Programming & music collaboration?
July 29, 2005 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Suppose I have an idea for a potentially interesting art/music/programming project. I can envision what needs to happen and can put it into concrete terms but lack the programmatic and music theory chops (I'm a designer & photographer type person) to realize it on my own. Where can I find like minded folks that might be interested in collaborating on this art for art's sake project?

I'm happy to go into details here on ask.mi, but I don't think it's the right place for it. Are there forums that might be more appropriate?
posted by aladfar to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm stabbing in the dark, but how about Cycling74's Max/MSP/Jitter mailing list?

Perhaps a few more generalities about your project would help.
posted by Rothko at 1:42 PM on July 29, 2005

Response by poster: I'd like to take some visual input from a camera (specifically traffic on a small section of a busy road) and translate it into ear pleasing audio. It's generative music created by the semi-randomness of city traffic.

I've given much thought as to how the different notes and tones would be generated, but can't actually write the code necessary to realize it.
posted by aladfar at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2005

Yep, Max/MSP and Jitter are likely your best bets.

These two components process audio and video signals respectively, using a graphical programming language called Max. You drag Max objects into a canvas, and tie them together. Signal flows through the objects, leading to certain ends: outputing audio, processing video, etc.

In your case, Jitter objects will process incoming video signal. You can tie the output from Jitter objects to MSP objects. MSP can take signal and turn it into digital sounds, or trigger audio samples, or futher process the signal for other purposes.

You could do this yourself, but the mailing list likely has a number of creative people who would be interesting in hearing more about what you want to do.
posted by Rothko at 2:00 PM on July 29, 2005

I agree with Rothko about the hardware/software you'll want to use. But if you're new to Max/MSP, the learning curve can be pretty tough. You might want to check the mailing list mentioned or ask around for people familiar with Max/MSP in your area.
posted by p3t3 at 2:04 PM on July 29, 2005

Response by poster: That looks like the right stuff - thanks for the advice. I'll download the demos for OS X and will post to the forums there for more advice. Thanks!
posted by aladfar at 2:36 PM on July 29, 2005

I did a video-controlling-sound project for my uni course this past year (it didn't seem to go down too well though, but that might have just been my essay writing).

In the case of using a busy road as your video input, I think you might find it a little underwhelming in terms of what the sound output will be like, chances are that it will barely change.

If you used a less busy road you might find your results more varied sound-wise because constant cars will all appear the same on video.

I also found that doing a lot of this processing in MAX/MSP & Jitter can be a bit annoying and complicated, especially being new to jitter.
posted by iamcrispy at 2:46 PM on July 29, 2005

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