Note: We’re aware we have let this site go without updates, but that’s because Peter Kirn runs Create Digital Music and Create Digital Motion and Pete Dines continues to post at Modulations@noisepages. That said, we’ll certainly announce if we plan a new batch of feature content!
In the meantime, I find I’m coming across new materials nearly every day via Twitter (oddly enough, the new ground for such stuff), so I’ll begin selecting the best Native Instruments-themed inspirational clips and tips to share here. I have quite a backlog of material to share, so stay tuned here and on CDM.
First up – I’ve long been fascinated by the possibilities to use the computer screen for something other than just fake knobs. A simple oscilloscope can offer profound insight into sound, and that’s essentially analog technology. Imagine what’s possible in the real of digital visualization.
The first step is to simply get things up and running so you can begin experimenting. The wonderful electronic artist and audiovisualist ape5 has been posting some early experiments doing just that. Think of these as “Hello, World” work rather than finished projects – but I always enjoy watching that very process, and this looks promising.
1. Quartz Composer, the graphical patching tool for visuals bundled with the Mac developer tools (if you’ve got a recent Mac OS, you already own it, in other words). See Create Digital Motion for more QC resources.
2. Native Instruments Massive, in this case transmitting audio to produce the lovely patterns at top. (To analyze the audio stream, ape5 uses Quartz Composer’s Audio Spectrum object.)
3. Native Instrument Reaktor. With Reaktor, you have some choices – you could use audio, or you could use OpenSoundControl (OSC) to transmit control data.
ape5 also works with MIDI using the Mac’s IAC MIDI bus.
If you’re on Windows and interested in working in similar directions, check out vvvv (Windows-only) or the open-source Processing. On Windows, you don’t have built-in methods for routing audio and MIDI between apps, but check out tools like LoopBe for MIDI and ReaRoute for audio (a special ASIO driver you can install with the excellent production tool Reaper).
I’m working with other interfaces for visualizing and controlling sound, so I’ll be sure to share; they’ll work with NI’s tools via either MIDI or (with Reaktor) OSC.
There’s something magical about watching visuals locked to sound, but then, I can stare at oscilloscopes, too.
This find comes from the delicious Twitter feed Richard Devine maintains every day, found via Tom Davenport. There are too many great posts to allow them to get buried in Twitter, so I like reading via RSS.