Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

MIT Students' Audiopad Mixes Electronic Music

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the cool-videos dept.

Music 122

nicodemus05 writes "Grad students at MIT's Media Lab have come up with an innovative control device called the Audiopad to run their digital music studio. The Audiopad, '...is a composition and performance instrument for electronic music which tracks the positions of objects on a tabletop surface and converts their motion into music.' It's practical, but more importantly it looks really, really cool."

cancel ×

122 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

watt proplem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497477)

wat proplem wit fp??? audiopad 4 fag0tz kthx bai.. gnaa=losar

LOVE TRIANGLE EXPOSED (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497533)

Re:LOVE TRIANGLE EXPOSED (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497788)

This is really fucked up.
I mean, this guy should be fucking taken out and a bullet to be put through his head.

Fucking sick fuck wanker.

The BPAA Is Looking for a Few Good BP's! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497743)

Join BPAA Today!

BPAA (BISEXUAL POLYNESIAN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which gathers BISEXUAL POLYNESIANS from all over America and abroad for one common goal: Being BISEXUAL POLYNESIANS.

Are you BISEXUAL?
Are you a POLYNESIAN?
Are you a BISEXUAL POLYNESIAN?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, then BPAA (BISEXUAL POLYNESIAN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join BPAA (BISEXUAL POLYNESIAN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time BPAA member.
BPAA (BISEXUAL POLYNESIAN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fastest-growing BISEXUAL POLYNESIAN community with THOUSANDS of members all over United States of America. You, too, can be a part of BPAA if you join today!

Why not? It's quick and easy--only 2 simple steps!

Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today!

If you are having trouble locating #BPAA, the official BISEXUAL POLYNESIAN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is EFNet, and you can connect to irc.secsup.org [secsup.org] or irc.isprime.com [isprime.com] as one of the EFNet servers.

If you have mod points and would like to support BPAA, please moderate this post up.

This post brought to you by a proud member of BPAA
` __________________________________________________ ______
| ______________________________________._a,________ _____ |
| _________________________aj#0s_____aWY!400._______ _____ |
| __ad#7!!*P_____.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#_______ _____ |
| _j#'___0#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_____ _____ |
| _"#g____01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_____ _____ |
| __oe__tyugk____*@`gpdNl_______-!^_________________ _____ |
| ___lkp____ghq___pTW_______________________________ _____ |
| ____mw_____ff___oef_______________________________ _____ |
| _____er__ww_______________________________________ _____ |
| ______xde___BISEXUAL_POLYNESIAN_ASSOCIATION_OF_AME RICA_ |
| __________________________________________________ _____ |
` __________________________________________________ ______'

bpaa representative #648437

Its practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497483)


if you happen to have 12ft ceilings and a video projector to spare, otherwise its nothing more than a university toy

needless to say it's very cool, just need to integrate it into a table with the projector pointing up onto say a translucent surface rather than down onto a surface

Re:Its practical (3, Funny)

tankdilla (652987) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497503)

needless to say it's very cool, just need to integrate it into a table with the projector pointing up onto say a translucent surface rather than down onto a surface

Better yet, make it work in a 3d space, where full body motion translates into music. There are a few actions that would translate into some interesting 'music' i'm sure.

Re:Its practical (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497535)

I've already done this, when we were kids, me an my sis joe, we loosened one screw in mom's bed so we can hear whenever she has a friend over. It worked pretty well, well enough for us to calculate the number of thrusts, the duration, delta T, and so on.

Incredibly, joe now works for NASA.. while I wither away in unemployment (who wants to hire a SCO admin?!)

Re:Its practical (2, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497603)

Already been done. It's called a Theremin.

http://www.thereminworld.com/learn.asp

KFG

Re:Its practical (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497620)

Leon Theremin did that back in the 20's. It was called a Terpsitone [raylab.com] and worked off of body capacitance.

Re:Its practical (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497729)

I'm pickin' up good vibrations...

