New music products from the NAMM show

Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:02 pm

I spent last week attending the NAMM show in Anaheim, California. NAMM (https://www.namm.org/) is the trade organization for the music products industry, and their show highlights the newest music products from many different types of companies.

Although there are lots of fun things to see there, my interest is always in new audio and MIDI products, specifically those that could relate to Magic in some way. Here are a few of the most interesting things I saw (which I had never seen before). As usual, the most innovative products come from smaller companies :).

Note: I am not endorsed by these companies/products in any way. The following are my own independent observations.

Kagura (https://www.kagura.cc/) - A unique piece of software which was the grand prize winner of the Intel Perceptual Computing Challenge in 2013. It can use a camera as a gestural controller for triggering MIDI notes. It works best with the RealSense 3D camera, but any standard webcam will work too. I thought it might be cool to use this to control visuals in Magic with your arms/hands.

LinnStrument (http://www.rogerlinndesign.com/) - A very expressive pressure-sensitive MIDI controller. It uses a lot more of the MIDI specification than most instruments, resulting in highly nuanced control. The only downside is that it's very expensive.

Keith McMillen Instruments (http://www.keithmcmillen.com) - Some of the coolest-looking standard MIDI controllers I saw.

Dualo Du-Touch (http://dualo.org/en/instruments/) - A truly unique musical instrument and MIDI controller which looks like an accordion. It's really intended as a musical composition/performance tool, so it probably wouldn't work well just to control visuals by themselves. But, it would certainly be interesting to compose/perform music and visuals together.

Hercules P32 DJ (http://www.hercules.com/) - Another cool-looking standard MIDI controller.

ADX Trax (http://audionamix.com/technology/adx-trax/) - A Mac app that lets you remove/extract vocals from mixed music. I thought it might be interesting to take your favorite song, rip out the vocals as a separate track, and load it into Magic to visualize individual notes using the Best Pitch feature.


There were also a bunch of products I'd seen before, but they deserve honorable mention :):

Novation (https://novationmusic.com/) - Fun MIDI controllers.

Korg (http://www.korg.com/) - A few new products for 2016.

Bome (http://www.bome.com/) - Their MIDI Translator product can do a lot of interesting things, such as using MIDI to open applications.

That's it for now -- hope you found it useful!
Eric
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Re: New music products from the NAMM show

Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:34 am

Eric wrote:... NAMM show... most interesting things...
Kagura (https://www.kagura.cc/) - ...it might be cool to use this to control visuals in Magic with your arms/hands
:D Thanks Eric! This is awesome :D

There's a truly awesome Kagura2 beta available (edit: for WIndows), and a community forum, by invitation only.
Fully customisable, including MIDI assignations. (edit: Highly customisable)

I used the contact form to request Kagura2, included a link to some of my Magic videos, and received an invitation code the next day (today!). It's running fine on my Windows 7-64 laptop, although I haven't yet tried the MIDI functionality.

The license is for internal use only, unless express permission granted.

Edit: A quick note on my initial experiments with Kagura2's MIDI
I don't know about MIDI and patching- perhaps someone else can figure out how Kagura2 MIDI output can be seen by Magic.

Without additional software, the only available MIDI output device shown by Kagura2 is the default Windows "Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth", even if other MIDI devices are installed. (I used MIDI Yoke to pretend I had other MIDI stuff, and MIDI-OX to try to see MIDI traffic http://www.midiox.com/. No luck, but I understand very little of it.

Using VirtualMIDISynth http://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth, VirtualMIDISynth was listed as an additional device, so that seems promising.
Terry Payman
 
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Re: New music products from the NAMM show

Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:09 pm

That's very cool :). For MIDI routing you should take a look at LoopBe1 (http://nerds.de/en/loopbe1.html), which serves as an intermediate MIDI device between apps that can only see MIDI output (Kagura) and apps that can only see MIDI input (Magic).

So in Kagura you'd select LoopBe1 as the output, and in Magic you'd select LoopBe1 as the input. Let me know if it works.
Eric
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Re: New music products from the NAMM show

Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:41 am

Eric wrote:...in Kagura you'd select LoopBe1 as the output, and in Magic you'd select LoopBe1 as the input. Let me know if it works.

:D Yes! :D

Very exciting! Noticable latency, as expected, but quite useable.

I made a trivial Magic project, simply changing between three image sources according to a MIDI note generated as I waved my finger. A Kagura ICON can generate either a sound or a MIDI message. By overlaying icons one can get both for a particular screen region. A crazy sound for each image change really enhanced the experience. I realise that I can use the MIDI message to trigger a sound using some external software, but it's very convenient to simply use Kagura.

Next question, can I route Magic output into Kagura webcam input? It sees ManyCam output OK.

Edit: Yes, but at the moment I only have it working by using ManyCam to monitor a screen area containing the Magic window. ManyCam sees a SpoutSender Spout Cam OK, so should work once I sort out an AMD/ATI driver issue that gives me a BSOD if I enable Magic's Spout out. I'll try working on my studio desktop instead of this laptop.
Terry Payman
 
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Re: New music products from the NAMM show

Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:39 pm

ManyCam sees a SpoutSender Spout Cam OK, so should work once I sort out an AMD/ATI driver issue that gives me a BSOD if I enable Magic's Spout out. I'll try working on my studio desktop instead of this laptop.

Yup I was going to suggest doing it that way. As for the BSOD, you might want to try toggling the "Use Spout v2" option to see if it helps any; v2 works better on most systems (though not all).
Eric
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Re: New music products from the NAMM show

Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:30 pm

Eric wrote:..As for the BSOD, you might want to try toggling the "Use Spout v2" option to see if it helps any...
Thanks Eric. I had tried the v2 option - no difference.

I'm pretty certain that I updated the laptop's graphics driver - but I'm going to remove then re-install.
Terry Payman
 
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