Continuing today's theme of weird shit people are doing with TouchOSC, Gregory W Brown has an Electromagnetically Prepared Piano that he plays exclusively from his iPad! Using a combination of microphones to create feedback loops, Gregory is vibrating the strings on his piano with electromagnetic fields; without touching the keys!
"The piano is sounded by means of the rapidly varying magnetic field created by audio signal passing through electromagnets in close proximity to the strings. The oscillations in the magnetic field alternately pull and release the strings, causing them to vibrate, creating sound. This process allows the piano to be played without touching the keys or strings."
The demo video starts off with this very slow ambient-space-thing, but at around 4:00 in it becomes an ambient chainsaw!
The recently released Conductr is on sale now for just $11! This is an Ableton Live controller app that is very specifically designed to take advantage of Ableton Live's device metadata. Like that last sentence, if you are not an Ableton user the whole rest of this post will unfortunately make no sense. I tried to explain it for non-Ableton users on Touch Music Podcast episode 5 (coming soon).
If you are an Ableton user this is going to be a deeply impressive app experience. The tight integration with Ableton's instrument rack data means that everything Ableton knows; the app knows as well. You don't have to fuck around with MIDI learning everything, because the app already knows what is open in your Ableton project! You've got handy drop-down menus to assign custom controllers to just about everything in the current project.
If you don't want to make custom controls you'll still find a lot of use in the pre-built clip launcher and mixer. Clip data is also available in the app, complete with color assignments for quickly orienting yourself inside of a session. There are even progress indicators on all of the individual clips to let you know where it is playing in a loop.
If you live inside of Ableton's arrangement view I'm not sure this will be all that useful; though the mixer is very nice and has animated VU meters for each track and send. If you primarily use session view this is definitely worth a look. Clip launching is fast, and navigation is fluid. You're limited to WIFI for communication, because clunky old MIDI won't send all the metadata, and I did experience latency on a WIFI-through-router setup. This latency wasn't game breaking though, and if you use any amount of quantization on clip-launching you probably won't mind it either. It is likely more graceful in an ad hoc connection.
It won't have me trading in my gloriously-knob-encrusted APC40, but I'd take Conductr over a Launchpad any day. Especially today, at 1/10th the price of Novation's hardware!
Free real-time effect app GrainProc, from Bent.fm developer Mayank Sanganeria, just joined Audiobus; in his own words, "Finally!" Unlike some other real-time effect apps we've seen in the past, this can actually be used in the Audiobus Effect slot!
GrainProc iTunes Description:
GrainProc provides an expressive control surface for granular manipulation of real-time audio input, well-suited for sonic sculpting and self-accompaniment of of guitar, voice, etc. Designed for quick control with fingers.
Audiobus support! Finally!
There is an interesting remix of Nine Inch Nail's The Warning using GrainProc, but that won't play on mobile or in Germany so I'm not embedding it. Instead; here is something kind of gentle and beautiful by the developers, playing at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.