Re:Its practical (1)

Kurt Russell (627436) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497598)

if you happen to have 12ft ceilings and a video projector to spare

All I can say is George Lucas meets her [clubjenna.com] .

Sure (4, Funny)

minghe (441878) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497484)

But can I play Chopsticks on it?

I tried it with IE... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497486)

and the sounds I got were:

Pop, pop, pop-up, pop-up, zoooooom, flash!, pop, vrroooom, crash, thud!

And then:
It appears your application has crashed. Would you like to mail a copy of the dump to Microsoft?

-

huh? (0, Offtopic)

waitigetit (691345) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497594)

Oh, I gettit, you mean microsoft software is crappy, so it would crash with Internet Explorer. HAHAHA LOL

Get it? Microsoft is crappy?

How long until... (3, Funny)

daveo0331 (469843) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497489)

Someone gets sued by the RIAA for arranging the objects in their cube the wrong way?

Re:How long until... (1)

photon_chac (306576) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497741)

i wonder if i get the patent for it , can i claim copyrights on all the music pieces that could be generated using this magic device.

Re:How long until... (1)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498459)

Even if this was a joke, you do have to realize how ridiculous that sounds, right? Just as you couldn't patent a guitar and then own every piece of music played by said guitar, you couldn't do it with this, either.

But then, I've always had a penchant for stating the absolutely obvious.

Don't you dare comment! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497497)

If you're taking the time to write a comment on this story, DON'T. Instead, take that same amount of time to write a one page, reasoned, intelligent letter to your Senators (you have two, you know that?) telling them that you disapprove of this bill, telling them WHY (privacy violation, overextension of copyright, and so forth are good places to start), and encouraging them to work against it. Not tomorrow morning, RIGHT NOW. Get away from that Submit button and go write a letter to someone who could actually do something. Then send it snail mail to their LOCAL office (not DC office), or fax it. (Not email. Many offices don't pay attention to email, although some do.)

I don't want to see any replies to this post. Get away from Slashdot and do something other than whine, or you'll have no one to blame but yourself.

Are you still here? Stop reading and start acting!

Re:Don't you dare comment! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497517)

"your Senators (you have two, you know that?"

Me... I'm not sure. I only have two balls. Why would you equate Senators to balls? No one complains that I've got two balls. I'm not uncomfortable having two full balls. Maybe you don't have them, so you just post as an Anonymous Coward?

Re:Don't you dare comment! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497532)

Good try but wrong article for that troll. You couldn't wait 24 hours for Fritz Hollings (D-Disney) to open his mouth?

Re:Don't you dare comment! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497597)

LOLOL!11!!!1 OMG ROFL WTF "write a letter" LOL

ASSCLOWNERY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497677)

Listen buddy I've had enough of your assclownery!

I've seen it live.... (4, Insightful)

lennart78 (515598) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497506)

I've actually seen this device in action and I was amazed. I think the way it interacts with the user/musician is something a lot of people are looking for. Let's hope some manufacturers of musical devices take note of this project and incorporate some of it's ideas in products that can be made available for a broader range of people.

Re:I've seen it live.... (3, Interesting)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497521)

I watch out for this stuff all the time.

It's not always practical to apply this technology to the music-instrument market, though. The economy of the musical instrument market is a pretty tight one, sometimes - licensing things like this for incorporation into a product can make or break a product. I don't think the D-Beam or any of the other Ir-based controllers, for example, resulted in any kind of increased revenues, but they sure did cost a bundle to license.

As far as integrating alternative-control methods into musical instruments, we're actively engaged in research, within certain constraints.

There may well be some interesting new synthesizers on the horizon ...

Re:I've seen it live.... (4, Interesting)

lennart78 (515598) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497579)

Excuse me for being software-minded, but wouldn't it be possible to use some of the control-functions and build a MIDI-controller to use with softsynths, or even modular software such as Reaktor?
I think it would offer some interesting possibilities.

