autopilot and recording phrase based gestures

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The most important thing about this build is the ability to record the movements of the performer in a looped cycle freeing hands and fingers for additional layering.

I went into this phase of the project imagining that I would add an auto-play functionality and call it a day. I definitely got a lot deeper than I expected. I changed a lot visually for this sketch mainly because I was getting bored with the saturated additive look of the previous sketches and wanted to try something different.

autopilot – subcycle labs from christian bannister on Vimeo.

I have created a toggle on my mixer that will activate autopilot. Once autopilot is activated the instrument records the performers movements similar to a mixer automation. This is a looped sequence of about 4 bars. When the cycle loops back the recorded movements will play on their own. Two really nice things about this: a) The performer can multitask and do more complex things including play another instrument b) the rhythms created in subcycle can become more like phrases instead of one off glitch gestures. I am planning on adding more autopilot functionality as I come up with more features.

The landscape sound texture evolved out of some earlier sketches. I am still honing that aspect of the project. I like the diversity and the spacial experience but I have seen a lot of landscape based projects. I am applying distortions and warps to the 3D landscape in something like a signal chain for audio. Right now they are in the same order. In other words distortion is always first, delay second etc… I would like to make this visual signal chain reconfigurable just like the audio but that will have to happen another day.

Notable features:

  • The recording of phrase based gestures.
  • A landscape sound texture visualization with visual effects signal chain.
  • JLC Mini Desk mixer integration.
  • New visual design direction.

touch interface

Autopilot rhythm navigation allows performer to apply effects.

touch interface

Whole note delay with lots of feedback – visual effect.

touch interface

Landscape texture represents sound texture.

touch interface

Ambient landscape texture.

touch interface

16th Note delay.

touch interface

Two aspects of the bitcrush distortion (bandwidth and resolution) visualized.
Scrubbing the sound.

touch interface

Scrubbing the sound.

touch interface

Granular effect that does not look like bats!

touch interface

Fliter effect in conjunction with scrub tool (lethal combo).

I pulled out my JLC Mini Desk to allow me to navigate the song section. I was using a Kaoss Pad before, only because I needed the 8 buttons along the top. There are over 100 buttons on the Mini Desk and while they are very small I am liking the experience. I am going to be picking up two SpaceNavigator 3D joystick/mouse controllers and working with those in the next build. The joystick array is giving me problems with my USB bus and I want more precise control in the next round of updates.

It has been a while since I last posted. Mainly because I have been getting some things sorted in the studio. I put together a new computer with an i7 and a 275 GTX graphics card. This allows to push the visuals quite a bit. My old card was a 9800 GT, so the difference is pretty huge. This new configuration is also small form factor so I can transport it easily. I was looking at laptops but decided to go with a miniature desktop (micro-atx) because I really need the full size graphics card. I am running the os and presentation software from an SSD so this picks things up also. I also upgraded to Snow Leopard and It was a little rough.

5 comments so far Add Your Comment
  1. Christian, holy sh*t! Love the upside down interactive landscape. The new visual direction is right on… not to mention that this is scifi in everyway possible. It’s great to see how your performance is developing as well.


  2. christian this is ridiculous. nice work man. when’s the show?

  3. wow…..just wow…….
    i dont think i have ever seen anything like this.
    any plans on making this open to the public?

  4. This is absolutely brilliant in every way… I’m stunned. I literally couldn’t speak for 10 minutes after watching the demo. In terms of interface design, this is by far the most inspiring and amazing thing I’ve seen in my life. Well done sir!

    Were you at all inspired by the video for Gantz Graf in conceptualising this?

  5. still the only 3D synthesizer to make me think not all is yet known… can’t wait to see where this lands in the future =)