Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

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

Ok, heres todays creation. Found a old 8 bar loop I made in November last year that I liked and started working on it until it turned into a 3 minute song. The songs is a mix of prog rock drums with electro synthesisers. Has a bit of an EBM/Industrial feel to it at times. What do you think?

Heres a picture of my desk while I was working on the track:

And heres the track so far:

Direct link: http://benxtan.com/audio/electronic/songs/(2011-04Apr-23)%20Destro%27s%20Secret%20v1.mp3

This is just the first draft. I’m planning to add samples, vocals or guitars to it later.

Digital Samurai

Digital Samurai

Heres a drawing I did today. Phase 1 of me creating things this Easter long weekend.

This drawing was done with a black Artline 200 and generic red ball point for the red in the eyes.

Photo was taken with my iPhone since I don’t have access to a scanner at the moment. Might scan it properly later.

I’ve also put it on facebook under the guise of ‘Eye Also Ink’ here.

UPDATE 1: Heres a short loop created in GarageBand in iPad to go with the drawing

(2011-04Apr-23) Digital Samurai.mp3

UPDATE 2: Heres a better quality image.

http://svenisnumb.deviantart.com/art/Digital-Samurai-205997270

1. Woke up and checked stats. My most recent software creation, a Kinect MIDI Controller (KMIDIC) is on engadget in the US, Japan and Germany!

2. Managed to get a ticket to one of my favourite bands Kyuss for next year. So happy! Tickets sold out super quick!

3. Got to work, did a bunch of work, then my band’s (Throw Catch) freshly mastered debut EP arrived in the mail, and it sounds amazing! Big thanks to Dylan Adams (recording and mixing ) and Michael Lynch (mastering at shoehorse sound).

4. Did more work, finished work, and off I went to my first guitar lesson in 12 years…with Peter Northcote! I learnt sooo much in that one hour lesson, and have now made the commitment to pratice guitar at least 10 minutes a day.

5. Started practicing as soon as I got on the train and had a random conversation with a stranger, who is a guitarist and IT professional like myself, and I now know of Animals As Leaders. Fantastic band!

All in all, pretty much the BEST day ever!!!

Also…if you are a musician or a music business in Australia, check out Rockstar Hookups for your music classifieds needs!

BOSS Bass Synthesiser Fun

Posted: September 19, 2010 in Guitar, Music

BOSS Bass Synthesiser pedal

(2010-09Sep-19) Bass Synthesiser.mp3

I was playing with my Boss Bass Synthesiser pedal and heres a new snippet of a song I came up with tonight. I used a 5-string bass and recorded it with Ableton Live.

Pretty fun little toy to play with 🙂

If you’re interested in financial tips, check out Scott’s site http://nomoney.com.au for a whole heap of monetary marvelousness!

With the impending end of financial year coming up, check out his latest article http://nomoney.com.au/what-can-i-claim-for-tax-office-workers/ for info on claiming your work related expenses.

Also, he sings in my band Throw Catch – http://www.myspace.com/throwcatch

Rockstar Hookups

Posted: November 29, 2009 in Music
Tags: , , , , ,

If you are a musician, check out rockstarhookups.com.au. A mate and I made this site together in our spare time for Australian musos. Rockstar hookups helps you find musicians, bands, gigs and lessons.

  • Looking for a band member to complete your band?
  • Looking for some vocal lessons?
  • Looking to give guitar lessons?
  • Looking for a theremin player?

Its free to sign up and create an ad. So, watcha waiting for? Signup and let me know what you think of it!