You can’t schedule musical inspiration. Nothing is more frustrating than having an idea in your head, but not being in a position to record it before it slips away.
Since the iPhone came into my life, I do a lot better job of capturing the ephemeral. At first I just used the built-in “Voice Memos” app to quickly document the moment as best I could, tape recorder style. I have since tried a whole host of audio capture tools, including my latest love, Loopy, a cute little app that lets me quickly layer a bunch of loops.
The idea of course is that later I’ll take the captured audio and import it onto my computer for further processing with Max, Live, and other tools. But this is invariably where other audio capture apps all fail; they have great interfaces for capturing and basic authoring, but clumsy, inconvenient systems for exporting the audio to the computer.
What mobile audio apps do you use? Are there any that do a great job of integrating with a computer-based workflow?
A fabulous suite of free and artistic audio plugins using Max for Live, designed to challenge the Eurocentric / Western norms prevalent in electronic music software. Definitely worth checking out both from technical and cultural perspectives.
Spin has a nice profile on the project:
I’ve long been a fan of the German electronic group Mouse On Mars, but I’ve lost track of them the past few years. I was excited to see they have released a new album entitled Parastrophics earlier this year.
For the live performances to support their new album, they are using Max For Live for synchronization between the three band members, and have enlisted the help of multimedia artist Karl Kliem for tightly synched Jitter visuals.
Parastrophics visuals excerpt:
Mouse On Mars interview:
The following video by (a-z)² describes an interactive installation using IanniX, KorgNano, and MaxMSP.
Those of you who have been following the Madrona Labs Soundplane project will be excited to know that his first batch of the very expressive Soundplane instruments has shipped:
Congratulations Randy – we wish you all the best.
Steven Jouwersma AKA Crofty-Systems created this delightfully over-engineered humane mousetrap using Max.
“I made this mouse trap to catch a mouse in my house. The mouse trap catches the mouse alive, it uses a camera to detect the mouse and triggers a solonoid on the right moment.”
Daito, Motoi, and Friends show you the results of their beautiful and fluid creation, as well as some of the structure behind it. Watch the entire video to fully appreciate it!
At the beginning of the video, I didn’t consider the physical structure on which the lights were moving, nor did I imagine that the lights were contained within balls which were being tracked by Max. Upon learning what was happening behind the scenes, I was even more impressed by the installation and appreciated the creator’s exposure of the details.
It’s widely known that Miller Puckette, inventor of the Max language, named the program in honor of Max Mathews. It’s less well-known that Miller did this not just because Max was deserving of the honor due to his pioneering work in an astonishing variety of areas within the field of computer music. In fact, Miller was specifically acknowledging Max’s work on a pioneering real-time scheduling algorithm called RTSKED developed in the early 1980s, which Miller credits as a fundamental influence on the design of his software.
I spent 4 days in Pittsburgh in early June attending the 2009 NIME conference at Carnegie Mellon University. NIME is a conference devoted entirely to new interfaces and devices for the performance of musical ideas. The conference consisted of three days of paper talks, poster sessions, demos, and performances. There was also a well-curated gallery show with a number of impressive interactive sound installations. In addition to all the talks and posters happening on campus, a number of us gathered for nightly pitchers of Yuengling and pizza at the local watering hole, the Panther Hollow Inn. I will try to summarize here what I thought were some of the highlights of NIME 2009.
Many of us are invited to perform in unique circumstances – it’s a part of the Digital Media life. Recently, we’ve been featuring some interesting examples of Max-based work, including Andrew Benson’s work with M.I.A. and Dana Karwas’ installations. So when I was asked to play with an electronic music All-Star Band, I couldn’t help but document the experience.
Last week I arrived home from a ‘vacation’ in France. In my case though, the term ‘vacation’ means that I was programming and debugging objects for Max/MSP/Jitter. The occasion for this trip to France were two workshops focusing on Jamoma that were organized by Pascal Baltazar, GMEA, and Incidents Mémorables. The workshops were held in Albi and Paris, respectively.
The Seoul International Computer Music Festival (SICMF) is a yearly event sponsored by the Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society (KEAMS). Having both concerts and a post-festival paper session, it is in some ways similar to the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), reviewed elsewhere on the Cycling ’74 website. However, because it is a festival, not a conference, the main focus of the SICMF is the music – and to provide both the local Korean computer music community and the invited international guests with a fertile cross-cultural environment for sharing musical ideas.
With an enigmatic name that refers to a specific time and activity of questionable relationship to the organization’s actual purpose, Cycling ’74 has received its share of athletic sponsorship requests during its nine year history. Typically these have been bicycle tours or related events, and after careful consideration, we have rejected all of them. However, when I received an urgent call from the coach of my son Bruno’s soccer team saying that they were flirting with disqualification for lack of a sponsor, our corporate policy of exhaustive review (involving multiple levels of committee meetings) was carelessly discarded in order to seize the opportunity to market advanced audio and video software products to sports-minded 11-year-old boys and what we hoped would be their easily influenced parents.
