SoundLab Play Space: Ototo

You probably already know that I’m a big fan of Dentaku’s Ototo board. I’ve been using the Ototo since I got mine from their Kickstarter campaign. I think it’s a really interesting way of making music. It’s versatile and simple to use, and it’s battery powered!

Whilst you’ll often see an Ototo used with fruit (a bit like we have it set up here), that really doesn’t do justice to the hardware. The board can be connected to a wide variety of things, but in my view where it excels is in the use of its sensors.

I’ve got most, if not all the sensors that Ototo comes with now, but I have to say that using these makes it a really interesting device for trying out ideas.

Sadly we didn’t have any sensors to use at the Play Space, but even so it went down very well indeed.

SoundLab Play Space: School of Noise

School of Noise were a real find. I only met them about a fortnight before the Play Space event but they were so awesome we had to have them along for the day, and luckily, they could make it.

They brought a huge array of equipment with them from littleBits to Ototo to pedals and more. They’re stuff was brilliant and what they do is incredible.

It’s strange as I missed seeing School of Noise at WOMAD this year. They ran a workshop for kids using some of the gear you can see above. I wish I’d got a chance to be at that. But even so, it was great to have them at the Play Space.

From what I could see, and the brief feedback I got, they went down a storm. I’m looking forward to working with them a bit more in the future. Stay tuned for that!

If you want to know more about the School of Noise then check their web site here.

SoundLab Play Space: LoopTree

I asked LoopTree to come along to the SoundLab Play Space and was so happy that they said yes. I’d never met Ed from Coding Cod Ltd (the makers of LoopTree), but now that I have I can tell you that he’s an awesome guy and was a real star at the Play Space.

LoopTree seemed to have a constant stream of people having a play with looping, including Chris who came back 5 times I think!

Ed and LoopTree were a part of our App Zone, which we had to slightly rename the Apple App Zone as it turns out that there are no promo codes for Google Android apps! I only found that out recently and was quite surprised to be honest. That’s probably a discussion for a different day anyway.

The App Zone ended up being a very busy space in the end, and we managed to give out a huge number of promo codes for apps which were very generously given to us by kind developers. I’ll be thanking each of you in separate posts.

However, for now, I’d like to say a big thank you to Ed for his app, for coming along to SoundLab’s Play Space and for being awesome. I really hope that both I and Heart n Soul get the chance to work with you again.

If you don’t know LoopTree, then check it out on the app store. Think of it as a combination between Samplr and Loopy. What’s more, it’s on sale at the moment, and down from $11.99 to $6.99.

SoundLab Play Space: So, Why NESTA?

It occurred to me not everyone would know either who NESTA are, nor why it was a good place for the SoundLab Project to be.

Well the SoundLab project itself was made up of a number of organisations and was funded by NESTA (The National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts). So it made a lot of sense to have our event right there.

SoundLab Play Space: Making Sure that everyone knows what everything is

Not only was it a big day overall, but it we had a lot of people, staff, volunteers and people from all the technology companies we’d invited for the day. So it was important to make sure that everyone knew who was where and what needed doing where etc.

This was our chat space where Justin had a series of interesting talks with a wide range of people including NESTA’s Tim Plyming, an Tim Exile as well.

This was our serious play space which was where you could come up and play on instruments in a band that sounded great irrespective of your musical experience or expertise. It took a long time to get the pop up band (as we call it) working the way we wanted it, but now that it is it’s a great way to get almost anyone up and enjoying making a sound very quickly.

Getting set up for the SoundLab Play Space

The Play Space was a big event. We had a lot of different technology companies there and a lot of different performances talks and more. It was big. Big and complicated too, but it was worth it.

Just above you can see School of Noise (expect to hear a lot about them from me in the coming weeks) getting set up. They had some amazing gear with them, from littleBits to Ototo to MFOS, to coconuts (yes you read that correctly). More of them soon enough though.

This was our tech zone or market place, depending on who you were talking to, and, you might remember the gentlemen from Studio Amplify who were at the event and showing NOiZE.

And here’s Mr Concretedog who came down to help on the day with Bare Conductive Pads and lots more besides.

On the other side of that space we had SubPac with their awesome speaker systems. Again, more of them soon enough.

Expect some stuff about the SoundLab Play Space

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to start posting a load of stuff about the SoundLab Play Space event that happened on Wednesday of this week, but I didn’t get around to it and so it didn’t happen.

Today is going to be different, and, at the very least I’ll be posting a few things about the day and how it went.

The first couple of pictures above were just the entry space to where we were holding the event at NESTA’s offices. In fact they’re pretty nice offices and a very good location, so we were lucky to be able to use the venue.

This was our signage directing people around the space itself.

So that’s just a starter, there’ll be more on here today showing how the event went and also who was there and what they were showing.

A very quick thank you to everyone who helped and contributed to the SoundLab Play Space yesterday

I just wanted to get a brief thank you out to everyone who either came along to show their technology and what they do, or gave promo codes for us to give out, or helped in any other way. It was an awesome day and everyone who came seemed to have a brilliant time.

I will be posting photos and more detail about the event soon, but just wanted to say a quick thank you for now.

SoundLab Play Space Shout Out: Bare Conductive

I’ve been a fan of Bare Conductive’s TouchBoard for a long time, even though I’m not sure that a lot of people get how it can be used in a musical context. I think it has a really interesting set of possibilities for use in all kinds of musical contexts, and hopefully we’ll be showing some of these at the SoundLab Play Space on Wednesday.

So if you’re coming along to the Play Space on Wednesday then take a look at what’s possible using the TouchBoard.

SoundLab Play Space Shout Out: Coding Cod

Many of you will already know the excellent LoopTree from Coding Cod, but what you won’t know is that Coding Cod will be joining me at the SoundLab Play Space this Wednesday to show off their app to a wide and diverse audience of musicians and educators.

It’s great to have people like these guys who are happy to help out at important events like the play space. I’m really looking forward to it and to meeting them for the first time too.

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