CatSynth video: Alesis Photon and iPhone

Synth jam with Alesis Photon, iPhone, and cat ­čś╗. From victimasdelspleen on Instagram.

CatSynth video: Cat, Alesis and iPod

From William Potter, victimasdelspleen on Instagram.

CatSynth video: shadow cat (modular synth)

From Ebotronix on YouTube, via matrixsynth. Quite the modular synth collection in this recording, plus one cool cat.

4ms Peg, QCD /Expander┬▓ ,QPLFO, RCD, VCA Matrix
Analogue Systems RS 100┬▓, RS110┬▓┬▓, RS 360┬▓
Bananalogue Serge VCS
Cyndustries Zeroscillator┬▓
Doepfer R2m, A101-2, A114, A118,A134┬▓┬▓, A143-2,A151┬▓┬▓
A152, A175┬▓┬▓,A185-2, A138abc, A192-1( 4Vox midi CC )
Flame 4 Vox ,Chord Machine┬▓, FX 16, Talking Synth Module┬▓
flight of harmony choices
Make Noise Brains ,PP┬▓,Maths┬▓,Moddemix┬▓┬▓,QMMG,
Optomix, Wogglebug┬▓
Malekko Anti┬▓┬▓, Unkle┬▓┬▓,Jag
Moog FreqBox┬▓┬▓, MP201
Roland SVC-350 Vocoder, System 104 Sequencer
SSL Modulation Orgy
Tip Top Audio Z8000 manual voltage source
Toppobrillo Quantimator┬▓(min pentatonic),Sportmodulator,TWF
Logic masterclock to Kenton Pro 2000
Rocktron Rack Interface┬▓
FX : Alesis 3630,Philtre,Boss VF-1,Lexicon PCM 80
Line 6 Echopro ,Red Federation BPM FX Pro
TC M one XL, M3000
mackie the mixer┬▓
drums Ultrabeat
vid # 1284

Battle of the iPad Docks at NAMM. Behringer iStudio and Alesis iO Dock

iPad docks seem to be a theme this year at NAMM. Basically, these are high-end iPad shells that provide audio and MIDI I/O functionality. Consider the iStudio from Behringer.

The iPad fits into the dock and serves both as the computer and screen. The dock provides several controls one would find in a small portable studio and then a host of standards I/O ports on the back, including XLR, 1/4″ audio, video and MIDI.

But no sooner had I encountered the Behringer model than I came across a very similar one from Alesis:

Here, the Alesis iO Dock is controlling the Korg iMS-20 iPad Synth. Like the Behringer, it has XLR, MIDI, unbalanced audio and video. They even both have footswitch inputs.

So which one is better? It’s not really something I can say. They seem more focused on people who want to use their iPad as a workstation rather than as a live instrument the way I do, which requires being able to move it freely (and switch to portrait mode) and lift it show to the audience. But now that several companies are coming out with docks, maybe we will see more variations.

CatSynth pic: Gravitarium 2.

Via matrixsynth:

This one in via Silent Strike who composed the tracks for the app with a Clavia Nord Modular 1, Micron Alesis, Jomox Mbase, Reason 4 Propellerheads, M-audio Axiom 25, Elektron Drumachine (pic at the bottom of this post). The app does not allow you to manipulate sound, but I thought it was interesting to acknowledge some of the gear used to create the audio for this app. The Waldorf Blofeld and Yamaha AN200 pictured however were not used.

Looks like Silent Strike had a studio supervisor involved.

There is also info on the app itself.

Gravitarium 2 combines music, art and science in one relaxing experience. Use all your fingers to guide the star flow. You can create 10 different animations depending on the number of fingers touching the screen:

1 – Rocket, 2 – Sparkle, 3 – Energy flow, 4 – Atomic, 5 – 3D freeze, 6 – Circularium, 7 – Fish, 8 – Vortex, 9 – Lasers, 10 – Lightning.

Use different options to create spectacular drawings made of stars. You can load the “Drawing” preset from the “Options” screen.

I will be taking a look at this app. The idea of creativity and relaxation does appeals to me, but the game-play part is a bit less exciting – though it is the trend in the mobile-app space.

John Butcher, Bill Hsu and Gino Robair at Artist Television Access

live visuals by Bill Hsu

Two Sundays ago, I attended a performance at Artist Television Access featuring electro-acoustic audio-visual improvisations with John Butcher, Bill Hsu and Gino Robair. Bill Hsu provided the visual elements of the performance using the visualization environment Processing. (I have been interested in Processing for a while, and used it in the abstract graphics in my video piece featuring Luna.) Gino Robair had an array of electronic devices, including a Blippo Box and an Alesis effects unit, and acoustic percussion for a variety of sounds. John Butcher provided the low-tech counterpoint on saxophone.

I arrived late to an already pitch-black room as the first piece was concluding. (I was late because I was looking for a parking spot, which in the Mission is usually an ordeal. and I rarely drive there, but I had to on this night because of other obligations.) The next piece began in darkness, with small colored dots and a very sparse musical texture. The sound primarily consisted of electronic drones and long saxophone tones. As the the dots began to expand, so did the music. It became more active and featured more percussive sounds from Robair. As the graphics grew more complex, with swells and streaks, the music veered from discrete sounds to outright skronking with long runs of fast notes from both performers.

The next piece featured graphics that reminded me a bit of finite-element simulations with large numbers of particles forming in and out of patters. At first the particles seemed to form glyphs or characters of a written language, but then dissolved into smoke. This was set against sparse music, featuring bowed metal. (It was too dark to see, but I am pretty sure this was Gino Robair’s signature cracked cymbal.) The graphics shifted gradually over time, sometimes it seemed more like water, sometimes more like sand. Towards the end, the music (both saxophones and percussion) moved towards rather piercing high tones.

After a brief intermission, the performance resumed with the now familiar sound of the Blippo Box. It is interesting how despite having chaotic processes, this instrument has a very distinctive set of timbres and contours that are quickly recognizable. I did find out after the performance that the Blippo Box was being used in conjunction with an Alesis effects unit, which added more dimensions to the sound without changing its inherent character. Butcher attempted to match the sound on his saxophone, coming into unisons on the steady-state pitches, but then moving in chaotic runs of fast notes are growling timbres during the more turbulent output from synthesizer. The graphics during this piece focused on two closed elements, one yellow and one purple. They were mostly round shapes that curved in on themselves, but they occasionally coalesced into representational objects, such as a complex cross shape with sub-bars on the end (a bit like an Eastern Orthodox crucifix), and vague outlines of human figures.

The next piece was a sharp contrast musically, with drum samples and live percussion set against percussive saxophone effects, such as key clicks and tonguing. The graphics featured a red star with a roiling plasma surface that expanded over time.

The graphics in the final piece connected most strongly with my own visual aesthetics. It featured patterns of vertical bars overlaid periodically with large dots. The patterns started out simple, focusing on just a few elements on colors, but got more complex and richly colored over time. The music set against these visuals again featured the Blippo Box and its constantly changing but distinctive sound palette. But rather than attempting to match it, Butcher’s saxophone provided a counterpoint. He wove together active lines and melodies that on occasion were distinctively jazz-like, and then moving back and forth between long runs and series of loud inharmonic tones.