I’ve invested in two Kickstarter projects so far: The Nature of Code by Daniel Shiffman and B Squares by Jordan McRae. Of these two, I’ve had and will have more use for the former. I’m not a musician, but I’m seriously considering investing in the Motion Synth by AUUG, a device and app to “transform your iPhone or iPod touch into an intuitive and expressive motion-controlled musical instrument.”
The AUUG app converts your iOS device’s motion sensor data into signals for shaping sound, and transfers these signals to other iOS sound apps or external devices. The AUUG app does not produce its own sounds, but instead acts to control other iOS audio apps running on the same device (as well as external devices), thereby giving the user the freedom and flexibility to choose from a much larger range of sounds than a single app could provide.
The AUUG app can be installed on iPhones (4S and up) and iPod touch devices (5th generation and up). It:
- Lets you play notes and alter their sound through motion.
- Is simple to use and can be set-up within seconds.
- Can expressively control a vast array of sounds on your iPhone or iPod touch by ‘playing’ other audio apps.
- Allows you to intuitively shape vocal harmonies and effects in real time by controlling harmonizer hardware devices or effect apps.
- Can wirelessly control software on a laptop or desktop computer.
- Can control non-wireless music hardware via MIDI cable.
- Will allow you to design your own forms of motion-based sound control, and share them with others.
I’ve long been a fan of Laurie Anderson with her vocal pitch adjustments, and body percussion. I don’t know what she uses these days but the sight of her playing back the recording tape on her violin bow was very striking. and this seems to be an excellent opportunity to have a digital equivalent tool.
D’Log posted a Spotify playlist recently, of Kraftwerk tracks covered by 8-bit artists. I’d never heard these before, but really like them. Kraftwerk’s recent re-workings of their old tracks are fascinating, but these cover versions, in some ways, are truer to the spirit of the original versions.
The 8-bit style isn’t always successful (such as the irritating track by the otherwise ingeniously inventive Penguin Cafe Orchestra), but it’s fascinating to see other people interpret Kraftwerk, and I don’t just mean re-mixes. The Balanescue Quartet covered five Kraftwerk tracks on Possessed in their contemporary string quartet approach.
Talking of old fashioned drum machines and synthesisers – Au Revoir Simone played live on the Radcliffe and Marconie Show last Monday on Radio 2, described by Mark Radcliffe as having overtones of Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass and Steve Reich. So that’s why I like them? Fair enough, except that description omits any reference to their vocals, which is surely a huge part of their style. Anyway, their first album is much better than their second (IMHO).
Feeling disoriented in time and space, having just seen the excellent The Day of The Doctor on the big screen. #drwho