Music, namm, performance, Photography, Wordless Wednesday
Posts Tagged ‘namm’
This afternoon we at CatSynth avoid our responsibilities by presenting another highway interchange.
[click to enlarge]
I actually got to know this interchange quite well during my recent NAMM trip, and ended up at one point or another on each of the highways.
There is actually an ulterior motive in doing a highway post today. I am planning on doing a few posts on the intersection of art and highways (no pun intended). While I have collected a few examples myself, I would welcome suggestions from readers.
california, namm, Photography, vacant lot, Wordless Wednesday
Our last post from NAMM 2010 features more images from the Analogue Haven booth, where I spent a fair amount of time.
First up, a modular from Make Noise:
I was particularly intrigued by the two-dimensional sequencer module (in the lower left). A wide variety patterns can be generated along the X and Y axis and modified by selectively removing elements or subsections.
This video probably doesn’t do it justice, but it at least provides some atmosphere:
A portable modular rock (from Analog Rocket) featuring modules from The Harvestman, including the Hertz Donut and Piston Honda:
If I put together a modular system anytime soon, I would want that monorocket case.
Of course, there are a splattering of Doepfer modules in many of these setups.
A compact modular setup from Tiptop Audio:
Muzundrum is a “game of musicians”. In the standard game, players take turns rolling 12-sided (dodecahedral) dice that contain one of the twelve tones in standard Western music and attempting to place the die on the board to form chords and scales from standard tonal music theory. For example, if a player rolls a G, he or she can place it next to a C and E on the board to form a C-major triad.
There are of course many variations on the game. And the twelve sided dice can also be interesting tools for chance compositions or guided improvisation.
We now have a pair of sample dice here at CatSynth HQ:
The black die has the standard tones as described above, while the white has the solfege syllables do, re, mi, fa, so, etc.
The State Zero is a large patchable synthesizer. Among its novel features are polyphony (patchable synthesizers are typically monophonic per oscillator unit) and the ability to “memorize” the most recent state of the patch even after the cords of removed. There is also a display feature that shows the signals of the most recently patched elements:
I like the industrial design and the textless graphical elements representing knobs and units, reminiscent of international symbols.
The Eigenharp Alpha from Eigenlabs:
The instrument looks a bit like an “electronic bassoon”, but beyond the mouthpiece, long thin shape and wood finish, it is quite different. It has 128 discrete keys that are also sensitive to pressure and motion in two directions, several large heavier keys and continuous controller ribbons. As such, it has the potential to be a very expressive instrument.
There is also a small version, the Eigenharp Pico:
And a new intermediate version, the Tau:
I particularly like the sleeker, modernist design on the Tau.
I did hear some demonstrations, which showed the features of the instrument, but focused on very conventional sounds and performance techniques. There were standard software synthesizers with keyboard and wind control, percussion sounds and beats and patterns controlled by the keys. With so many degrees of freedom and the ability to map different axes of expression to different musical parameters, I would like to see such an instrument used to push musical expression in novel directions. To this end, it is great to see that they are making their SDK open source. The first extension I would recommend is an OSC (OpenSound Control) protocol interface.
guitar, Music, musician, namm, performance, Photography, Wordless Wednesday
Jeff Snyder of Snyderphonics poses with the new Snyderphonics Manta, a “a touch-sensitive interface for controlling music or video.”
The Manta has a series of hexagonal sensors with LEDs that can be used as independent controls or together as a large X-Y control surface. I’m always interested in new control surfaces, and wouldn’t mind trying one of these out.
The jamLink from MusicianLink allows musicians to play together from different locations via high-speed internet. Below we see two performers onsite at NAMM jamming with a guitarist in Plano, Texas, which was 1438 miles (2312 km) away:
(Can you spot the obligatory cat in this picture?)
The performance was relatively tight, though one could hear a slight bit of delay or hesitation on the first beat of some measures.
I have actually had a chance to glimpse the jamLink during its development, and would like to use it in the future. At the moment, however, it is doubtful that the network service at CatSynth HQ is up to the task.