Re:I've seen it live.... (4, Interesting)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497762)


Yes, of course it would be possible, but I don't work for a software synthesizer manufacturer, I work for a hardware synthesizer manufacturer.

We actually make money (soft synth guys don't, pity for them). This means it is more seductive for someone to require us to license something like this technology.

We'd rather just come up with it ourselves.

Either way though, the lesson to be learnt from MIT is that there is a loooot of room for improvement in the control surface side of things.

(We know that already, though.)

Re:I've seen it live.... (1)

the_consumer (547060) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498256)

I don't work for a software synthesizer manufacturer, I work for a hardware synthesizer manufacturer.

I'd say that as a virtual analog synth manufacturer, access is both.

Re:I've seen it live.... (1)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498332)

No, we only sell hardware ... (okay indigo TDM is 'soft' but you still need custom hardware to run it...)

We dont do softsynths.

Re:I've seen it live.... (1)

the_consumer (547060) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498558)

So there's no software in those virtual analogs, eh? Neat trick.

Re:I've seen it live.... (2, Interesting)

entartete (659190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497727)

The d-beam did seem to add some 'gee whiz' factor to the groovebox things roland stuck it on to, which might have not directly sold many units (I own one, and mostly because of the d-beam and general knobbyness of it, to use as a portable machine to play with live, but i picked it up used so roland didn't directly make any money from me) but it might have paid off in terms of advertising/name recognition. I did a lot of my graduate work using a Very Nervous System (gestural control system using a couple cameras that could track motion,etc) and without fail everytime i'd perform with it in public someone would go 'hey! that's like that thing on the mc-505!' and a mini roland commercial would ensue. dunno if that it would completely justify the costs though. For the forseeable future though I agree that it wouldn't be worth if for most synth companies to build any of the more exotic interfaces directly into an instrument. but it might be worth it for an instrument manufacturer to work closely with a third party controller manufacturer and make certain their synthesizer worked especially well with whatever gizmo the interface maker was coming out with, make a bank of preset sounds that work well with it, much like how a lot of yamaha fm synths have patches designed for some sort of vector sweep like control or for wind controllers, midi guitars, etc as well as make sure that the interface shipped with an instrument definition for whatever your new synth is. If access would like to give me one of those oh so pretty indigo2's i'd be happy to help out with some gestural control oriented patches for it. ;)

Re:I've seen it live.... (1)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497767)

If access would like to give me one of those oh so pretty indigo2's i'd be happy to help out with some gestural control oriented patches for it. ;)

We already have patches like that in our patch archive, but nice try! :)

As for the D-Beam, I think its time is not yet upon us, but like so many aspects of the synthesizer industry, it may yet come one day ...

Re:I've ALREADY seen it live.... (1)

KMnO4 (684253) | more than 10 years ago | (#6499318)

saw something like this at the London Architecture Association (avant-garde architecture school) in 1997.

Re:I've seen it live.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497621)

"I think the way it interacts with the user/musician is something a lot of people are looking for."

Just not any musicians. All MITS "musical" instruments are shit. I went to a demonstration a few years ago, in London. People were just walking out through the demo. I have to admit not making it through to the end.

MIT - Where art-wank meets science.

more information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498079)

I've spoken with one of the designers and there is more information on my website here [sejus.com] .

visit earth2willi.com! [earth2willi.com]

Re:I've seen it live.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498123)

i woudnt be so suprised if ms or sony were to buy the rights to it and add it to the ps2 or xbox like that eye toy

Wonder what it'd cost (1)

J4 (449) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497508)

They could sell a million of these. I love the sample selection interface. I didn't see any details on the FX loop, but it's still really, really cool.

