Muze is an Arduino instrumentalist who creates melodies that evolve over time.
Muze has a palette of notes that it can in-turn interpret and compose into various rhythms and phrases that are strung together to form something musical. The user can then influence these strings of notes and rhythms to create entirely new compositions. Much like you would a tune a radio to get a new song, Muze can be tuned to provide new and different melodies.
In the interest of keeping Muze from becoming another knob laden techno-fest of an instrument, interaction has been limited to just one input.
On Rainlith, the primitive naturally granular sound of a big rainstick gets explored in real-time by cyber-age sound manipulation tools.
It's an interactive piece in witch the movement of the audience's body activates an electric motor, making a reflex movement on the structure that embraces the instrument. The sound of the rainstick is captured and processed in realtime, and sent 24 meters above, filling the empty space of a old industrial cereal container. The reverberated acoustic mix is then received back by the audience in the spot right below the opening of the container.
NeuronDrum is a sample based rhythm composer by Poul Vestergaard.
It has 512 audio samples 32MB. Most of the sounds are made for electronica music. All rhythms is made of a neuron based approach with 8 neurons.
The first neuron works as a kind off metronome. All neuron can send impulses to each other. Every neuron has a threshold value. If the threshold is 3 then it will need 4 impuses to fire the sample, and send impulses to other neurons.
Electronic musician, vocalist, and inventor Tim Exile is back; while the Google Doodle today of an interactive Les Paul inspired lots of people to invest some time fiddling and hacking, in Tim’s case, it inspired a whole song. And, to my knowledge, it’s the first time the homepage of Google got its own ode.
Bluebrain's The National Mall will only work within the physical boundaries of the National Mall park in Washington DC. It is a location-specific album and is not intended for use outside of the designated area. Please follow us on Twitter (@bluebrainmusic) to learn more about when a location-aware album might be coming to a location closer to you. While on the Mall, we recommend you quit other applications from the multi-tasking bar on your phone for best performance. If you are having difficulties, force quit or restart your phone. Make sure to quit the app fully once you leave the area to avoid it draining your battery when it isn't being used.
Good people, unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, the "clean" version of our new album, The Hot Sauce Committee pt 2 has leaked. So as a hostile and retaliatory measure with great hubris we are making the full explicit aka filthy dirty nasty version available for streaming on our site. We hope this brings much happiness, hugs, and harmony. Enjoy Kikoos for life!
The armies of the earbuds are everywhere, as people – since the dawning of the Walkman – tune out their surroundings. What if, instead, your surroundings became soundtracks? That’s the question posed by a mobile app research project, partnering between New York’s Times Square and a creative team at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
UrbanRemix invites users to capture geo-tagged sounds with a free iOS and Android app, then to string them together into sound compositions on the Web
Codebending is the exploration of software with “patch points.” Patch points expose the inner workings of computer programs, and allow for atypical connections between things like games, music making software, office suites, etc.
Every movie blogger is obligated to devote a post to The Wilhelm Scream AT LEAST once in their lives. And they’re all pretty much the same: A quote from wikipedia, the compilation video on YouTube, and the latest movie they found it in. This post is a little different. Starting last year I started collecting Wilhelm Screams, planning on making a video showing some favorites. That project spiraled out of control, and the result is a (pretty) complete collection.
Max Mathews is best known for his involvement in the debut of digital synthesis, but he contributed much more. His Radio Baton predicted gestural controllers that arrived much later from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, and it may be his code design ideas that outlast even the memory of the computer’s first musical utterances.
Slewpi is a new type of app that lets you create music and synthesized sound and animation by painting on the screen with your fingers.
Slewpi is super easy to use, just paint with your fingers and choose different colors and brushes to change the strokes and sounds. Slewpi records what you do and plays it back in a loop.
Choose different brushes to change the visual style as well as the sound of your strokes in real-time. The different brushes correspond to different synthesizer waveform and vibrato settings allowing you to create new and diverse audio/visual compositions.
Strings of numbers are everywhere in our world, tucked just outside our awareness alongside identifiers like bar codes. Dutch media artist and inventor Leo van der Veen simply plucks that information and brings it to the fore.
