Saturday, April 23, 2011

John Conway Talks About the Game of Life

John Conway explains his Game Of Life. There are a few apps out there that use Cellular Automata. Max/MSP has the Jit.Conway object, Reaktor, Audio Damages Automaton uses them. You can even get them on the DS.

3D sound from ordinary speakers

Edgar Choueiri, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University, has developed a way to play true three-dimensional sound recordings over regular loudspeakers, such as those found in televisions and computer laptops.

The technique may one day be used to allow 3D televisions to produce lifelike sound and to help people with certain types of hearing impairments locate noises. Segments of the video above incorporate Choueri's 3D filter to demonstrate the phenomenon.

The filter is designed to work with loudspeakers - not headphones - and can be experienced through standard computer speakers. (Make sure the right and left speakers are on the correct sides.)

Video by Michael E. Wood.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nils Landgren: "Computer Love" / Sennheiser Vocoder VSM201

Nils Landgren using the Sennheiser Vocoder VSM201 on "Computer Love" from the 1984 Streetfighter. Just posting because it sounds animal. If you want to learn about classic vocoding have a look at this Roland SVC-350 vid or some tutorials on how to use the Vocoder in Ableton 8.

Monday, April 18, 2011

1929 "Finding His Voice" How "talkies" work!

A Max Fleischer animated short showing audiences of the time how sound for film works - gets kind of cool about half way in. I love these old information vids. I have a good few of them on my hard drive.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong

Eric Whitacre talks about leading a virtual choir of singers from around the world. He talks through the creative challenges of making music powered by YouTube, and unveils the first 2 minutes of his new work, "Sleep," with a video choir of 2,052.

So it doesn't have a synth but 2000 people singing into their computer screens seems pretty electronic to me - using YouTube as a global musical instrument. I would love to hear from the tech to hear how he actually did it - how much was automated, the kind of processing involved. If you liked it check out In Bb another fantastic YouTube collaboration where you get to be the conductor.


A cool little browser app called Otomato that uses a mix between cellular automata and Monome style sequencing to waste literally minutes of your day. I haven't quite seen this kind of connection made before. CA is usually pretty tricky conceptually for a lot of people but it seems to make perfect musical sense when combined with the Monome sequencer style. It definitely feels like CA when you are using it. You can get it to repeat patterns, display some randomness or go completely chaotic and all with a very friendly interface. Now if only it was a Max4Live device :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

New Max4Live devices, LFO!!!

The partnership between Ableton and Cycling74, resulting in M4L has been one of the more exciting and innovative developments in the DAW world of recent years, allowing Ableton heads unprecedented access to the guts of their software and devices, and helping put some shape and ease-of-use onto the sometimes bewildering (obstinate?) world of Max/MSP composition and programming via Abletons intuitive workflow and GUI. I've yet to really get into the guts of programming for M4L but I've happily incorporated devices built by others into my productions, opening up new modulation possibilities.
All of which is a lengthy preamble for the news that there's a new update for Max 4 Live and some great new objects, including an LFO so you can get your dubstep wobble on!

* Robert Henke's ‘Granulator’ is a sample-based synthesizer which can transform any sound into a lush soundscape or a wall of noise.
* ‘Kapture’ from Gareth Williams and Richie Hawtin captures the state of your Live Set as a preset that can be instantly recalled.
* The LFO by Manuel Poletti, included in the latest release of Max for Live, enables you to apply a low-frequency oscillator to any applicable device parameters.