Why are TI calcs so shitty? (0, Offtopic)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497655)

I've been looking over the tech specs for all the TI calculators, and
I can't argue that these calculators are spectacular. They are the
most ingenious pieces of equipment for school use and such. However,
they're hardware is very inferior. The hard disk so to speak only is
about 30K. The processor runs at 6MHz? It only has an assembly
language, not something better? My gosh, on today's technology, hd
space is 6 *cents* a meg? And hard drives are the size of a TI calc.
If u shrink down the hd to that of a mini cassette, and put it in the
TI, u could get about 1/3 a gig. And you could probably do better,
because I've seen a mini cassette for the computer that holds a gig,
and the drive it goes in to is only 1 cm bigger on each side. And the
chip? The 486 chips are like $30 bucks nowadays, and they run at
66MHz. AMD chips are $75 for a 133MHz version. And the display screen.
I've seen sony watchman that were smaller and they have a color screen
at 320x200.

Basically, what I'm saying is with today's current technology and its
cheapness, TI could probably come out with a calculator that could
outperform my computer (mine is a 486 DX2-50) for the same price as
their 92, and I don't know why they aren't trying.

.mov file not running (1)

nuclearsnake (257605) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497522)

Anyone else have problems running the .mov? Even on my iMac it refuses to run.

BTW: That is one sick device!

Re:.mov file not running (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497570)

What do you expect? The .mov file format is designed by flaming homos, and thus cannot be used for any purpose that doesn't include filthy, gay porn.

Re:.mov file not running (1)

Johnny5_uk (24767) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497628)

Nope runs fine on my iBook, running Debian and Xine ;)

Nothing to see here (1)

minghe (441878) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497523)

Really, is this anything else than your regular loop arranging sofrware (read E-jay, MMM...) but with a different interface? A cool interface, I guess, and it does open up some interresting performance possibilities.

But is it useful for other kinds of creation than synching timetretched chunks, predetermined snippets and drumloops? It seems I wouldn't have any control over the details of the music.

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6499456)

.
I agree. This is a cool I/O device, but that is all. The "music" is the same MIDI boom-boom-wappa-ching-ching crap we've listened to for the last twenty years. Pul-eeze move on to something different, people!

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6499609)

Do these MIT kids who pay $30k a yr for school have anything better to show than a new loop device? Seems like a big waste to me.

Sounds great (4, Funny)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497537)

...but since I can't access the page, I'll just say that if they can make a similar device to convert the death throes of a webserver into digital music, we could have some real fun during slashdottings :)

Re:Sounds great (2, Funny)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497591)

I'd imagine it'd sound somethng like pac-man dying, or a wind up music box 2 seconds before it's completely static.

Or HAL (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498407)

Singing his ode to Daisy.

Re:Sounds great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497773)

Will these losing slashdotting "jokes" ever stop...?

I really wonder how gay you have to be to mod crap like that up. Seriously, does anyone find that stuff funny? Or are you just afraid to be punished in metamod for modding lame attempts at humor like that down like it should be?

Re:Sounds great (2, Insightful)

Illserve (56215) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497781)

There's value in tradition.

The interface is amazing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497554)

But I bet the thing will be expensive to produce. You need a video projector, a computer powerful enough to handle high frame rate 2D graphics, and DSP circuitry to locate the source of multiple radio signals in a 2D space. Talk about a big chunk of cash.

Re:The interface is amazing.. (2, Insightful)

minghe (441878) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497569)

This could probably be made with more affordable hardware, like a TFT touch screen, or even a regular monitor and an XY pad. It would take a slight adjustment of the original constuction, interface-wise. But the main idea would still be applicable.

The really low budget version of this would be a software-only product controlled by mouse. It would probably sell, even though some functionality would probably be lost.

Re:The interface is amazing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6499582)

We did something similar to this in one of our computer art classes. We tracked different color chips with cameras mounted above a piece of cardboard with the layout drawn on it. Move the red chip here to pick up this sample, put it on the player etc.

