In just under a month we’re running a Reaktor Hack Day with Native Instruments and you need to get involved

As I’m sure you’ll be aware I work with Heart n Soul, an amazing charity that works with people with learning disabilities. One of the main things I do there is bring innovative music technology companies of all sizes and shapes into Heart n Soul for our artists to test and give feedback on. As an aside, if you’re interested in being a part of that, let me know.

But right now I want to let you know about an event we’re running with Native Instruments next month.

Native Instruments have partnered with Heart n Soul and the London Music Hack Space to bring Reaktor builders a real test of their ensemble building skills. At the next Native Instruments London meet up on the 4th of December we’ll be running a hack day to build a Reaktor synth and an accompanying interface for Heart n Soul artists.

The challenge is in two parts; creating a synth for Heart n Soul using Reaktor, and also building a physical interface for the synth so it can be used by Heart n Soul artists. For the physical interface we’ve partnered with the London Music Hack Space, bringing their expertise into the mix.

In advance of the hack day we’ll be asking people to sign up to the challenge and form teams combining Reaktor builders and interface builders. On the day itself we’ll have teams working directly with artists from Heart n Soul to understand how they would like the synth and it’s interface to operate, giving key insights into how to build and design accessible musical instruments.

Of course there’ll be prizes too. Actually some pretty amazing prizes. More on that soon.

If this is something that interests you then watch this space as I’ll have details of how to sign up for the challenge very soon indeed.

It’s going to be a pretty amazing day, so get involved!

Tomorrow we’re off to Loop, if you’re going to be there, please say Hi!

Ableton’s Loop summit starts on Friday this week and I’ll be there for the whole weekend with Heart n Soul presenting this workshop, and it would be great if you wanted to come along and find out more about what we do at Heart n Soul and, more importantly, how.

If you’re going to be around please say hello as it would be lovely to meet/catch up with as many people as possible.

Hope to see you this weekend.

 

I don’t often tell you about academic events, but this one is quite different

The Designing Interfaces for Creativity Symposium really looks amazing. I wish that I could be there for the whole event, but sadly I can’t as it clashes with something else I’m doing, more about that later.

Designing Interfaces for Creativity combines a day of workshops with a second day of keynotes, panels and demos. Some of the workshops look really amazing, and I’m not sure how I’d choose between them.

  • Mini Oramics
  • Graphical Authoring of Interactive Applications with I-Score
  • Performing Sensory Cartographies
  • Autonomous Objects

It’s worth checking these out as they all look pretty amazing. You can read all about the entire event right here, and I’d suggest that if you want to go along you let them know as soon as possible.

Seeing Blocs Wave at the Apple Store Covent Garden

I’m going to start by saying that I wish Apple would do a load more events like this! I think it would be awesome.

It was great to see Blocs Wave run a session on their app at the Apple Store in Covent Garden. The session itself was packed with a mix of people, some who had used the app, some who were seasoned music makers, and a fair number of people who had never done anything like this before.

Toby gave a great run through of both LaunchPad, and also Blocs Wave too. They explained music making on iOS brilliantly and allowed plenty of time for everyone to play, make music, and have fun. So please, let’s have more of this, much more!

Who’s coming to the Beautiful Octopus Club? Pyka Loop!

You may not have heard of Pyka Loop before, their the maker of a rather amazing iPad app, that lets you create remarkable music from the sounds of the world around you.

Their app has big bold visuals and simple, intuitive interface. Pyka_loop is all about exploring new kinds of sound through experimentation & play. Which is also just about exactly what SoundLab is all about too.

With Pyka you can record, playback, loop, pitchshift and modulate any audio to spontaneously create compositions from the unlikeliest of sound sources. It’s a lot of fun for casual messing around, psychedelic street walks, live performance, one-man boogaloo … and the foundation of Pyka Loop’s much-loved looper courses for schools.

And our course they’re going to be with us tonight at the Beautiful Octopus Club, so come down and join us for an amazing event. Check out all the details here, and you can find out more about Pyka_loop on the app store too.

Who’s going to be at the Beautiful Octopus Club? AlpaSphere of course!

