Short links for April 19th, 2010

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Bendable, Musical Shoes for Nike, and How They Were Made

Peter at Create Digital Music writes:

Shoes are the new turnables.

Or at least that’s the conclusion you might reach after watching a new Japanese campaign for Nike’s Free Run+ running shoes. Apparently wishing to tout the bendable qualities of its new footwear, Nike enlisted sound artists to transform its product into a musical instrument. The shoes get plugged in, switched on, and mixed up, battle-style, as they sense when the shoe is flexed or moved in space. And yes, everything you see in the video is real: the shoes really are controlling digital sound live. We even have the Max patch to prove it.

# What’s wrong with transient shapers?

Kim Lajoie writes:

Transient shapers are processors that adjust the dynamics of a sound. Rather than changing the dynamic range like a compressor, transient shapers operate only on the initial onset of the sound – the transient. The initial smack of a drum. The plink of a piano. The pick of a guitar or bass. They don’t work with sounds that don’t have a sudden start, such as vocals, violins, or synth pads. Transient shapers can either bring out the transient – making it louder, sharper and more prominent. They can also reduce the transient – making it softer and duller.

The tricky aspect to consider here is that the psychoacoustic (perceived) effects of a transient shaper can be similar to those of other tools.

# Xdrum, a sample based rhythm composer for Native Instruments Reaktor 5.

Xdrum for Reaktor 5

It has 800 audio samples (75MB) from 49 vintage rhythm composers, and then 11 additional soundsets. Besides that it has around 92 preset classic and electronica preset patterns.

Xdrum is available as a free download. via waka_x @ Twitter

# Fleischprodukt Waveshaper

A simple waveshaping plugin with various transfer functions (tanh, sin, atan, fold back, saturate, etc.) as AudioUnit Universal Binary for Mac OS X from 10.5 upwards.

Roland Dimension D

# Omega 8 into Roland SDD-320 Dimension D

Calvin writes:

Fired up the ol' Roland Dimension D today, because I was working on a track that needed something different. It's the Omega 8 that you're hearing here – more specifically – I've selected certain patches that I think work well with any sort of chorus. No particular order here in terms of the SDD-320's setting. I used every combination possible, going from each individual number all the way to 1+2, 1+3, etc. etc.

# FFT Algorithm Based Audio Spectrum Analyzer

This audio spectrum analyzer utilizes an ARM7 LPC2138 microcontroller to create an FFT algorithm while performing digital signal processing without the use of special DSP processor.


# NitroTracker, Fasttracker II style tracker for the Nintendo DS goes open source.

I’m very excited to announce that NitroTracker is now completely open source!

What does this mean? Well, for starters you can now have a look at the source code. More importantly, you can now help develop it! Together we can make the development of NitroTracker go faster (which would be a very good thing considering current development speed) and finally add long-awaited features I promised ages ago.

The source code is available from

# The Future of Multi-Touch: Behind the Scenes with Stantum, JazzMutant Co-Founder

Peter Kirn takes a look at the future of multi-touch:

For a long time, technologists have described a world of in which computing experiences naturally incorporate touch and gesture. The question is, how do we bridge the intuitive desire for those interactions and the actual technologies that get us there?

Few activities test the expressive potential of interaction quite like music. It’s in our cultural DNA; musical activity may even predate written language. So it’s fitting that the story of touch in computing and digital music would be intertwined, as they are with touch pioneer JazzMutant. Years before well-known Apple products, the Lemur, prototyped in 2003 and shown as a musical multi-touch screen, suggested the importance of fusing display and touch, and of tracking more than a finger or two at a time.

The history, and products like Apple’s iPad and iPhone, you may know well, though. The question on everyone’s mind now is, what’s next? (And for some impatient futurists, the question may even be, what’s taking so long?)

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