Re:The interface is amazing.. (2, Informative)

srinner (68596) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497588)

some years ago there was a toy-company called Zowie (bought by LEGO as far as I know) they had two products - a "pirate ship" and a "garden" where you could frrely move around some small dolls and their accurate position was transmitted to a connected PC - they did all the positioning stuff some custom chip included in the toy - so producing this stuff cheap in large quanitities is no problem at all

- stefan

I see a problem (2, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497776)

Never mind all the fancy stuff, I think the basic problem is students and fairly clear table space.

Done before? (4, Insightful)

m1kesm1th (305697) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497563)

I haven't had time to see the site in action, probably due to the slashdot effect.

From the description, other than using a tabletop as its active surface, i'm wondering how different it is to Korg's Kaosspad in functionality.

http://www.korg.com/gear/info.asp?A_PROD_NO=KP2

Re:Done before? (2, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498046)

The most obvious difference is that the KaossPad isn't an instrument, it's an FX module. Basically you have a bunch of 2 paramater filters and an x/y touchpad to control those 2 parameters. Wicked good fun and slots nicely into a DJ setup, but in my experience only about 10 of the 50-odd presets are actually worth using. The low/high pass filters, some of the reverbs, and phasers etc sound good. A lot of the coarser echos, fx "noises" etc sound awful. The sampler is also annoyingly limited to only 5 seconds, which is just too short for a full phrase at a normal 135bpm :( Still, a fun toy, and the girls always love it for some reason (flashing lights and bits to rub?).

I believe you can use it as a midi controller as well, but again you're going to be pretty limited (I guess a couple of continuous controllers?). My understanding of the article is that the MIT thing is a lot more flexible.

Re:Done before? (1)

icemax (565022) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498113)

The Kaoss pad 2 has some synth elements built in, and you can compose short electro jams with it. Also, the sampling time is up as well. IMHO its the best added feature to my DJ setup

Can MIT do the reverse?? (2, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497571)

These days, with the DRM and the DMCA, it's tough getting a music file without DRM crap. What I'd like the MIT folks to do is this:

Get some objects on a table to dance, based on the music! And then we can have another Audiopad to capture the music from this dance - non DRM MP3....breakthrough!

-

Real Time Recording is slow regardless. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497610)

May as well plug the line out of something(DiscMan, computer, etc) into the line in of something(computer, minidisc recorder, etc).

I guess that could become illegal/regulated too though, like we don't allow random people to use lock picks, because making digital copies of music is equal to breaking into someone's house and deserves equal protection.

Nice! but,,,,, (-1, Offtopic)

akudoi (568104) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497601)

can i run linux on it?

errr wait... nevermind.

Might as well throw away old synthesizers then (1)

zoeblade (600058) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497616)

OK everyone, throw away your Prophet 5s, your DX7s, TB-303s, Jupiter 8s and TR-909s. This has made them all obsolete.

Re:Might as well throw away old synthesizers then (1, Funny)

iLEZ (594245) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497680)

Just put them in a pile outside my apartment. :o)~

Re:Might as well throw away old synthesizers then (1)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498117)

Well it plays loops that you arrange... so youd still need to at least record loops from these synths first. When you eventually need new loops or come up with a cool sound idea you'll have to buy back those synths at inflated prices as their value will have appreciated.

sigh. (4, Insightful)

den_erpel (140080) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497618)

This is just another one of those MIT projects that makes it to slashdot. Just as you seem to have chain effect in 'peer review' processes, it's not because it is spectacular that it gets published, but mainly because it is from place X or Y.

Loads of universities create student projects but they basically give it the attention it deserves: they are student projects; practical definately, revolutionary, not by far. Their main purpose is to give students a direct experience with real life toy projects. Real life, because in those projects, several aspects from real systems are included. Toy because students do not have the time to really do the advanced design and testing a profesional project requires.

