Look! We even like vinyl, too. Lori Ann Napolean aka subk plays as Switchboard Operator tomorrow – and she means it literally. Bleeding edge tech meets arcane tech — not the gramophone, but the switchboard.

There’s not really a name for it, but there’s a growing scene around advanced musical performance. Once the domain primarily of academia, the notion of creating novel controls for music – from felt to monomes – is gaining traction across many scenes, and firing up a larger-than-ever, global population of makers.

That’s why I’m excited to be part of the in/out Festival tomorrow here in New York. Sure, chip music lovers have Blip next week, and circuit benders have Bent. But In/Out is all about 16-bit-plus, not 8-bit, and not a circuit will be bent. Here’s a look at the lineup – good reason that you’ll want to be there tomorrow if you’re in the NYC area, and some folks to check out from the east coast-US scene if you’re not:

Workshops: There’s still space in the workshop lineup; you can hit the whole lineup for $25.

  • Reaktor drum machine construction with Kid Sputnik
  • Jitter visual performance with Kedaar
  • Felt and fabric as musical interfaces with Sarah and Lara Grant
  • Describing music in code, messages, with Processing and OSC, with me (and yes, working on an online curriculum for this very soon, in time for a course I’m teaching in the spring at Parsons!)
  • Max for Live with’s Michael Chenetz

Performance: By night, we’re playing from 7p on with live audio and visuals:

  • Switchboard Operator aka Lori Napolean, playing a telephone switchboard
  • tehn aka Brian Crabtree spinning elegant, reflective music on his invention, the monome
  • Kid Sputnik aka Daniel Battaglia, the Reaktor guru and live musician
  • makingthenoise, the rocking beats from the creator of 7up for monome
  • Ocular Noise Machine, an experimental multimedia ensemble including Jay Smith of Livid
  • Kedaar working with custom Jitter visuals, !INCLUDE of Track Team Audio doing live visuals, and myself visualizing for Brian

All at The Tank, 354 W. 45th between 8th and 9th Avenue.

So, for the 98% of you not in NYC, let me know if there are specifics you’d like covered on CDM from these workshops and artists. In the meantime, here are some quick goodies to listen to and play with from the lineup:


Kedaar w/ Monome – Oxytocin @ Middlesex Lounge, Cambridge, MA – 6/8/09 from Kedaar Kumar on Vimeo.

tehn with two fifty six from tehn on Vimeo.

Reconstructing The Eraser with the monome from makingthenoise on Vimeo.

Patches + Goodies

Michael lets us know he’s got an upcoming patch for Max for Live; stay tuned for its release, as this sounds quite useful to M4L users. He writes:

I am working on a little M4LBeatSeq, a small app the utilizes Max For Live’s new observer for grabbing clip position. This application is specifically programmed for the Novation Launchpad and allows you to click on a selected clip and then change start position while in loop mode. The end result is that it will be able to manipulate the loop in real time.


  • Select audio clip (e.g. 16 beats)
  • Select user2 mode on the Launchpad
  • Launchpad shows the current position of the clip lit on the Launchpad.
  • When you click on a pad within the range of the loop then it will change the start position and jump back to that beat (still working on the jump back part)
  • Future (Change loop end)

Basically, [it’s] a Launchpad-specific beat mangler that utilizes clip position and has no need to move audio into a buffer before manipulation. It’s a real small little app.

Find this – and other – work-in-progress patches at:

Kid Sputnik has many fantastic Reaktor patches and music track you can go check out:

rhythmreaktor All of his patches are in the NI Reaktor User Library, but the most recent is a new FM/RM drum synth called rhythm_fmz:

An 8 channel FM/RM/subtractive drum synthesizer. Channels are mapped to notes 48+. Good for all sorts of blip, cracks and deep bass sounds.

Meant to be used in a host, as there is no sequencer attached. Should be easy enough to add one if you want.

Needs some snapshots, but it is easy to use.

1.2 – fixed weirdness when triggering with notes w/o note off messages.

He also sends two of his favorite recent tracks for your listening pleasure:

You, Me

Jihad on your 7,11 (he adds apologies for the “absurd song name”)