Easter Long Creative Weekend – Phase 3: Programming – IN PROGRESS

Posted: April 26, 2011 in Ableton Live, Launchpad, Music, Processing, Software, Visual Art

Digital Art – Where design and visual art meets programming

Having all this free time is great. I finally have a chance to explore and play with things that have been sitting in my todo list, collecting (digital) dust.

Today’s topic of interest is digital/generative art and my weapon of choice is Processing. Check out the links below for some truly beautiful works of art.

Artworks:

Tools:

After doing some research, I started playing around with Processing. I began messing around with the built-in examples and started a program that uses the mouse speed to draw circles (speed affects radius) and generate a sine wave (speed affects volume and frequency). I soon tired of this and began the task of getting Processing to talk to Ableton and my Novation Launchpad. The idea is that eventually, I can make an aesthetically pleasing visual display that is controlled by a combination of pre-programmed audio coming from Ableton, and a live performance from me using the Launchpad via MIDI, all working together as one synchronised unit.

Heres a screenshot of a work in progress:

What it does:

  • Launchpad buttons light up when you press them
  • Launchpad buttons light up when pre-programmed drum samples are triggered
  • Processing screen lights up exactly the same as what is on the Launchpad
  • Processing screen shows what the buttons are mapped to (currently hard-coded…but wouldn’t it be awesome if it was automatic?!)

Sounds pretty simple…but it was a bit of a challenge getting all the settings right! I still have some issues to iron out, and hopefully try and simplify the system more.

I’m very keen to check out Open Frameworks and Max for Live as well. Theres a 30% discount on Max for Live that ends in 4 days, and I’m very very tempted to buy it.

Ableton Live, Processing, Max for Live, Launchpad, iPad, Kinect, Open Frameworks…all wonderful tools to explore and play with. Somewhere in there is just the right combination of hardware and software that will allow me to create something awesome. Something that combines my love of music and programming…

Oh, heres one more link. Its a TED talk on research being done on improvisation (jazz and rap). It doesn’t really reveal much that is new, but its an entertaining talk and opens up some interesting questions. http://www.ted.com/talks/charles_limb_your_brain_on_improv.html

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