Christopher Konopka has announced wiiAirDrum, a MaxMSP application for triggering samples with a wiiMote controller.
An example of the wiiAirDrum system that connects two wiiMotes to MaxMSP via bluetooth.
I just finished working on a project I created months ago as a research project that involved creating musical applications for blind individuals. This was part of a Music Therapy Development group led by Dr. Richard Boulanger and Professor Chi Kim. The goal of my application for this project was to create a drum-like sampler that an individual could use instead of using an actual drum set. In essence, each remote can control 4 samplers which can be programmed manually or by using the controller. Each sampler is controlled by a button combination and can be triggered by making a drum-strike motion. These combinations are simple variations and each remote has the same combination setup.
My NAMM experience went really quite smoothly this year. I didn't have to deal with any injuries or camera failures.
The show was a little smaller than last year, which was most apparent in my favorite haunt, Hall E. There were some open areas where there weren't any booths set up at all. That being said, there was no shortage of invention and innovation at the show. Because of that, I think the great unsung heroes of the Oddities need their own motto: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor global economic collapse stays the mad genius from the swift creation of strange musical devices."
# skewworks Pyxis – How would you like to be able to run compiled programs from a uSD drive? Maybe you'd like to create an app that's closed source? Or perhaps you're just looking to display full screen 320×240 bitmaps using the Arduino. If any of those sounds good to you than Pyxis is the OS for you.
Winko Erades van den Berg on making music using a computer and a Wiimote:
An article that appeared on the Create Digital Music website, about making music using the WiiMote and a computer, drew my attention. Several hints were given on the how to, but as always in doing new things the information was scattered everywhere and nowhere.
After reading many articles and watching many videos I found out how to realize a working setup for myself. In this article I’ll try to explain the steps needed to create a working setup for yourself.
Echo Nest co-founder Brian Whitman demoed the alpha version of a new set of Echo Nest APIs.
At Stockholm Hack Day we’re announcing three or four new APIs that are going to stay in our “alpha” sandbox for now. These are officially unsupported but we will work with anyone who has a use case for them. For now, the instructions will stay here until we promote them to production APIs.
Mellodrama, a documentary by Dianna Dilworth, explores the rising and falling fortunes of the Mellotron – the first musical keyboard to "sample" the sounds of other instruments – from its birth in a California garage in the 1950s, through its dominance on concert stages in the 1970s, through its almost religious cult of followers in the 2000s. From the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" to Black Sabbath to Kanye West, Mellodrama is a 50-year odyssey of musical invention, revolution, betrayal, and rediscovery.
Includes 8-page booklet with essay by Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues, Mellotron and Chamberlin production timelines, and more.
MusicRadar.com's latest batch of free samples is here:
The collection we're giving you here has a distinctly French flavour, being inspired by the likes of Kavinsky, Justice, Mr Oizo and the artists on the Kitsuné label. Download it and give your music a sense of Parisian style – you'd be 'in-Seine' to miss out!
Plughugger has a comprehensive review of Audio Damage Tattoo, Audiorealism ADM and Sonic Charge Microtonic.
This review compares three software drum machines and how they stand against each other. Three audioguns, twenty one sonic bullets. Two swedes and one american. Drum roll, please…
While there are a whole bunch of drum synthesizers on the market and many of them are very competent – my selection ended up with Audio Damage Tattoo, Audiorealism ADM and Sonic Charge Microtonic. My primary criteria was that they should be available for both PC and Mac – and they should be able to create more than one type of overall sound. I chose not to include any of the drum machines from the polish developer D16, as each and every drum machine is locked to a specific model and besides – I don’t own licenses for any of them. Waldorf Attack is a classic that I seriously considered to include, but decided against as it doesn’t contain a sequencer. Also, three products against each other is clear as a german sausage soup. But the Waldorf Attack is a fantastic drum synthesizer, especially for creating weird electronic percussion noises.
I love Microtonic (and the D16 drum machines), but I think it’s inevitable I’ll end up getting Tattoo at some point.
This is a mini kit with bd, snare, 2 ch’s and a oh. They are from one hits I have either recorded from drum machines or found around. Processed with eq and compression and some final touches to each sound. Hoping to give you a nice starter kit with a solid foundation. There is also a Ableton Live session with the kit in a drumrack with further processing on.
Make’s definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2009.
Welcome to definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2009. First up – What is open source hardware? These are projects in which the creators have decided to completely publish all the source, schematics, firmware, software, bill of materials, parts list, drawings and "board" files to recreate the hardware – they also allow any use, including commercial. Similar to open source software like Linux, but this hardware centric.
Each year we do a guide to all open source hardware and this year there are over 125 unique projects/kits in 19 categories, up from about 60 in 2008, more than doubling the projects out there! – it’s incredible! Many are familiar with Arduino (shipping over 100,000 units, estimated) but there are many other projects just as exciting and filled with amazing communities – we think we’ve captured nearly all of them in this list. Some of these projects and kits are available from MAKE others from the makers themselves or other hardware manufacturers – but since it’s open source hardware you can make any of these yourself, start a business, everything is available, that’s the point.
Flo Kaufmann shows his “satrap activ” portable analog synthesizer made out of a vacuum cleaner.