I’ve actually lost track of the number of events that I’ve used the AlphaSphere at. It’s a mainstay for SoundLab and we’ve loved it ever since we got it a couple of years ago. So it’s great to have them back again this year. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people react to it. That’s always a great experience.

If you’ve never played with an AlphaSphere before you should definitely come to the Beautiful Octopus Club today, 7pm at the Royal Festival Hall. You’re going to love it. Check out the details on our Facebook page here.

Who’s going to be at the Beautiful Octopus Club? … Reactify Music!

I’ve been a fan of Reactify Music since they launched their CRTL app (and I interviewed them about it). It was a great app and had a lot of potential. Of course it isn’t the only thing that Reactify do, in fact they’re actually quite prolific, and right now are involved with a variety of projects. You can find a few of them by searching their name on PalmSounds.

Well I’m very pleased to announce that Reactify are going to be with us tomorrow (9th September) at the Beautiful Octopus Club at the Royal Festival Hall. Reactify will be bringing their CTRL installation for you to play with. It’s pretty amazing to use, and I think that you’re going to love it!

So come down to the Beautiful Octopus Club tomorrow night. Check out the event details at our Facebook event page here.

 

Who’s going to be at the Beautiful Octopus Club? Bela is!

We’re really looking forward to having some very different and very interesting musical interfaces with us tomorrow at the Beautiful Octopus Club thanks to the Bela Platform coming to play with us on the fifth floor of the Royal Festival Hall.

I’ve been watching the Bela platform since first arrived on Kickstarter and it really is an amazing piece of technology that has enabled some inspiring projects. Tomorrow the team will be bringing projects that have been made with Bela, so come down and play and find something really different at the Beautiful Octopus Club, so please do check out the event details at our Facebook event page here.

 

Who’s going to be at the Beautiful Octopus Club this Friday … Goldsmiths and the Kurv!

I’ve know Dr Mick Grierson for a while now and I have to say that he is one of the smartest people in the music tech world that I know of. It’s going to be great to have the Kurv shown at the Beautiful Octopus Club this Friday (9th September) at the Royal Festival Hall.

If you’ve never heard of Kurv, here’s a bit more detail …

Based on research by Dr Mick Grierson at Goldsmiths, University of London, the Kurv combines advanced music synthesis software, sensor technologies and machine learning to enable an unprecedented level of new musical expression.

The Kurv consists of two parts: a button board, where you press chords and notes, and a pick. The pick contains a sensor that recognises strumming movements, just like playing a normal guitar. It has acoustic, electric and bass guitars, and comes with an app for iPhone or iPad, which connects via Bluetooth so there are no wires in the way of rocking out.

Mick says: “For the first time, we can run advanced music synthesis engines on your mobile phone. When you combine this power with wearable technologies and machine learning, you can develop new musical instruments that were considered science fiction only a few years ago.”

Dr Mick Grierson’s work on the Kurv forms part of a long-term Goldsmiths-led and European Commission-funded project called Rapid Mix, a consortium of computer scientists devoting years of research to the design and evaluation of wearable human-computer interfaces in creative fields such as computer games and music.

He’s also the research lead on SoundLab, a project testing out which digital music devices and apps can help people with learning disabilities make the music they want to make.

You can find more details on the Kurv here, and you can see it in action on Friday at the Beautiful Octopus Club. So please do check out the event details at our Facebook event page here.

Who’s going to be at the Beautiful Octopus Club … AC Sabre

You’ve heard me talking about the AC Sabre app before. I’m a big fan, a really big fan. I first saw the Sabre back in November last year when Hari, the brains behind this performance app came to the SoundLab event we had at NESTA. He caught my eye because everyone who used the Sabre had an almost instant smile on their faces, and that’s been the reception it’s had consistently ever since.

If you haven’t tried it out then you’re now going to get the opportunity this Friday at the Royal Festival Hall from 7pm. The AC Sabre will be there, not only to play with, but also Hari will be giving a performance too.

So please do check out the details at our Facebook event page here. You can find out more about the AC Sabre at the Air-Craft site, and check out the app on the app store here.

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