At MusicMakers, Experiencing Music Through Design, As Community of Doers Collaborates [Listen, Watch]

Making connections with people – creators and audience alike – sometimes means going beyond the virtual, and actually getting people together in the same room. For MusicMakers, Create Digital Music teamed up with curators and artists in Berlin to make some of those connections across disciplines, to get closer to the processes of design and music creation. Making and listening in the age of overabundance could feel diluted. But as makers keep making, and really listening, they can find their music comes to mean more, not less. With support from Moog Music, on the 14th of September we launched our …

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Holy S*** Visualization: Earth, Surrounded by Asteroids, and the 500k Kilometer Pixel

Watch this one in HD – because at 1080p, each pixel represents some 500,000 kilometers. And sit down: you may suddenly feel … exposed. (Duck!) The latest version of a popular visualization of asteroid discovery now brings high definition. And that’s important, because we’re talking about distances and data on the scale of the solar system. The video comes to us via Scott Manley, who has the awesome tagline, “Hacker, Astronomer, Gamer, DJ, Scotsman.” (His YouTube channel also contains a ridiculously cool-looking game where you run your own space program. And I thought Civilization was addictive nerd catnip; I’m staying …

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SonicPhoto Focuses on Transforming Images into Sound, with Precision Harmonies, Stereo [Windows]

Translating between the visual and the musical is never a perfect science. But maybe that’s the point — maybe it’s the oblique quality of transforming a picture into a sonic score that’s so appealing. SonicPhoto is the latest application to attempt the feat. Following in the footsteps of MetaSynth and Photosounder, it makes each pixel a source for harmonic information, scanning across the image from left to right. As such, the process and results are related to those in each tool. But developer Daniel White has added some twists. He notes that, unlike Photosounder, he has skipped a sound importer …

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A Duet for Piano and Building: Architectural Visuals, Mapped to Keyboard Playing

Mapping interactivo sobre maqueta “Piano & Mapping” from Perro Verde on Vimeo. In an audiovisual etude, a piano player is translated to architectural projection mapping in a new work from Barcelona. The translation is not overly strict, but instead makes a kind of counterpoint, a duet between pianist and building. No word yet on whether this will be realized at full scale, but – in the flat environment of a computer display, of course, you won’t see the difference. It seems this sort of light organ arrangement may gain renewed interest as musicians and visual artists alike tackle the question …

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Nature, Through a Window: Moon, Fire, Water, in Light and Engravings, by Craig Dorety

Realizing the materiality of Earth and the Moon in new forms, artist Craig Dorety is rendering natural forms in light and engravings. For the Moon, he turns to carving techniques to mirror new data about the lunar surface – and, thanks to an SF Awesome Grant, he’s got some spare change to upgrade his CNC router. It’s a beautiful example of how art can make use of data, bringing together disciplines. (Okay, there isn’t any motion here to speak of, but the relevance of the 3D imaging technology here is clear and inspiring.) Lunar Topography Carvings http://craigdorety.com/lunar_topo.html Geeking out for …

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Visual Music: A Waveform Made of Vinyl Records, Benga Single, Inspired by Seeing Sound

Benga’s latest video was released early last month and made the blog rounds, but it’s worth considering as we continue our ongoing thread on visual music and how sound can go from invisible to tangible. A stunning video whets fans appetite for the upcoming Benga full-length Chapter 2, constructing a wave shape in physical form as a series of vinyl records. Using some 960 hand-cut vinyl records, the track’s waveform materializes in stop motion-filmed animation. Physical as it may be, the inspiration, say the creative team, was SoundCloud. UK-based creative team Us, consisting of Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor, explain:

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Visualizing Bicycles, Making Budapest Bubble with Data

We routinely see visualizations of air or auto traffic, but the lowly bicycle remains off the grid. So, from the perspective of the data itself, a visualization of bike movement is already getting interesting. What’s nice about this project by Kitchen Budapest and UrbanCyclr, though, is that the visualization itself is unexpected. So many data visualizations fall into the same patterns that you may, as I did, have an immediate preconception of what this project would look like. Instead, the map of the city itself bubbles and bulges. Whether this is more effective is up for debate, but it’s a …

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Church-Inspired Electronic Music, in Album and Interactive, Gothic App, from Forss [Listen]

Delicate and dense, melodies and sounds from church contexts, found sounds of bells and voices, are set against crisp, sharply-solid, forward-driving electronic beats. And then, there are the visuals: an archaic architecture of mystical symbols and three-dimensional, evolving forms interpret the music in visual form. Swedish-born artist and technologist Eric Wahlforss, in other words, has been busy. As the artist Forss, his album is an app, appropriately for someone who is the co-founder and CTO of SoundCloud. Eric showed me an early build over cheeseburgers. It’s reactive, perhaps, more than interactive, but there’s still a chance to use your hands …

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iZotope Iris: Paint with Spectra, Make a Real-Time Synth [Videos, Gallery]

Imagine working with sound design by painting with spectra, then applying those spectra to instruments you can play in real-time, and you’ve got the basic notion of iZotope Iris. The dream of combining graphics tools, a la Photoshop, with sonic ones has been in the minds of creative computer users for some time. Iris is a major landmark, though: instead of just being an editing tool, it turns sonic selection into something you can use in a synth. It lets you do your creative sound editing, but then play those sounds live, transforming the technique into an instrument. In fact, …

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Reimagining the Oscilloscope with vvvv: Circle Phaser

What you’re seeing isn’t an analog oscilloscope, though it … plays one on TV. It’s a digital concoction, built with Windows visual patching environment vvvv. And it does wonderful, twisty things with your beloved oscilloscope for visualizing sound. “Cat Weasel” sends us his latest work, which he describes thusly: An experiment in designing audio waveforms that look interesting, as well as sounding coherent, this piece was made for Bring Your Own Beamer, Birmingham as part of Flatpack festival 2012, but is part of an ongoing investigation. Thanks, Cat. I’d love to see this develop more!

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