This last week saw several Cycling ’74 folks leaving behind their solitary monastic cells and journeying to the great city of N’awlins [New Orleans, to the rest of you] for the 2006 ICMC computer music conference and festival. Although no words will suffice to describe what remains after Katrina’s passing, the dignity and pride of the inhabitants or the Big Easy, or the warm welcome from Tae Hong Park and the fine folks at Tulane, here’s a modest report on what we saw and heard (and ate).
At Cycling ’74 we brainstorm once in awhile (usually shortly before a trade show) about possible C74 schwag. Frankly, we usually bail and end up spending more time on developing software demos and building never-seen-before booths (can you say “yurt”?) and then don’t get around to actually producing some fun schwag. We apologize for that.
(All involved shall remain anonymous.)
I was sitting at my desk today and overheard a tiny piece of a story from a co-worker. I’m sharing it because, well, we all need to laugh.
Many people already know that Jitter can be a fantastic tool for video processing, but what about audio? Used with a bit of cleverness, a matrix can be just the thing for that patching impasse. Following is a set of simple examples to get you started thinking about a matrix when you’ve run thin on patching ideas or need a more elegant way to manage your numbers.
Greatest in amount of degree.
Causing someone to feel awkward, self-conscious, or ashamed.
A famous person.
A brief but intense infatuation for someone, esp. someone unattainable or inappropriate.
For this installment of the c74office journal, you can learn who matches this description for the people at Cycling ’74. Be sure to click on the heart to see the celebrity photo.
Not everyone at C74 is represented here. Those who didn’t participate probably either thought the exercise was stupid (and that is somewhat valid), or were too embarrassed to fess up, or are on vacation. Then there are those who couldn’t decide on just one.
Welcome to the second installment of Stupid JS Tricks. If you missed the previous installment, you can take trip back in time to see us resize our patcher’s interface. In this trick we will rise to a brave new challenge: to drag a window around on our screen without using the standard drag-able region provided on that window by the operating system.
As many of you know, the c74 headquarters is in San Francisco and we are, like many around here, utterly food-obsessed. It is a constant source of entertainment as well as an obvious source of fuel.
Everyone has their opinions on the best places to go — whether it’s a hole-in-the-wall or the ueber-pricey. We tend toward the former and dream of the latter. Our dreams are likely better than the actual experience anyway.
So we have put together a list in case you’re ever in the neighborhood. And if you don’t like our suggestions, don’t bother coming to our office. We have the ultimate weapon to keep angry people away.
- Sushi Zone (HITW)
- Azie (UP)
- The Tamale Lady (tamale delivery)
- Hotel Utah (go for the margaritas) (HITW)
- Tulan (HITW)
- Hunan Home’s (go for the General’s Chicken)
- The Tempest (HITW)
- Le Charm
- Jai Yun (Pricey HITW)
- Balompie Cafe (go for the Pupusas)
- Taqueria Vallarta (go for outdoor tacos after 10pm)
- Los Jarritos (go for the Mole)
- Cha Cha Cha
- Iroha (go for the Ramen)
- Zante’s Indian Pizza
- Brother-In-Law’s BBQ (go for the hot ribs, spaghetti, and wheat bread) (HITW)
- In N Out (go for the DoubleDouble, fries animal-style)
- Cafe Venue (go for the Thai Chicken Salad)
- Cordon Bleu (go for the #5) (HITW)
- Ritual Coffee (go for the Gibraltar)
- Thanh Tam (go for any of the Vietnamese rice plates)
- King of Thai Noodle House (best Pad-See-Ew and Papaya salad in town)
- Mi Lindo Peru (Bistec a lo Pobre or Lomo Saltado)
- Delfina Pizza
- Tartine Bakery (go for the croque monsieur)
- Don~a Tere’s tent (go for tostadas and elote)
Now back to making software.
More to come…
When a new shipment of Lemurs arrive from France, the excitement begins to grow at c74 headquarters. But it’s not what you think. Yes, we are happy to receive a new shipment because it means people like the Lemur and are buying it. And, yes, it’s always good to see that the big box of expensive hardware you just purchased arrived safely. Despite these good reasons, which occasionally lead to hugging the delivery driver, the best part is the BIG BOX.
The big box gives us a chance to blow off some steam at the end of the day. There are two big box options:
1) Get inside the box and attempt to run in circles (see below). It’s a wonderful workout and, frankly, quite difficult.
2) Get inside the box, allow your co-workers to seal the box, and then the same co-workers roll you down the hall while you tumble around inside. It makes one so happy after a day of sitting at the computer. Just look at that smile.
btw: It’s just a coincidence that Spongebob also likes to play in boxes.
If you find this crap interesting, check back again for more journal entries from the c74office.