Re:sigh. (2, Interesting)

broeman (638571) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497651)

I just ended my master in interaction design among other design tasks. The idea of interaction design is to create tangible (mostly) interfaces that can connect to human logic and emotion (human computer interaction). Of course the tools looks like toy and act like a toy, simply because they are easy to use. What is the real challenge is to connect the evergrowing functionality with easy handling, and it seemes that the MIT guys, Professor Bill Verplank (the travelling lector *grin*) in northern Italy and Berkley (also music interaction mostly) and the study I went to here in Denmark (IT Product Design, Sønderborg) are the only educations and research facilities for easy handling in the world. My education was also quite focused on working with the industry (and especially the users). The industry also see the products as toys that is produced for showing off, but when a situation arouse they would suddenly see why we designed the products in those ways, and then get the full acknowledgement of our work. It has nothing to do with spectacular design, but with experiencing new ideas first hand, and even to create them as realistic as possible (isn't that was studying is about?).

Re:sigh. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497681)

To really make you happy, I should point out that this only got posted because it was mentioned on the Penny Arcade website.

Re:sigh. (2, Insightful)

skirch (126930) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498367)

This is just another one of those MIT projects that makes it to slashdot.

I'm sorry, but did you even go to the page? Did you watch the movie? It's frickin' rad!

Who cares if this is just another one of those MIT projects. This is a useful, fun, and ingenious toy! People (i.e. me) are giving this project attention because it's interesting and unique, not because it's from MIT. Please.

*sigh* just another anti-MIT post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498674)

Everytime there's a news story based on something done at MIT, you get all the I'm-jealous-of-MIT-trolls coming out...

Theremin (5, Informative)

zoeblade (600058) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497623)

If you want to wave your arms around [thereminworld.com] to make music, you still can't beet a Theremin.

Re:Theremin (3, Funny)

CausticPuppy (82139) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498129)

Actually, if you want to wave your arms around to make music, you can't beat being the conductor of the New York Philharmonic.

Re:Theremin (1)

entartete (659190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498508)

unless you are the conductor of the new york philharmonic conducting 4 theremin players (+ the new york philharmonic orchestra) in 1928 when leon theremin and some of his students played with them. Waving your arms at people to make music by waving their arms!

tragic ending to this happy story (0)

tankdilla (652987) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497624)

Despite the countless hours of work put into this amazing project, the team still failed the class. After finishing and finalizing their project work, the team had a party, showing off their work to friends and experimenting with their new creation. One thing led to another, and soon everyone was in a state of tripped-outness from the combinations of sound to be made. By 8 a.m. everyone was passed out or sleeping soundly, missing their project deadline. The evil Professor Prude, failing to see the contribution to academia made by this project, refused to accept their late work. Out of disgust, they all quit MIT, and decided to show their work instead to techies, slashdotters, and anyone else that wanted to see a new 'trippy' way to make music.

P.S. They will probably still end up making millions.

nice (4, Interesting)

tade (156618) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497646)

This reminds me of this [mlab.uiah.fi] . It is called Mixed Reality Pong.

Mixed Reality Pong is a mixed reality version of the classic "Pong" game. The aim of the game is to score goals by hitting a virtual ball over the other end of the game area protected by the opponent player. The game counts the goals the players have scored, and they can agree to play either for a limited amount of time, or until either of them has scored a certain amount of goals.
The players can play the game with their hands or other real-world objects. The game physics simulate the behaviour of a real ball, except that the virtual ball doesn't slow down at all.

Nothing new... (2, Insightful)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497653)

Max/MSP and Pure Data have been doing stuff like this for years. The only thing "unique" here is the fact that they aren't using a mouse, and that's just a bunch of standard Max/MSP and PD externals. Bleh.

Re:Nothing new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497689)

The user interface is *the whole point*. Duh!

Re:Nothing new... (1)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497908)

The user interface would be the whole point if it actually helped the user achieve something in a more efficient fashion... but it doesn't do anything that doesn't already exist.

Actually, this is very new (2, Insightful)

Makarakalax (658810) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498457)

Oh come on, the interface is everything to an instrument. Instruments vary in only two ways, firstly the sound they produce, and secondly the way they have to be manipulated to produce those sounds.

