Archive for the ‘Software’ 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

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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!

Nostalgia…

So I downloaded a version of QBasic today. This is a re-enactment of one of the first computer programs that I wrote in 1995 when I was 11 years old sitting in computer class.

The code might have been copied from QBasic help, but looking through here, http://www.qbasicnews.com/qboho/, I couldn’t seem to a find an example that does this. Anyone seen an example in QBasic help that draws random purple rectangles on screen?

Basically, when I saw that I could do this with a computer…write commands and create something from nothing…I was hooked.

Source code here:

SCREEN 7
COLOR 5, 0
RANDOMIZE TIMER
DO
CLS
x = INT(RND * 320)
y = INT(RND * 200)
size = INT(RND * 10) + 10
LINE (x, y)-(x + size, y + size), , BF
LOOP WHILE INKEY$ = “”