Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This Week in Northern Cali

Writing from Dillon Beach, CA, where I'm at a little work retreat with my teammates...

If you get the Cycling '74 newsletter, today you'll be seeing a bigger version of the above image, along with my rave-ola about a Max for Live tool I've started using for quick-hit track creation. But the key to the device - and my excitement about it - is the use of the iPad and the Mira app to control it.

This is a kind of 'modular' that I really like: moving functionality to appropriate devices in order to better serve the artist. Moving this user interface (and, in fact, many interfaces) to something like an iPad makes the system more focused, easier for the audience to appreciate (rather than seeing your head stuck inside a laptop lid) but maintains the full value of your computer/software/plug-in investment. This, control surfaces (like the Maschine, Push 2 and Livid Alias 8 - all of which I currently use) and Arduino-based sensor systems all provide alternative interfaces to your work, and represent one of the exciting futures of modular-based artistry.

Right now, I've been diving back into C++ and writing an extreme looper for my live use - I want something as versatile as the RC-404, but with a little less clown makeup and a few more channels and options. I also want to prevent menu diving - which is at the heart of the 404. So I'm writing the heart of a looper in C++, embedding it into a Max object, then building the interface in Max - and exposing with Mira.

I'm not sure that Max people have paid attention to what's happened with Mira lately. The price was dropped to $10, it now has a wired USB option (for Mac computers) and is a lot more stable. It's been incredibly stable for me, and is going to be Main Interface #1 for my looper system. I'll make sure I do a video as this develops...


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