Live 3D Visualization of Music: Brooklyn Workshop for Interactive Quartz Composer, Mac Visuals

Free tools like Quartz Composer (Mac) and Processing (cross-platform) now make it possible to run visuals and music on the same computer. Accelerated on the 3D graphics card in your machine (or integrated graphics on the new MacBooks), you can run live visuals without taxing your CPU, and use MIDI and/or audio signal to translate sound and music into interactive animation. Translation: you jam, eye candy runs in the background. On the Mac, you can even easily assemble whole sets of songs using Rax with Quartz Composer visualizations, as seen here previously. I’ll be teaching a workshop on some of …

READ MORE →

Watch Poeme Electronique, Landmark 1958 Animation and Electronic Score

Architecture mixed with electronics mixed with animation — we think nothing of mixing these elements now. In 1958, as Poème Electronique was unleashed on the Brussels World’s Fair, it was still experimental. The animation/installation/composition was the collaborative creation of legendary modernist architect Le Corbusier, his assistant Iannis Xenakis, who would later come to be known as a ground-breaking experimental composer, and composer Edgard Varèse. Varèse is certainly one of us: part of the reason he went into a compositional drought for many years was he was frustrated by the limitations of acoustic sound, and longed for the electronic labs we …

READ MORE →

Create Musical Visuals with Rax and Quartz Composer on Mac: Free Software Download

Quartz Composer is a fantastic tool for interactive visuals, and it’s free with Mac OS X (you’ll need to install the developer tools). With MIDI and audio inputs, you can hook custom visuals up to your musical performance. But the program has some limitations: mapping MIDI is generally slow and arduous because of limited MIDI input tools, and there’s no easy way to line up a set of visuals and move through them over the course of a performance. That’s where plasq’s Rax 2.0 comes in. As we saw earlier this week, Rax lets you build set lists for performance, …

READ MORE →

Pretty New Mac Audio Analysis, Measurement Apps

Apple has been making a big push to get its developers into OS X’s eye candy, including Quartz 2D and OpenGL 3D graphics. Here are two Mac applications that take advantage of gorgeous UI elements for audio analysis.

READ MORE →

CDMotion Preview: How to Choose a MIDI Controller for VJing

As Peter has already dropped the Create Digital Motion word I feel like I’ll be able to get away with calling this a CDMotion preview. “What midi controller should I use for VJing?” is similar to “How long should my piece of string be?”. Without knowing what you’re using the string to produce, what kind of environment the string is going to be used in and what programs the string is going to control, there isn’t really an answer. So I’m going to start with “How are the midi-controller requirements for VJing unique”, and then give you my current solution …

READ MORE →