe critiques of my own. Those have more to do, however, with the dangers of monolithic, commercial tools, and the missed creative opportunities they can engender. I believe in the power of digital technology, so I think the alternative can be not only …

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TouchDesigner, SND, Alva Noto, and Revealing Visual Interfaces

SND @ Club Transmediale 09 from Wuestenarchitekten on Vimeo. You’ve had those moments in which the dock of your Mac popped up or the mouse became visible. None of us enjoys that. But what about when the interface itself – the UI that’s directly related to producing what you’re trying to express — becomes visible? To reflect on that idea, we head out to a very cool event at Transmediale, so we can — you know — transmediate. Sometimes, layers of goodness converge into an awesomeness event horizon. And there are some delicious flavors in the event itself. So, where …

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