Winter break is often a time to catch up on things. Without the usual daily and weekly routines of the semester, I often find I can pour long hours of focussed attention into a project between all the family festivities. This year, I had been think about my previous Max external development since talking to Eric Lyon about his book while in Greece for ICMC 2014. At that time, I started thinking that I needed to take better care of this old code and make it more accessible. The release of Max 7 soon after that confirmed for me that I needed to refresh this work, but it was the winter break that gave me time to dive in.
LowkeyNW Max package on GitHub
So I am please to announce that my Max externals are now available on GitHub complete with source code. All objects have been updated to work with the 64-bit version of Max on OS X and organized into a convenient package format. If you have used the Granular Toolkit or gverb~ external in the past, this should allow to you migrate patches to Max 7 and take advantage of the 64-bit sound processing. In addition, I am also producing short YouTube videos as I go along, so that people can easily see and hear what these externals do:
Some may be wondering, what does this mean for my involvement with Jamoma? Nothing. In fact, you may see me take advantage of some integration between the two projects as things move forward. But for now, I am just enjoying new life for some old friends that have become key parts of my sonic toolbox.
Overall, it was a very large conference in a spectacular setting. It was great to catch up on the work that so many people are doing during the day, then steal away for a few hours to take in the amazing landmarks around the city. Certainly one of the most memorable conferences I have ever attended!
Panorama from top of Areopagus, with Parthenon looming above on the right.
This summer, I returned to online teaching for Stetson with CSCI 111Q Intro to Computing. This course uses Processing to introduce fundamental programming concepts and is required of all Digital Arts majors at Stetson. I enjoyed the opportunity to review these concepts myself and get my feet wet with Processing, which I now find to be a fun and fast language for visual prototyping.
For the final project, students produced versions of Spacewar!, a classic computer game with a lot of moving parts. We broke it down to individual components and built the game step by step during the seven week summer semester. The video below shows game play from each completed project:
Spring 2014 gave me the chance to teach Audio Recording and Production 2 again. Although it was not during the summer like last time, I decided to keep the album challenge intact. With a much larger class this time, we were able to break into five groups working on five albums! Although there were some tense moments, each group turned in over 30 minutes of new music by the end of the semester. It’s really amazing how much music can be made if you just get to work.
The genres range from hip-hop to house to rockabilly to sea shanties, sometimes within the same album. You can download their MP3 or M4A albums at the links below and import them into your iTunes library. Listen and enjoy!
Evolution of Hip Hop (WARNING explicit lyrics) – produced by Robert Conte, Stephanie Rendell, Hallie Plunkett & Brinson Swann download ZIP archive – 48.7 MB – 10 tracks, 39 minutes
Fusion – produced by Aidan Marsicovetere, Dillon Moore, Maurie Murray, Joe Palermo & Victoria Williams download ZIP archive – 72.2 MB – 9 tracks, 33 minutes
(Kol)Las is Moore – produced by Paul Kollas & Trey Moore download ZIP archive – 51 MB – 12 tracks, 36 minutes
Soup Dat Sop – produced by Kevin Dull, Rich Fendler, Chad Grenier & JP Menegolo download ZIP archive – 81.5 MB – 11 tracks, 39 minutes
The Vans Bros (What’s the album called?) – produced by Matt Forkas, Ben Griffith, Thomas Ingui & Tavish Papp download ZIP archive – 87.1 MB – 10 tracks, 44 minutes
This year during Stetson’s spring break, I was happy to have the opportunity to return to Bergen. Although it was a special treat to return to Norway, the trip’s purpose was to participate in another Jamoma developers workshop. During our 6 days working at BEK, we resolved a number of issues that will get us closer to a version 0.6 release. In addition, we discussed improvements to our own workflow at great length, including the build scripts and integrated unit testing.
Over the last few months, a few of the other Jamoma developers and myself have been collaborating on a new way to automate unit testing. I recently completed a blog post that details how it works and the benefits this new system provides to our workflow. Please head over to the Jamoma blog and read about it.
Xcode 5 says my userCount didn’t match expectations.
Once again, students in DIGA 361: Audio Recording & Production gathered their best tracks into a compilation to share with listeners via the web. Our MP3 mixtape for 2013 features acoustic singer-songwriters, electronic dance music, and straight up garage rock. These diverse musical styles help to showcases all of the ways sound studio and DAW skills can be put to use.
In early June, I traveled to Albi France for a Jamoma developers workshop hosted by GMEA. It was certainly good to see old friends and make new ones while we discussed future plans for the project, worked intensely on the code and learned about how each other is applying it to creative work. Some of the highlights for me (besides the cuisine) included:
This spring semester, I wanted to do something different with my Computer Music 2 course. I had seen the workshops that L2Ork did at their local Boys & Girls Club and thought it was an idea worth replicating. Transitioning from Mac to Ubuntu was a task unto itself for my students, but in the end they learned so much by installing and configuring the pd-l2ork software. It was also very rewarding to see them teaching kids at our local Boys & Girls club about sound synthesis and hardware controllers.
The following video gives an overview of the project and our results: