A Robotic Machine Worn on the Arm Turns Tattoos into Music

Symbols in on paper can be realized as music, so why not turn a tattoo on your arm into a musical score? That’s what artist Dmitry Morozov (“vtol”), Moscow-based media artist and musician, has done with “reading my body.” It does more than transform his body markings into sounds. He mounts a machine on his arm, as sensors scan the image from a stepper-motor driven path along rails. The strange robotic machine makes him a kind of cyborg photo scanner optical synth. And the results sound like a delicate solo on a violin, playing a lullaby to baby puppies. Kidding. …

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What if your DAW were completely open-ended and modular, allowing you to send audio and control anywhere, and control from any device - including touch? Or, if that's too abstract for you, what if Usine ran on the Mac?

Sensomusic Hollyhock: An Open-Ended, Modular DAW from Usine Makers, Now Mac + Windows [Beta Preview]

Driven by musicians’ need to do a lot of the same things, and expecting certain ways of doing those things, DAWs have traditionally been mired in the same molds. Sensomusic Hollyhock, an upcoming DAW from the makers of Usine, promises to be genuinely different. Like Usine, it’s built around an entirely open-ended, modular environment – you can patch together only what you need, and can patch together just about anything. But building on Usine, Sensomusic have created an entirely rewritten app, with new audio engine, rebuilt interface, new MIDI management, and, among other things, cross-platform 64-bit support for Windows and …

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Make Music with Anything: junXion Universal Send-Receive for Mac [Video Tutorial Round-up]

“So,” you say, “I’ve got a … and I want to connect it to a … to make music. How do I do that?” One strong answer to that question, if you’ve got a Mac, is junXion. Developed by the landmark audio research laboratory STEIM – a hotspot in Amsterdam that for years has been imagining new ways of making music by connecting things to other things – it got a big update recently. It takes lots of the inputs you might imagine (joysticks, mice, touchscreens, MIDI, OpenSoundControl, audio, Arduino-powered hardware and all of its sensors, and video sensing) and …

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InvisiBall: Play Tennis with Sound, Blindfolded – or Blind

Trust your ears. It seems a simple instruction, in the teaser video for this project by Stockholm-based producer/composer Håkan Libdo. But for those of us used to having vision, focusing in on one sense – even the sense on which we rely for music and sound – can be an extraordinary experience. If digital interface design has done anything, it has forced new ways of looking at design across senses, and not just in a weary repetition of “we always do it this way.” Playing tennis in InvisiBall becomes a new experience. Sonic cues along direct the ball from side …

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Luz: Live Motion Graphics, Controlled by Anything, Free on Linux and Now with DMX

Luz is a promising, surprisingly-powerful tool with a clean UI that lets you connect a huge range of inputs and generate visuals. It’s fully free and open source on Linux – possibly reason to try a Linux dual-boot for experimentation, even if you’re not a regular user. And now, a new release adds DMX support. Working with actors and dynamic parameters, it looks extraordinarily easy to create quick visual effects. And it’s especially nice to see a tool that focuses on generative modules rather than emphasizing video. For input, connect MIDI (notes and controls), gamepads, joysticks, Wii remotes, Wacom tablets, …

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Free Pyppet for Blender Maturing Fast; Animate 3D Characters, Video, Use Wiimote

Blender, the insanely-powerful free 3D modeling software (and compositing software, and animation software, and game engine) is finally coming of age. And with it, so, too, are some of its plug-ins. Witness the sophistication of Pyppet, a “digital puppetry” plug-in for Blender. It allows you to take 3D models you’ve created and “perform” them in real-time using a variety of inputs, including the lowly mouse, gamepads, microphone audio input, and even the Nintendo Wii remote. In case you’re not a talented 3D character modeler (cough, okay, as I certainly am not), you’ll be especially interested as visualists in the addition …

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3D Control Getting Tastier: Cinema 4D GripTools Shows Huge Potential

C4D CamGripTools from Cinema 4D Tutorials on Vimeo. Deride the mouse as you will. When it comes to two-dimensional control, the device is pretty amazing. It’s a reasonable way of amplifying small hand gestures into bigger gestures on a 2D plane. But what about 3D interfaces? Suddenly, the mouse becomes like playing charades, telling someone else what to do in a universe with an extra dimension. What you need is interfaces that make sense in 3D. Some of these interfaces are out there; the missing link has been intelligent connections to software. To see how powerful this can be, look …

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Free Fractal Software for Windows – Playable Live, with Wiimote Control

Fractice Whorld from Jeff Mission on Vimeo. Fractal-generating software was once all the rage. But fractal geometry is as compelling and organic as ever. And newly-released Fractice software is not only free, but has some unique features that make it worth a look – particularly real-time control for live visuals – and that bring fractal software into the year 2009: Anti-aliasing Deep zoom (a natural feature for fractals) Multicore and distributed processing Movie recording Live visual controls: mixing, mirroring, origin motion, palette tweening, dual-monitor support, and MIDI Where this gets even more interesting is that our friend Jeff Mission, maker …

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Free Fractal Software for Windows – Playable Live, with Wiimote Control

Fractice Whorld from Jeff Mission on Vimeo. Fractal-generating software was once all the rage. But fractal geometry is as compelling and organic as ever. And newly-released Fractice software is not only free, but has some unique features that make it worth a look – particularly real-time control for live visuals – and that bring fractal software into the year 2009: Anti-aliasing Deep zoom (a natural feature for fractals) Multicore and distributed processing Movie recording Live visual controls: mixing, mirroring, origin motion, palette tweening, dual-monitor support, and MIDI Where this gets even more interesting is that our friend Jeff Mission, maker …

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Virtual Reality: 2 Wii’s, 3D Glasses, XNA, and Some LEDs

What if virtual reality and seamless three-dimensional interfaces arrived, and they turned out to be a lot simpler technologically than you imagined? Well, perhaps you know a technology is within reach when it can not only be implemented, but implemented in a way that’s elegant and lightweight. The latest in the ongoing YouTube-able head-tracking and 3D-manipulation videos is this creation by Timo Fleisch at the Center of Technology and Art Berlin. He has lots of resources on XNA programming, as well; thanks to a C# library, XNA and Wii mix nicely on the PC. (Less so on the Xbox 360 …

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