This instrument may be similar to the device you reference, however its novel and easy to manipulate interface will allow completely new sounds to be woven into compositions. I'd wager that an experienced artist could make music with this device that he couldn't do with any other instrument - but I'd need to read more about it first.

So to argue more directly with your point: The user interface would be the whole point if it actually helped the user achieve something in a more efficient fashion... but it doesn't do anything that doesn't already exist. The interface is the whole point and it does help the user either make music more efficiently, or to make completely new types of composition. I'd say both, but I expect you'd have to ask someone who's made music with it.

There's NO Synthesis going on here... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497669)

All those "this changes music" "all instruments are obsolete" etc posts...

There is NO synthesis in the video... it's all from prerecorded loops, that they probably didn't even make themselves.

IE. Pure gimmick!

Re:There's NO Synthesis going on here... (0)

Aeonsfx (675982) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497807)

Gimmick, true, but the same idea could be applied to a synth just as easily. Even better, the synth parameters could be tweaked in realtime using the same design.

Radio Drum: Andy Schloss did this in 1980s. (1)

johnny6vasquez (688226) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497678)

This spring, I attended a presentation by Dr. Andy Schloss. A musician who maps instruments and sounds to his three-dimensional electronic sensor that he invented in the 80s, he does quite a few live performances and has thought of many applications for his instrument outside of the music world. More Details [communications.uvic.ca]

Re:Radio Drum: Andy Schloss did this in 1980s. (1)

clu76 (620823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498545)

I own a Radio Baton [stanford.edu] . Dr. Schloss still refers to the instrument by it's original name, Radio Drum. Just to clarify, it was invented by Max Mathews [csounds.com] , the person responsible for laying the foundations of computer/digital music.

Re:Radio Drum: Andy Schloss did this in 1980s. NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498546)

Andy Schloss didn't invent it.
He's a user.
It says developed at Bell Labs.
The inventor is Max Mathews.

http://www.csounds.com/mathews/

different site with video (3, Informative)

Tmurder (661223) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497692)

As it seems the MIT site is slowly being slashdotted... here is a different site [computerlove.net] with a demonstration video.

The ideas in this aren't all that amazing (2, Informative)

ev3nly (261504) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497759)

what's really neat is the interface... being able to move sounds around in a 3d space and manipulate the samples/loops with a completely uncluttered interface. This is the main problem with vst/softsynths, being able to use them in real time w/o a midi controller. The ideas is to get as close as you physically can to the music be made and computers.Audiopad does this thru least one computer to do it's job and radio tagging of the objects being moved around the table. The reason something like this won't go commercial for a long time is b/c there are no real new ideas as far as the actual sound manipulation is concerned. See ableton live [ableton.com] for example or jeskola buzz. [buzzmachines.com]

Re:The ideas in this aren't all that amazing (2, Insightful)

shaniber (38661) | more than 10 years ago | (#6499659)

this in itself might not be commercially viable, but it makes an interesting case study in applications of their Sensetable, which this is based on. They've demonstrated the use of this tool in the demonstration of molecular interactions, as well as tracking business methods. it's seriously interesting HCI stuff.

after ... (1)

photon_chac (306576) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497770)

we got it re-engineered , we would see it's just another way to play music with digits.

Practical (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497790)

It's practical, but more importantly it looks really, really cool.

You work for Microsoft, don't you?

cool (1, Interesting)

Aeonsfx (675982) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497802)

I think its pretty cool. I've always liked stuff the MIT media lab was producing, especially CSound. True, its been many years past since Barry Vercoe was an MIT grad student, but damn, it made the MIT media lab famous. Took a long time to download the demo, and while I don't think its terribly groundbreaking, its nice to see electronic instruments with 3 dimensional control of rhythm, amplitude, and timbre with such simple movements. Overall, I think its a good idea, with definite possibilities for mass appeal. I want an audiopad now....

