Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Axoloti - Embed A Digital Modular Synth In Your Instrument

This is very special to me.  This is exactly what I have been looking to do with the digital music instruments I have been designing and building - Give them a modular synthesizer editor.

This is a software and a hardware project.  It lets you graphically edit a patch for a DSP-based music instrument, then upload it into a small circuit board.  That means you can put that instrument into a box with sensors and controls, make a digital guitar, tune it to sound just the way you like it and even put all kinds of digital effects on it!  It's a very difficult and important project and I am sure it will lead to very many interesting kinds of new instruments, songs, performances and possibly even genres of art!

Here are the specs:
  • Two 1/4" jacks
  • Stereo headphone output
  • MIDI Input
  • STM32F4 processor (168 MHz w/ FPU)
  • USB
  • Modular synth editor on Desktop
  • Cross-Platform support (Lin/Win/OSX)
  • Approximately $100 incl. shipping

I highly recommend supporting Axiloti on Indiegogo.  I look forward to working with it a lot in 2015!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Binaural Sound with the Javascript Web Audio API

Live Demo of Binaural Sound with the Web Audio API

What is Binaural Sound?

Binaural sound is a way to make 3D sound!  Binaural means "Two Ears."

How does it work?  It starts with any sound you like, such as a dog barking.

Then it convolves that dog bark sound with a special signal.

The result: it sounds like the sound is coming from in front of you, or to your right or left!

Try out the real-time demo above!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Javascript audio feature extraction library designed for and implemented in the Web Audio API

I've posted hugh's demo on DIYDSP.com for you to try out.

This is a Javascript library for "Feature Extraction."

If you don't know what "Feature Extraction" is, let me tell you:

It's a term used in Machine Learning.  A "Feature" is quite simply a "calculation."  For example, if you examine a stream of sound or a file, you may want to calculate the average loudness of the stream every 50 milliseconds.  In that case, you are said to be calculating the "Feature" of loudness.  Also, you may wish to calculate the loudest part of the spectrum.  In that case, you would extract the feature called "Spectral Centroid."

So now you learned the jargon of what it means when everyone says they are "computing features."  What is it good for?

The primary use of features is in "trying to figure out what a piece of audio means."  For example, I once wrote a script that automatically downloaded 2-hour FM radio shows from WMBR.  I wanted to know which parts of the shows were the DJ talking and which parts were the music.  So, to do that, I did some research and discovered it's possible to compute "features" on the audio and compare them to determine whether the audio is speech or music.

Unfortunately the code for that is on a computer in another country at this moment, but if enough people request it, when I get back to that computer, I'll post the code and show how it works.

Good luck with this library and try out the demo I posted at Meyda Demo on DIYDSP.com.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New Playlist For Electric Eel Christmas Carols

 My new playlist: Electric Eel Christmas Carols

Subscribe to find out when new songs are added on my upcoming trip to Germany!

This is me playing traditional Christmas Carols like Silent Night, Joy to the World, etc., on an instrument I designed while at the MIT Media Lab.  It's called the Electric Eel.  I designed it because I was stuck between the two worlds of electronic and acoustic music.  I like the sounds of electronic music, but I also like the spontaneous, collaborative, nature of acoustic music.  So I designed this instrument which responds to the intensity of sliding the belt up and down by generating more power to emphasize notes.  If you're really curious, check out my wiki Exertion Music where I show how to design and build your own.