Imagine a Musical Interface, Mirror it on Your iPad: Max + Mira

I heard David Zicarelli once describe Max as a blank sheet of paper – a canvas on which you can imagine any musical creation. Until now, though, there’s been no way to touch those creations directly – other than with a mouse. Mira is a lovely solution to that idea. As users “patch,” visually creating tools in Max, objects that impact user interface interaction (knobs, faders, buttons, musical keyboards and the like) are visible both on your computer screen and on your iPad. You even can add images, new objects for multitouch and motion, text, and images. And you can …

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Bhoreal: RGB Grid as Open Source Hardware – Kit or Ready-Made, Wired or Wireless

We are Bhoreal from MID New Media Design on Vimeo. Grids are suddenly everywhere – in music control, but also in visuals and art. And they’re lighting up in RGB. But Bhoreal promises to do some things other grids aren’t. Whereas the monome is a truly beautiful, handmade and rare object, its rarity – by design – means it’s hard to get. And readily-available commercial products aren’t open source, and while they fit certain needs elegantly, they’re designed to stick to those needs rather than allow easy modification. Bhoreal is this kind of blank-slate, do-anything colored grid you can turn …

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Fractals, Bots, Nodes, and Patternists: Onyx Ashanti’s Cyborg Music Meets the Ensemble [Guest Post]

Get ready: from one more-than-human musical cyborg, a robotic horde of beatjazz artists. Onyx Ashanti isn’t satisfied just augmenting his own body and musical expression with 3D-printed, sensor-laden prostheses. He’s extending that solo performance with bots that crawl around and gesture for feedback, then – inspired by the organic beauty of fractal geometry – is binding together performers with his system in a networked system of nodes. Just don’t call it a jam session. Call them patternists. If this sounds crazy, it is: crazy in just the way we like. But amidst this hyper-futuristic vision of performance, Onyx also writes …

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Tech for Guitarists: What’s New, What’s Changing in Digital Guitar Tools [NAMM Report]

Who says guitar technology isn’t advancing? Joe Gore is a guitarist who’s unafraid of the bleeding edge, so he was a natural to report back to us from the hallowed halls of new musical instruments, NAMM. He takes a look at what’s new and what’s evolving through a guitarist’s eyes. And this stuff is interesting, indeed, with effects and controllers that might inspire gear desires in instrumentalists of all stripes, not just guitarists. We guitarists tend to be a technologically conservative bunch, yet there was no shortage of forward-looking products at NAMM 2013. Not that everyone was looking in the …

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Make a New Sound: Scanned Synthesis on Wablet for iPad Features Utterly Mad Meshes

It’s a good sign when you need to invent a new verb to describe using a music tool. And so, get ready for some wabbling. Feel like there aren’t any new synthesis techniques? Scanned synthesis is a reasonable example. Fundamentally, it involves wavetable synthesis – producing new sounds by playing back recorded wavetable content – but navigates those sounds by “scanning” through pitch and timbre independently at slow speeds. By doing so, it simulates slow vibrations in the real world, and it leans heavily on the way human physical control and hearing work. The technique was developed by Bill Verplank …

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djay Enhanced for iOS 6, iPhone 5; Meet Multichannel iOS Audio Support

Algoriddim’s djay, aside from being a very nice Mac app, has demonstrated that an iPhone or iPad can be a serious DJ tool. For many DJs, they’re just a handy, portable backup or compliment to the full-powered DJ setup, one that nonetheless gives you familiar tools and options. But they really can do most of what desktop software can do, and you can add on physical controls with accessories. New versions of djay are nicely optimized for Apple’s newest hardware (iPhone 5) and software (iOS 6, which also works with a lot of existing iOS gadgets). As such, they also …

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iOS Streaming Tutorial: Wireless Video, Meet Google Hangouts [iOS, Mac, Windows]

Wirelessly streaming video has been a hot topic for readers here who own iOS gadgets, starting with connecting Apple computers and mobiles: AirBeam: Wireless Camera Streams from an iPhone, iPad to Mac, Syphon Now, here’s another fun streaming tricks from our friend Paolo Tosolini. Using either a Mac or a Windows-based PC, you can now connect an iPad or iPhone to an online audience, as explained in this video tutorial. Yes, you’ll also need a Google+ account – otherwise known as the “cool version of Facebook no one seems to use” – but Hangouts can be useful even if your friends …

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AirBeam: Wireless Camera Streams from an iPhone, iPad to Mac, Syphon

If you’ve ever dreamed of using cameras live, wirelessly, this app’s for you. AirBeam works with any camera-enabled iOS gadget, and streams audiovisual signals wirelessly. Where things get cool: the developers have added Syphon support, meaning you can use your iPhone or other thing as a wireless video source in apps like Modul8, Jitter, Processing, and many more. (Oddly, they’re not doing much of a job advertising that feature on their site. They say something about baby monitors or security cameras or something. It’s almost like they’re not interested in catering to childless, homeless VJs. Go figure.) Features: iPhone, iPod …

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Little White Box: A Look at the Ambitious Kinektron Music-Making Cube

How much music making can you pack into a space-age, sealed white box? Developers Kinektron proposed one solution last month. To examine their design direction so far, we turn to Create Digital Music’s summer intern in industrial design, Arvid Jense. Arvid is completing unique dual studies in Media Music (at the ArtEZ Conservatorium, Enschede) and BSc Industrial Design Engineering (at the University of Twente), both in the Netherlands. He’s working with us to research instrument design and musical interaction, and doing a set of studies and design experiments related to our own MeeBlip open source synthesizer. (More on Arvid and …

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vjay for iPad: 2-Channel VJ App Mixes, Mashes, and Even Records and Shares [Gallery]

For people who love video, the sight of a tablet simply screams out for seamless mixing and manipulation of video media. We’ve waited some time for something that really looks like a proper VJ app for iPad. TouchViz, from the creator of TouchOSC, was the first entry to move into this territory, with two-channel playback and mixing, camera input, external output (essential for performance), and MIDI and OSC control. Now, we have a second entry, and it looks poised to appeal to a big audience. It’s a VJ app, but it also can be used to remix and record video …

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