Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Track - In Deep

Here's a little track I recorded with my modular and monome a bit ago. The interesting thing here is the organic and shakey quality of the tones. It's definitely analog in a unpredicatable and pleasing way. At least it's pleasing to me.

InDeep by barnone

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'll take One Alpha Please!

Ok, I friggin did it. I ordered an Eigenharp Alpha...and only days after the announcement. I'm not usually a sucker for a slick marketing campaign and PR blitz. I think what happened here was a lot of pent up frustration with midi and keyboards and other controllers and a vision of what could be suddenly became a physical object of desire, put on preorder at a lofty price, finished in fine wood and metal. Days after said act, I am not repentant in the least. In fact I am feeling better and better about it. Granted I really don't think this is for everyone. Early adopters are a strange lot. If the shit hits the fan, I can hack and program my way into something useable for me. I have a decent understanding of the technical approach they are taking, the limitations and risks. Basically, I'm starting an eigenharp weblog right now. I am very optimistic at this point that this instrument is truly not just unique but fairly revolutionary. I cheer these guys on as it is surely not an easy task or a small one. I especially applaud the fact that they have released something like the Alpha that is also a fine work of craftmanship. While the price is expensive, so is a fine guitar. I don't expect that this will be the only price points for these instruments, but I do think it worthwhile and telling that they produce and instrument that is designed to last decades, like a Gibson Les Paul or a Strat or Tele from the 60's. That's a truly bold statement that I have to respect.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Eigenharp's Big Ambitions Involve Open Source

More details are emerging on the Eigenharp everyday. I must say that this controller has me pretty excited. It seems to align well with ideas that I have been playing with recently around how to design a better performance keyboard device in general. Certain concepts using the Monome grid to play scales in SevenUpLive are reflected in the design of the Eigenharp's grid as well. After having played with such a grid arrangement of buttons tied to scales, I can say that it is a highly productive and exciting way to play music that does away with the physical limitations and quirks of traditional fingering arrangements, for example on the guitar or piano keyboard. Moreover you can use software to move and transpose fingerings by keys or degrees in the scale on the fly.

The Eigenharp goes much further than just a nice controller layout. It also has super sensitive controls with x,y,z data, for velocity, tremelo, and whatever else you decide to tie to them. Combined with very high sampling rates and data throughput, the instruments biggest problem will be the fact that virtually no existing software can deal with the possible volume and expressiveness of the data produced. This is why it's important that there is also software packaged with it to provide support for this data internally and to transform the data into packages that existing plugins and even Midi instruments can handle.

The biggest fear in all of this is to have a totally proprietary system where integrations to the instrument and it's software cannot be made by external parties. Luckily recent interviews and information coming out of the company point to open sourcing of the protocols and APIs, allowing external developers to build the bridges to other systems. I'm encouraged by what I am hearing.

The Create Digital Music blog has a great article detailing the plans for the protocol and APIs here: Eigenharp on Create Digital Music

An informative series of interviews with the founder on Sonic State.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monomeet just wrapped up in Princeton, NJ last weekend. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a meeting of monome people and monome interested people and other assorted gawkers.

Watch this location for videos that are posted or soon to be posted.

monomeetfall2009 on Vimeo

There is also a soundcloud account with performance audio posted that is definitely worth your attention.

Audio on Soundcloud

I didn't make it to the East Coast but instead woke up and did a video performance contribution remotely. We announced a beta version of SevenUpLive that has some very nice enhancements to it's melodizers that enable a player to transpose the notes they are playing or patterns they have recorded across modes and keys of a scale.

Bliss - SevenUpLive 1.4 Preview from bar|none on Vimeo.