Pd via Kinect: SkyRon’s QuadTheremin and Sampler

Yeah, I know—straight out of 2011, but some of us have been busy with other distractions. So, above is a preview of a set of QuadTheremin essays, and below is SkyRon™’s initial performance , assisted by Pooster Beest, of Kick-Ass Kitty fame (view that video here).
And, yes, it’s not really four independent channels of theremin wonderfulness—more like two dual-pitch stereo channels. Both x- and y- axes  control different pitches on each hand, with the z-axis controlling dynamic/volume. I need to adjust the Pd-Kinect router patch in order to make the four channels truly independent.
I suspect this will be a useful start for approaching Kinect control of sound, especially if one keeps it simple—sure, we could have wahwah or vocoder effects added to each foot, but I’m not that good of a dancer! Hands are easier, plus we’ve all studied conducting anyway, right?
For a quick overview of how to build this, go here. Oh, and, ok, here is the first draft of a sample-player controlled in PureData via Kinect—enjoy!

Video Feedback Jam, Digital Folk Music, and Studio Nostalgia

Submitted for your perusal, in the eye candy/ear candy category, is this latest meme™ jam, a meditation on video feedback set to an unpolished, unsequenced electronic jam from 1991.

Visuals: two channels of Rutt-Etra video synthesizer set against a blurred video background. Input video is pointing at the screen for feedback. Created in Quartz Composer.

Music: Bad Mind Time™ Digital Symphonies, first few minutes of Volume I, part 1. The entire collection—over 12 hours of electronic and acoustic sketches and improvisations—was created between 1991 and 2005, and can be streamed, downloaded, or remixed here. BMTDS is one big, online musical sketchbook: lots of thumbnails, doodles, and scribbles in sound. Some sketches are very rough, some are more developed. There are multiple experiments with samplers, sequencers, keyboards, live and extended instruments, and voices.

You may hear echoes of your own electronic studio: Ensoniq ESQ-1 synth/sequencer, Roland S-10 sampler, Roland R-8 drum machine, the Casio VL-Tone, the Kawai G-Mega and Emu Proteus Orchestral midi modules, Alesis Microverb, Mackie 1202 mixer, Pioneer RT-2044 2/4 track open reel deck, Tascam DAT deck, Tascam 788 digital 8-track; Opcode Studio Vision Pro software run on a Mac Iici (25 mHz processor!), and/or the PowerBook 5300cs (100 mHz !). Ah, good times! And p.s., I’ve sold or given away almost all that vintage equipment (as well as all but 8 or ten LPs from a collection that was once maybe a couple thousand records), because, well, I’ve moved around a lot.

This is the sixth in a aeries of meme™ jams, short videojams to document how I’ve approached the form. The other five can be downloaded on iTunes.

PureData: Crash Course

You know, I’m such a late bloomer. We’re all supposed to discover love and Europe and graphical programming environments in our twenties, and then benefit from long years of further experience with them. Or not.

My current thought strikes a note of optimism, maybe: what if you just dive into PureData (pd) and see what you can do with it? Yes, of course I should have been working with it 20 years ago, but I was preoccupied with other pursuits.

So, now that I’ve had a couple of months of working with pd, and shown a couple of classes how to make simple synthesizers, samplers, and sequencers, I’ve put together a little overview of how to approach pd, as well as a very simple app (links to .zip of pd patches and info) that mixes a sampler with two channels of klang. I’ll probably even use it in the show in April—we’ll see.

Stay tuned!

For Your Post-Holiday Depression™!

For your post-holiday depression (see how thoughtful I am?)  : a slightly updated, dusted-off, new hosting of BAD MIND TIME™ Classic ! It’s been about eight years since I’ve done anything to polish these brutish crown jewels, and most of the Shockwave pieces weren’t working. So now they are, except for two, which I’ve YouTubed into video documentation (below). Also, a new Ten-Minute Tour, which really can now be done in ten minutes! (P.S. Use only Firefox for now!).

And don’t forget to stock up on way overpriced, obscure texts and unconventionalnon-monetizable, and morally ambivalent DVDs!