A few months ago I published a post on how to make a MIDI Ribbon Controller with Arduino. In the meantime I had a few ideas to improve both hardware and software and also felt the need to change many parameters without having to reprogram every time Arduino. Finally I placed the controller in a case, thanks to Laura who built it. So this is version 2.0 of my MIDI Ribbon Controller, which finally becomes a much more practical tool.
One of the unique features of the Nerdle kit is the use of touch-sensitive capacitive-sense buttons, made from copper foil pads inside the case. While meeting with the camp directors to prepare these activities, we decided to try linking the raw information from the capacitive sensors to the on-board piezo speaker.
We added two lines of code, uploaded, and jaws dropped. It sounded like the computers of the future were supposed to sound.
In this guest column, we turn to veteran synthesist and music tech expert Jim Aikin. When Jim wants to do digital synthesis, one of the tools to which he turns is a veritable favorite with a direct-line legacy to the beginnings of computer sound. That doesn’t mean Csound hasn’t kept with the times, though, or that it has to be unfriendly. If you’ve been looking for a way to dive into sound and code, this could be an ideal path.
The Chipophone is a homemade 8-bit synthesizer, especially suited for live chiptune playing. It has been built inside an old electronic organ.
All the original tone-generating parts have been disconnected, and the keys, pedals, knobs and switches rerouted to a microcontroller which transforms them into MIDI signals. Those are then parsed by a second microcontroller, which acts as a synthesizer.
The Morphwiz app from Jordan Rudess takes the concept of the Hakan Continuum – which Jordan was also involved with, and applies it to the touchscreen of the iPhone/iPad to create a totally new instrument, while adding some trippy visuals, effects and a healthy synth engine. Dream Theatre are currently on tour with Iron Maiden in the US, we caught up with Jordan the morning after the night before at his hotel while on the road. He gives us an insight into the features and thinking behind the app.
Musikame has a beta of the souncloud dj player, the easiest way to dj your soundcloud tracks, allowing you to mix tracks from SoundCloud.
The soundcloud dj player includes various controls like pitch control, dj fx, looping, etc.
At this stage all the mixing is done automatically by the app itself: the user just picks the tracks and the length of the crossfade between them. While it's not actually possible to beat-match tracks as yet, the software does have pitch control with adjustable range, FX, looping and reverse capabilities, hinting at more advanced functionality in the future.
Create Digital Music has some exclusive photos of Griid, the controller for iPad that offers four fluid ways to navigate clips in your Ableton Live set.
Peter Kirn writes:
The developers of Griid, the Ableton Live controller on iPad created in association with Richie Hawtin, have shared photos and screen captures early with CDM to give us a look at the upcoming app. Just over a decade after its original inception, Ableton Live itself remains a ground-breaking user interface design. Love it or hate it, it’s a benchmark in thinking about how music apps might look.
Griid is compelling in part because it re-imagines how that central Session View and clip launching might work, now in the context of a touch tablet. Personally, I like the results. As on the Lemur, bold, saturated colors and contrast on a black background are central, of course. It’s also nice to see extraneous visual information removed. And for anyone with epic-sized sets of clips in Live, you’ll like the massive overview.
The bedroom producers blog is back with another great round-up, this time it's all about pianos:
I have to admit I wasn’t always a huge fan of acoustic pianos. Even though my family used to own a piano when I was a kid, I almost never played it, rocking my broken 3-string guitar instead. Quite frankly, I simply found the piano to be a very boring instrument.
Now, was I abducted by the aliens, or did something heavy fall on my head, I don’t remember, all I know is that something really weird must have happened because I love the sound of piano now. The problem is, though, that I don’t own my old piano anymore, and I can only dream about having an electric one like a Wurli or Rhodes. But with all the kind people sharing the samples of their instruments online for free, can we still consider not owning an instrument to be a problem?
This a CV sequencer i built (with an arduino microcontroller). It Sequences the pulse width of my guitar through the Control Voltage input jack on the Pulsemonger pedal.
I got the idea from tracking (composing) in famitracker, LSDJ and Goattracker. When you compose for the NES or the Gameboy, there are tons of effects you can choose from to make square waves more complex and interesting sounding – i always wanted to apply those effects to my guitar. So, once i saw that the Pulsemonger guitar pedal had a CV input for the pulsewidth i had to buy it. Sequencing the pulsewidth is one of the fundamental sounds of chiptune music – the ability to recreate this sound through my guitar was way too exciting.