Other software controllers (1)

borkus (179118) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497824)

I'm not sure how modular their controllers are, but a wireless/optical synthesizer could be changed to create all kinds of controllers. For example, if you needed a controller for a security system. All you would need is the interaction table and some of those discs. If you update the system, the software shoul automatically add new options to the display/controls. If you add more cameras, the software should be able to add new control areas - you don't have to buy a whole new console.

Lastly, the system doesn't run on electrical contact between moving parts, so you don't have the same degree of wear and tear.

If I do a #2 on the pad.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6497845)

...will it then play Enya?

Slashdotpad (1, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 11 years ago | (#6497924)

Looks like those crafty MIT kids built a device that can slashdot a webpage by tracking moving objects on a table. :)

Isn't this really old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498242)

Didn't I see this at Disney Orlando (C) (TM) (R)
15 years ago?

Is that a big Wacom tablet? (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498269)

Am I right in thinking that the AudioPad table is basically a giant Wacom tablet? And if so... I wonder why they didn't just use one of those? Maybe not big enough... but with a Cintiq you could have a slightly more 'personal' audiopad experience, without the LCD projector.

Oh, and yeah, its incredibly cool.

Re:Is that a big Wacom tablet? (2, Informative)

shaniber (38661) | more than 10 years ago | (#6499601)

actually, it's based on
a pair of modified commercially available Wacom Intuous(TM) sensing tablets that are placed next to each other to form a 52cm x 77cm sensing surface.
this is taken from an article published in the Proceedings of CHI 2001, March 31 - April 5 2001. so, you're right!

Max Mathews Radio Batons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6498495)

I couldn't get thru to the link to see if there is anything
original in it, but it doesn't sound like an improvement
over Max Mathews Radio Baton. ( Mathew's is one of the
pioneers of electronic music -- see
http://www.csounds.com/mathews/
or search google for more info. )

The radio batons had small FM transmitters in their heads.
A base plate had several FM receivers to calculate x,y & z
position of the 2 transmitters -- tuned to different freq. to
distinguish between them. The (x,y,z) were turned into
midi control streams and used to control a synth. He also
had a number of novel programs. Conductor played a
preset song, but controlled the tempo, vibrato and balance
via the wand. He sold a few to singers who could control
a computer accompanist track. Someone also built a larger
version where the transmitters were attached to dancers
and the receivers were in the dance floor. ( This is memory
dump from a Max Mathews talk I head YEARS ago, so
check the link for more accurate info. )

This was invented 20 years ago... (1, Funny)

checkyoulater (246565) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498640)

As anyone who has seen Revenge of the Nerds knows, Louis [imdb.com] and Gilbert [imdb.com]
invented this thing to help the Tri Lambs win the Greek Games. I would expect everyone on Slashdot to know that one.

crazy idea (0)

JohnDoe69 (681987) | more than 11 years ago | (#6498732)

seems like a crazy idea and how much does something like this cost...what happend to just putting a cd in your player HAHA

Coming soon to a toy store near you... (2, Informative)

lastsamurai (683194) | more than 10 years ago | (#6498933)

Earlier this year at a Boston concert, Tod Machover showcased Beatbugs http://www.media.mit.edu/hyperins/projects/beatbug s.html Concert staff were telling everyone that Beatbugs would be available for sale this Christmas through a major toy manufacturer. That's great for getting music into the hands of kids at an early age and also for breaking through the classism that plagues intellectual music, but is the "music" that's being created really something that anyone (other than grandma) wants to listen to?

Re:Coming soon to a toy store near you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6499591)

Does Boston even qualify as music?

Mirror? (1)

Dr. Smeegee (41653) | more than 10 years ago | (#6499179)

Does anyone have a mirror? Oh, and if you could tar or zip one of the video files I'd be even more happy! Our proxy filters out vid and sound files.

I have used it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6499593)

I did use it in a music festival (SONAR) in Barcelona, and I can tell you it's really really cool! It really feels like a regular instrument and you can create very nice patterns. I think if they improve it, it can be a great sucess.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?