Here’s an interesting synthesizer based on a Macbook Pro’s Trackpad. I like futuristicish things and MStretchSynth surely fits that bill. If this interface gets tied to user generated samples it’s going to be great.
“‘MStretchSynth’ uses multi-point (multi-touch) data streams to create a synthesis instrument driven by the relationships between points. Instead of mapping touch positions (X and Y coordinates) directly to synthesis parameters, relationships such as angle, distance, and velocity compared to other points are used. ‘MStretchSynth’ uses angle, distance and total velocity between points to map to synthesis parameters pitch, amplitude and delay depth.” – Kevin Schlei
I’m glad to see an iPhone piano keyboard controller. The big question is will it work with any music App. My guess is no but if I am wrong let me know. The next question is if it’s a NO then is there an API App developers can use to let these keys working with say NNN MONO, IStylophone, NESynth, etc… If you look at Engadget’s photos of the iDiscover Keyboard one of them is showing an App from Akai called SynthStudio: click here.
“The iDiscover keyboard, along with the companion iDiscover Keyboard app, has 25 keys and effectively turns your iPhone into a music studio complete with synth-action keys, and pitch and modulation wheels. Better yet, it doubles as a controller for MIDI software on either Mac or PC.” – Engadget
If you have an iPhone and don’t already own iTM Pad this video will probably make you jump to the iTunes store to grab it. I wish I didn’t sweat so much on stage (see: here) otherwise I would be using this live.
“I was on the iTunes App Store looking at iTouchMidi Pad by Silicon Studios, and reading the few-but-strong reviews, I bought it. It was mere moments afterward that I was firing up drum loops in Ableton Live, having a lot of fun mapping iTM Pad to various settings and mangling sounds. The logical conclusion, since clear demos of things like this can be hard to come by, was to make a video review.” – Torley
Torley’s blog is filled with the kind of tech geek content I like (WordPress, social media, Ableton) so if that’s your thing check him out: torley.com
This morning I had a message on Facebook from a friend of mine George GÃ¡briÅ¡. The message said. “Yo I found this to be quiet bizzare.” and there was a link to the video above. Apparently someone figured out you can use the magnetic strip of a drivers license as a mini ribbon controller for Ableton Live.
Using the magnetic strip on the back of my driver’s license to make a ribbon controller which then controls Autofilter in Live 6 via MIDI. – db3l
He has some other cool videos up including an Ableton controller made of Popsicle sticks and pennies and a controller printed on a regular piece of paper.
By the way you can friend me on Facebook too: click here
Most new laptops have webcams (or as Apple calls them iSights) built in. So it’s great to see music applications starting to use these cameras. The above tech demo from the Deep Listening Institute is designed for people with disabilities but there’s no reason anyone can’t benefit from this technology. I can imagine some guitar samples hooked into the interface and a long haired metal guy moshing away!
A commercial ready music webcam application is Cycling 74’s VTheremin:
Another example of our unique approach to instruments is the VTheremin plugin. Using your webcam, you can control a pair of oscillators by moving colored balls in the air. – www.cycling74.com/products/hipno
Vtheremin is part of Cycling 74’s Hipno plug-in package. Audio Unit, RTAS, and VST. $199. Available as download or CD-Rom package.
There is also an open source webcam controller called Peripheral MIDI Controller from Ben Tan (Windows only so far):
Peripheral MIDI Controller (pmidic) is a software program that intends to act as a MIDI controller by using various peripheral devices. The initial release(s) will be focused on using a webcam as a MIDI controller with 3 dimensions (XYZ). – http://sourceforge.net/projects/pmidic/
When I perform live I have a video that plays in sync with my music dual screening from Ableton Live (remember this post?) to a video wall behind me. I just realized that I can open iChat, click the video preview window and drag that over to the video window too. This way the audience can see my face as I control Ableton. More reasons to go to the gym everyday!
Want to see a futuristic use of webcams? Check out seesmic.com. On this site people have public video conversations using recorded video messages. Anyone can read the conversations then post a video and jump in. There are already several music threads with people playing live music to each other. It’s sort of a video version of Twitter. You have to sign up for a beta invite but they send it to you within a day. If you sign up send me a video message, my screen name is: thingstocome
Lastly, on the webcam video note I have been considering doing some video posts to Wire to the Ear. I’m not sure if it’s something I want to do yet. What do you think?
I am a mouse and keyboard shortcut guy. I work faster sitting in front of a LCD screen than in front of a hardware mixer. If your an Ableton Live user I highly recommend opening Live, go to the Help menu and select Read the Live Manual… Next, head directly to Chapter 26 “Live Keyboard Shortcuts” and start memorizing.
For those of you who still want to touch some knobs there is an interesting new device from Vestax that was announced at NAMM. The VCM600 was designed in partnership with Ableton and it’s specific use is Live.
There are lots of controllers out there and almost all of them will work Ableton Live but this one is in my radar for a few reasons. First off, it’s designed for Live. Second, Vestax is a on a roll lately. Have you seen the VCM-100/VCI-100? Highly gearlustable DJ controllers that match Apple’s Macbook Pro line perfectly. The third reason is: metal. These things are made of metal. The faders sit and slide in a metal chassis. Lastly, check out the sides of the unit. From underneath the curved edges is a row of white LEDs that light up the face of the unit in the dark. Wicked!
If you buy a hardware controller it’s for how it looks and feels. The new Vestax makes me want to touch it. That said, I’m still sticking with my Matias Tactile Pro Keyboard and Apple Mighty Mouse.