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Digital Data Workstation for input, processing, and routing

Summer 2011 - Feb 2014
Gainesville FL ; Eugene, OR

In a world of “big-data,” our community is often faced with having to create custom programs to handle an unpredictable number of controller data, processing, and routing to musical parameters. This task becomes even more complex using wireless ‘swarm sensing’ based interfaces like eMersion.
For this project MaxMSP/Jitter was used to create a software client to visualize and route wireless “swarm sensor” data from the eMersion system.
Made entirely in MaxMSP, this software client emulates the layout of software most electronic musicians are already familiar with, Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). The issue this software solves is: how does one handle an unpredictable number of controller data streams and an equally unpredictable number of musical parameters to route these streams to – without having to design or modify code from scratch?
Answer: the Digital Data Workstation (DDW).
Like Protools, Logic, or Garage Band, the DDW enables musicians to create “tracks.” Then the user selects from a list of available controller inputs and can assign one control input to many tracks, or different control inputs. Then, the user can process each track’s data stream differently (filtering, beat tracking, threshold detection, rescaling, etc). Finally, each track is assigned an output by selecting from an available list. The kinds of outputs include MIDI, OpenSoundControl, UDP, DMX (light control), and also emulates keyboard and mouse events (to control virtually any application on your computer). Or, you can custom create inputs and outputs to be populated in the list using eMersion Tools (Max abstractions that extend the capacities of the eMersion software).
Finally, the “session” configuration can be saved and recalled for later, enabling quick changes from one musical work or section to another.

How was MAX used?

This sophisticated software is created entirely in MaxMSP and is integral to handling unpredictable numbers of wireless 'swarm sensing' controller data streams. The very idea of "swarm sensing" was inspired by MaxMSP. Where this program broke down the complexities of programming, enabling musicians to quickly design sophisticated programs without having to understand text-based languages; eMersion enables musicians to quickly create wireless sensor interfaces without understanding engineering, soldering, Arduino programming, or circuits. The BIG problem of handling an unknown and dynamic variety of controller streams was, fittingly, solved with Max and can be extended through special Max tools.

Digital Data Workstation for input, processing, and routing

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