At this year’s MusicMakers Hacklab during Club Transmediale, we discuss how the concept of “the user” shapes how we think about future features and interfaces of creative instruments. How do we construct our notions of the musicians who will want to use our designs? Do the Hacklab participants follow radically different approaches than a company like Native Instruments?
CDR Berlin will host a Maschine Special on October 10, offering a workshop session with a focus on the work and the thoughts behind Maschine Studio. I will get a chance to answer questions on the CDR stage. Afterwards, there will be a workshop with Mouse On Mars, and they will – among other things – talk about the WretchUp app I helped to put together, and which is nearing its release (finally!). Should be a nice evening with friends!
CDR Preamble with a short Q&A
Event website with registration
Back to synthesizers and straight beats for a moment, I have been busy testing some new sounds. Heckmannufer is now on my SoundCloud page.
Although the Neuron Synthesizer was and still is a flagship synth that stood for innovation in the field of Resynthesis, it was not a commercially successful product. After the hardware version, the creators also released a software plug-in based on the same engine. The unique approach in this engine is that concrete material, such as a user’s own samples, can be fed into the engine, which then creates an abstract semantic model from it and uses its own sound-generating means to recreate the original sound. The model is rather complex and includes many parameters in both timbre and temporal development of the sound. It is interesting as an example of a bold abstraction process, transforming sound to the symbolic level, while retaining much of its information. The engine then allows the user to go beyond the more or less faithful recreation of an original sound, and work with the parameters of the model – musically the much more interesting part. The NeuronVS software part is now available for free for Mac OS.
Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen will hold another Research Day on January 25. This is a great opportunity for members of the interested public to get an insight into research projects currently in the works. I will have the opportunity to present some of my communication research into cultural networks at the event.
Mouse on Mars together with Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to turn one of the Pd patches I developed for them into a full iOS and, potentially, Android app. I am not part of the campaign or development effort, but of course looking forward to the outcome.
Besides developing the app, this project will also contribute to the porting of the great Rjlib set of Pd abstractions for use in other iOS projects. The patch itself and all code that is not protected by Apple will be made available as open source.
In addition to the benefits of the Pd patch becoming an app and the Rjlib becoming more accessible, this is also a highly interesting social experiment. The discussion on Create Digital Music is a great example of how value is being negotiated in today’s economy, while at the same time, several funders of the campaign have invested more than they were asked for in the respective packages they chose.