It contains 2 cmos based VCO’s , a Moog ladder filter, a 555 based ADSR, a cmos based 8 step sequencer, a PIC based vc to midi interface and a PIC based auto trigger unit. There are 4 tunable knobs on top, mostly to play base lines, and 2 conductable wires, which act as voltage dividers to generate variable tones. the wires do not vibrate. so it is not a cord instrument. satrap activ can also control other synthesizers either by midi or cv/gate interface.
For a generation of musicians of nearly every genre, the laptop has become an instrument. It’s easy to take for granted, but the rise of the computer for music has been remarkable. Less than twenty years ago, real-time digital synthesis and audio processing was the domain of expensive, specialized workstations. Now, $700 per seat can buy you a full-blown musical rig, with the computer hardware, gestural input courtesy the Nintendo Wii controller, and even a DIY speaker made from IKEA salad bowls. The next challenge is to make this setup as flexible and reliable as possible. Enter Linux.
Joe Glider of Home Studio Corner has a reivew of the Line 6 JM4 Looper pedal:
I’ve always been absolutely fascinated with looper pedals. Any time an artist uses one in a performance, I’m spellbound. As soon as you introduce a looper pedal into your setup, suddenly all the rules change. You’re no longer a solo performer, you’re an entire ensemble. It’s like you brought a recording studio right on stage with you, and now you’re doing an overdub session for all of us to see. Fascinating.
Needless to say, I’ve wanted a looper pedal for years. Thanks to the good folks at Line 6, now I have one!* What I love about the JM4 is that it’s not JUST a looper. It’s an entire guitar workstation. It has both amp modeling and three different selectable effects.
Lucky Frame has announced the release of Mujik, an iPhone application for making music in a fun, accessible, and intuitive way.
Mujik uses a revolutionary graphical approach that invites players to explore world of sound.
The simple and charming interface allows the user to make their own personalised music quickly and easily. By picking books off a shelf, flipping them open, and chasing the dust mites across the page the music becomes your own – or just float away on a sonic balloon!
Lucky Frame is an Edinburgh-based company that received critical acclaim with the Wii LoopMachine, creative music software for the Wii remote, which was featured on BBC Dragons’ Den, as well as magazines, newspapers, and television programs around the world.
The same approach that made the LoopMachine special has been applied to Mujik. Lucky Frame founder Yann Seznec says “Most music software is very intimidating and hard to use – we believe that doesn’t have to be the case! We make fun tools that anyone can use to make their own music. Mujik is unlike anything our there – it’s adorable, engaging, and musical. It encourages you to explore and discover the features and quirks. It’s not rocket science, it’s just fun.”
Lucky Frame has been supported by the British Council, where Yann was a finalist for the UK Young Music Entrepreneur Award, NESTA, which awarded Yann a Starter for 6 award, Edinburgh Pre-Incubator Scheme (EPIS) at the University of Edinburgh, and Scottish Institute for Enterprise.
Mujik is available through the iTunes store, and will be free for a limited time.
The Fauxharmonic Orchestra has begun an ambitious project to perform all nine Beethoven symphonies live in concert: Beethoven Digital Symphonies.
The first concert — Symphony No. 1 in C, op. 21 — will be May 20, 2009, in the Holy Name Church, West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
The Fauxharmonic Orchestra is a digital orchestra led by Paul Henry Smith, a conductor trained by Leonard Bernstein and Sergiu Celibidache. The Fauxharmonic stretches the capabilities of the latest instruments, bringing digital orchestral performance to a new level.
First, Mr. Smith painstakingly crafts the performance of the work using the same computer software and digital orchestral samples commonly used by top film music producers. The goals of the process are exactly the same as that of an orchestra in rehearsal. Mr. Smith utilizes all of the knowledge he has gained through a lifetime of musical study and experience to shape the digital samples into “recordings” that even experts interviewed by the Wall Street Journal have been unable to distinguish from “real” performers.
Next, the magic of the Fauxharmonic’s innovative technology lifts the performance out of the province of the music studio and into the concert hall. Using specially programmed video game controllers from the Nintendo Wii gaming system, Mr. Smith is able to control the Fauxharmonic’s tempo, balance, and dynamics in much the same way that a conventional conductor leads live musicians.
# Califaudio: Open Reel Ensemble – Califaudio posts about the Open Reel Ensemble: scratching 4 reel-to-reel analog tape recorders to make some really cool music.
They hook up a keyboard, microphones, computers loaded with Max/MSP, USB interfaces, lights and solenoids to old-school reel-to-reel decks and mic the strange sounds of their voices, singing bowls and tabla.
HE Zhao's open source Wii peripheral drum-kit project:
With Nintendo Wii remote, Nunchuk and Wii Balance Board, it is easy to produce drum kit sounds from programming of their acceleration, joystick and weight data. These data can be transmitted from Wii controllers via Bluetooth to PC or Mac without Wii consoles. Wii Drum High integrates all three kinds of Wii controllers to stimulate a complete drum set of Hi-hat, Snare, Base drum, Crash cymbal, Ride cymbal, Mid tom and Low tom. Up to 4 sets of Wii remote and nunchuk can be used at the same time. (one of my colleague succeeded in connecting 5 wiimotes to a PC, but I've never tried)
# SevenUpLive for the Monome 40h and 64 – a Java application that combines 8 different monome applications into one interface. With it, your monome communicates with Ableton Live 7 via MIDI and allows MLR-like functionality along with other goodies like sliders, sequencing melodies, creating patterns of beats, saving/loading/queueing your songs, and more.