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fluXpad is an insanely immediate music drawing tool for iPad

Make an interface simpler, and you might push your musical expression further. That’s the realization you have using fluXpad, a new drawing app. It’s not that it’s a dumbed-down rendition of other tools. It’s that doodling with sounds is a totally different experience than the point-and-click fine editing you might be used to.

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How Music Can Predict the Human/Machine Future [re:publica Talk, Video]

This week, at Germany’s re:publica conference – an event linking offline and online worlds – I addressed the question of how musical inventions can help predict the way we use tools. I started all the way back tens of thousands of years ago with the first known (likely) musical instrument. From there, I looked at how the requirements of musical interfaces – in time and usability – can inform all kinds of design problems. And I also suggested that musicians don’t lag in innovation as much as people might expect. I thought about whether I wanted to post this as …

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Padshop

Steinberg Padshop, Coming Soon, Granular Synthesis for the Rest of Us? Handy Intro Video Explains

Let’s get straight to it: granular synthesis, and the various processes based on the principle, is one of the coolest things about making music with computers. With the ability to take sounds and stretch, mangle, and reshape them into new textures, it’s one of the fundamental techniques allowing sound software and lots of terrific timbral techniques to work. Of course, explaining it to lay people is a bit of a trick. So that’s why, even before we get into talking about Steinberg’s upcoming Padshop synth, it’s worth watching the first few minutes. Sound designer Matthias Klag explains that coolness really …

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ffdartwork148

Making Digital One-of-a-Kind: Inside Icarus’ Generative Album in 1000 Variations

Even the artwork changes. This is my personal copy – #148. Digital: disposable, identical, infinitely reproducible. Recordings: static, unchanging. Or … are they? Icarus’ Fake Fish Distribution (FFD), a self-described “album in 1000 variations,” generates a one-of-a-kind download for each purchaser. Generative, parametric software takes the composition, by London-based musicians-slash-software engineers Ollie Bown and Sam Britton, and tailors the output so that each file is distinct. If you’re the 437th purchaser of the limited-run of 1000, in other words, you get a composition that is different from 436 before you and 438 after you. The process breaks two commonly-understood notions …

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Music in Space and Time: Wild Geometries and Sequencing in Iannix, Free

Nerds: It’s an OSC sequencer. It’s JavaScript-programmable for making your own generative music. It works with hardware and other software. You can use it in real-time. Everyone: it makes spectacularly strange sounds out of spectacularly beautiful flows of geometries through space. IanniX, the latest-generation descendant of work done by pioneering experimental composer Iannis Xenakis, has been evolving at rapid pace into what may be the most sophisticated graphical sequencer ever. Xenakis originally had to content himself to drawing elaborate, architectural graphics on paper, then later being one of the first to use a graphical tablet for interactive scores. IanniX, backed …

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Sounds by Richard Devine, Granulation on iOS, and Footsteps of a Wasp

Exploring granular sound on the iPad in the application Curtis. Image courtesy the developers. Named for Curtis Roads, Curtis is an iPad and iPhone/iPod touch application that implements granular sound processing – a technique, imagined early on by the composer Xenakis, which divides sound into tiny granules, allowing more liquid modification of the audio. Roads brought this idea to digital synthesis, and the results can transform recorded samples in pitch and time. Composer, producer, and sound designer Richard Devine has long made use of granular techniques in his own work, so it’s little surprise Richard is turning his sonic compositional …

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Lights and Music: The Harmonic Center of the Universe

The Harmonic Center of the Universe from Jesse Stiles on Vimeo. This beautiful, meditative installation of choreographed lights and sound, by way of Rucyl and Saturn Never Sleeps, is the creation of Chris Harvey, Olivia Robinson, & Jesse Stiles. The Harmonic Center of the Universe evidently narrowly escaped destruction last year during a thunderstorm, but perhaps Art is as much repair as it is creation. Artist Jesse Stiles specializes in such light shows. There’s a clear connection to the polytropes of Iannis Xenakis, with its own cascades of choreographed light – a reminder that lights can still have a place, …

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Tiny Music: Xenakis Synthesis, Curtis Roads Granulation on iPhone

140 / curtis + thumb piano from m~fischer on Vimeo. Synthesis geeks are creating some fun sonic toys for the iPhone. There’s no reason you couldn’t plug in an iPod touch or your phone into a mixer and use them in live or studio creations for a little variety. And as mobile platforms grow in capabilities, other platforms should be close behind. (Not to mention, you can always rescue an entire iPod or PDA and run Pd, often for just the few dollars an app costs!) At top, the granular sampling app Curtis captures sound from a thumb piano. Curtis …

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Weekend Inspiration: Party with Experimental Sound Like It’s Montreal 1967

Simon James writes with still more free sound — and free, indeed, as Montreal Expo in 1967 (the World’s Fair) brought together some of electronic sound’s most radical musicians, the type of gang who could freak out a crowd today as much as forty years ago. Thanks again for the mention of Tone Generation. I just thought I’d draw your attention to another related piece I produced with Ian Helliwell last year. It was called ‘Expo 67 – A Radiophonic collage’ and was a snapshot in sound of the Montreal worlds fair in 1967. Tristram Cary composed music for the …

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