Beatfly is a small illuminating blimp for entertainment. Its light and movement can be controlled via various interfaces such as MIDI controller, iPhone multi-touch interface, Flash interface on a web site, computer keyboard, mobile phones and voice, and music. It flies, filling the space with colorful light, producing diverse styles of performance in the air.
A limited number of Beatfly DIY kits are available to purchase for $65 USD. The kit includes a soldered circuit board, motors, propellers, structures, screws, and balloon. Size of the inflated balloon is about 110cm * 40cm * 80cm. You need some additional electronic parts (Arduino, XBees, Battery, etc.) and helium gas.
Bedroom Producers lists a number of quality free acoustic drums:
When it comes to working with sampled acoustic drums, the advantages of using dedicated software like EZdrummer, Addictive Drums, or BFD2 are more than obvious. But not everyone can afford these, as they all come with quite a big price tag. Luckily though, there are many free alternatives available online. I selected only the best free sample packs for this list, and choosing only the ones that come with mappings in sfz format (among others, of course). If you don’t own a commercial sampler like Battery or Halion, I recommend using the free Shortcircuit sampler v1.1.2, as it supports the sfz format and also offers multiple outputs.
Excellent article by Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music:
The history of music and the history of music notation are closely intertwined. Now, digital languages for communicating musical ideas between devices, users, and software, and storing and reproducing those ideas, take on the role notation alone once did.
Notation has always been more than just a way of telling musicians what to do. (Any composer will quickly tell you as much.) Notation is a model by which we think about music, one so ingrained that even people who can’t read music are impacted by the way scores shape musical practice.
Tom Shear has some tips on how to create some cool vocal drum samples:
Before hip-hop hit the big time, it was a very underground phenomenon and as a result, most of the artists at the time had to make music as cheaply as possible. Indeed, some bands couldn't even afford a drum machine, so "beatboxing" was born where a performer would imitate the sounds of a drum kit with his mouth to create the beat for the rapper to do his thing over. While it seems kind of hokey now, your own voice is actually still quite a decent source for new drum and percussion sounds. Here are some tips on getting the best results from your vocal drum sample experiments.
Some audio samples from The European Organization for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) Large Hadron Collider and computer room. Here you can listen to the sounds and download mp3 files, numerical files and explanatory notes.
Tom Shear @ Waveformless checks out Ohmicide:Melohman, Ohm Force's distortion effect plug-in.
This is a product that has been out for a while, but when the Ohm Boyz themselves asked if I might like to take a look at it, how could I refuse? If you haven't heard of it by now, Ohmicide:Meloman (I'm going just called it Ohmicide from here on out) is a multi-band distortion effect on steroids. Multi-band distortion allows you to split a single signal into multiple frequency bands allowing you to process and tweak each band completely independently of the others. Let's see how it stacks up.
I don’t use distortion effects a lot myself but when I do it’s usually Ohmicide. Great stuff!
Takashi Kondo of Ogaki, Japan, created this amazing foldable paper piano printed with conductive ink and embedded with an ATmega328. I'd love to see a video of this creation in action, as well as some more details of its creation — like, where is it getting its power?
With the regularity of clockwork, stories about how digital audio consumption is degrading the quality of music are published and then re-published. Nearly a decade after the introduction of Apple’s iPod, this still apparently qualifies as news. The content of the articles is so identical, you could believe the bylines are a ruse, a nom-de-plume for the same author re-publishing the same story.
Whatever the reason for their supposed newsworthiness, the problem with these stories isn’t their claims about the variable quality of music listening. I think it’d be hard to overstate just how sub-optimal real-world listening by real-world consumers can get. The problem is that these journalists, inexperienced in the actual history of the technology they’re covering, falsely identify a technological trend.
In the process, they miss the real story of how listeners listen.
