Reporting on the annual papers, performances and pyrotechnics that comprise the NIME conference is an exercise in making a kind of reduction sauce - in this case, boiling a rambunctious community of persons with the shared goal of imagining different forms for musical expression down into a manageable collection of images, words, and links.
As a big fan of filtered/massaged randomness as a way of generating and organizing variety, I've always got my eyes peeled for interesting new plug-ins. Here’s a new one that I’ve been enjoying quite a bit: PicSeq from the folks at encoderaudio.
I started using the Doepfer Pocket Dial and Fader back around 2000, and I’ve had a fondness for a good external controller ever since. The Midi Fighter Twister from DJTechTools is a great and flexible knob-based controller available: a 4 x 4 grid of customizable multimodal knobs with great action and feel that can provide a meaningful range of feedback with the built-in LEDs.
Our "On the Road" features are often after-the-fact reports on something amazing. This time out, I'd like to look ahead to the Currents New Media Festival, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico - and maybe give you a chance to attend! It's one of my favorite media festivals in the world, and well worth your time.
When a package gets 4000 downloads, we know it’s hit a nerve. When it is something as serious as machine learning, we also know that it must provide a great interface to an interesting technology. Benjamin Day Smith has followed his initial ml.star release with an update that includes enhancements, bug fixes and a few new objects.
I love to share the books I find, and Whitechapel Gallery has produced a series of books that I think will speak to you. In this quick review, I check in on two books: Edward Shanken’s Systems collection, and Caleb Kelly’s Sound title.
Superbooth has become one of the most talked-about landing spots for music hackers, and the 2018 edition of the conference continued the tradition.
J. Anthony Allen has taken on a pretty interesting challenge: teaching music theory to people whose entire musical experience is within a DAW. Most music theory writing makes extensive use of standard notation, classical music examples and a traditional musical glossary. Dr. Allen breaks from this and focuses on modern software and the ubiquitous piano roll interface.
My MIDI days stretch back far enough that I remember trends and styles coming and going. That said, I’m always on the lookout for elegant and simple controllers with a lot of sliders/pots, plug & play and basically zero config. I ran across two recent boxes from Nakedboards – they’re a great, cost-effective solution for Max users looking for a trusty toolbox controller.
CNMAT Externals for Max hold a special place for many Max users - from OpenSoundControl and osc-route objects to the popular sinusoids~, oscillators~, harmonics~ and resonators~ objects that let you define a mass of sounds all in a single object. The latest release of this essential collection brings Windows 64-bit compatibility. and a massive help file and documentation overhaul.