Jon at Audio Geek Zine shares his experience with the Nocturn Keyboard:
It’s been about a month since I bought the Novation Nocturn 49 keyboard. I haven’t fully mastered how to use it yet, digging into the features to write the review has made me know it a lot better. Overall I’m really happy with it. It’s been a good investment, it works well, and looks cool (besides the pink lights). I haven’t had any stability issues with it. With any new piece of equipment there is a learning curve, not being able to find instructions doesn’t make it any easier. I did have some trouble with some functions at first, but it was because of glitch with the installation and reinstalling took care of that. If you’re in the market for a new MIDI controller with great feel and advanced features, definitely check this one out.
A demo/walkthrough of my installation entitled 'Color a Sound' which was set up at RPI's West Hall Gallery 111 for the month of April 2010.
The interaction is meant to be very simple and playful, hence the major scale. It would be much more difficult for someone to walk up and have fun with a chromatic scale. Like any instrument, one would have to spend a lot of time to make a composition worth listening to and this is just a demo of the sonic abilities/responsiveness.
SABIAN’s Most Warped Drummer Contest gives aspiring musicians the chance to upload a video to showcase their talents and be judged by SABIAN artists on the Warped Tour. One grand prize winner will receive airfare and accommodations for one to Boston, two all-access passes to the Boston Warped Tour stop, a meet and greet with top SABIAN artists, their choice of a SABIAN Performance Pack of cymbals and a SABIAN Bacpac Cymbal Bag set.
The midi part is from this script. And the keyboard emulator is from the arduino USB keyboard library.
Ants walking through IR gates manipulate the Auduino synth program. John spotted this at the RobotFest / Mid-Atlantic Mini Maker Faire. He writes:
I went to the RobotFest / Mid-Atlantic Mini Maker Faire yesterday. I saw this awesome project and thought you might like to put it on the blog. Basically it's an ant farm with optointerrupts. When the ants walk through the lightpath, they modify the audio output. The maker's name is Adam Franchino, and he was there with some of his classmates from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) His website is adamfranchino.net.
“This is a Jouney into Sound” is a demo of the RHIFID speaker control system developed for the Physical Computing class. Using a combination of RFID technology, Processing and Arduino, the speakers work as location aware controllers, allowing the user to interact with music and the environment by moving the speakers around.
Jordantron is a new iPad synth app that will include sounds by Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater.
Omenie in the comments:
The core sound generation is the Ellatron engine, and the same 'Toblerone' rotating keyboards have been retained – for now …
Inside it there’s quite a few changes, particularly trading off CPU burden against responsiveness – it’s become clear, particularly on the iPad, that it’s worth burning more CPU to get ultra-low latency for responsive playing, in Jordan’s hands this thing is *fast* and pretty amazing.
We are still shaking out details but the plan is to have different iPad and iPhone versions, slightly more voices in the iPad version as it supports apps with a bigger memory footprint than iPhone.
And yes, all new sounds, and unlike Ellatron all the sounds are stereo (and really immersive and immense) and have been pulled out of Jordan’s live rig, so these are authentic DT voices. So it’s not very much like a Mellotron at all! I think this one will turn out to be a must-have app for the DT fans, but the sounds are so damn PHAT that general synth hounds may end up picking up one of these to add to their arsenal.
Several EQs now have a mid/side mode. This opens up a lot of possibilities, but can be difficult to use effectively. Instead of simply tweaking the sound or the range of the controls, mid/side mode completely changes how the EQ behaves and sets new rules for how it can be useful and effective. It helps to stop thinking about mid/side EQ as an equaliser – but instead to think of it as a surgical frequency-focussed stereo width adjuster. It works best on complex stereo material, such as groups or the mix bus.
I've always been a big fan of K'nex, ever since I was a little kid. Then, when I discovered this website, I felt like I had hit the jackpot. This is a "robot" that I built out of knex, it's designed to play the piano. This version can play up to a 16 note sequence in a 12 note range. I call it "Zeeanobot" (Zach's Piano Robot), corny, I know, but I couldn't think of a better name. I spent a lot of time on this, and I'm very proud of it, so please be nice. Just to be clear, I have not tried it on a real piano, I built it to play my Yamaha DGX-230. You may need to modify the design slightly to get it to work on real pianos or other keyboards.
# Sound Grain, a graphical interface where users can draw and edit trajectories to control granular sound synthesis modules. Sound Grain is written with Python and uses Csound as its audio engine. Csound 5 must be installed on the system to allow Sound Grain to run.