Monthly Archives: July 2009

Quote of the Month

Posted by PH on July 27, 2009
Narrative, Quote of the Month / No Comments

The sky turns deep blue, the world freezes, and a progress bar marches slowly across it from horizon to horizon. Ethereal runes written in aurorae six hundred metres high scrawl across the heavens, updating reality, and for a moment your skin crawls with superstitious dread. Someday we’re all going to get skin implants and access this directly. Someday everyone is going to live out their lives in places like this, vacant bodies tended by machines of loving grace while their minds go on before us into strange spaces where the meat cannot follow. You can see it coming, slamming towards you out of the future, like the empty white static that is all anyone has ever heard from beyond the stars: a Final Solution to the human condition, an answer to the Fermi paradox, lights on at home and all the windows tightly shuttered. Because it’s a thing of beauty, the ability to spin the cloth of reality, and you’re a sucker for it: isn’t story-telling what being human is all about?

Charles Stross

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Mabuse

Posted by PH on July 04, 2009
Music & Technology / No Comments

According to its creators, Mabuse is a piece of “real-time audio-visual composition and performance  software.” It’s an application written using Max/MSP that allows users to create audio tracks and manipulate video in real-time using graphical sequencing tools they call modulators: as usual you can create your own patterns or draw on an existing bank of presets. Check out this short tutorial video for an overview:

Presumably to allow for a greater degree of flexibility with the audio composition and processing aspects they’ve also released Mabuse as a VST plug-in for Ableton Live. It’s only available on the Mac as yet, but say that a PC version will be forthcoming given the interest:

There’s also a video tutorial here.

Although I suspect the VST plug-in won’t really take off until the promised full-screen version is available, overall these are very clever pieces of software that deserve to succeed. The seamless integration of the audio and video elements—and their real-time capabilities as performance and composition tools—make Mabuse very powerful. It’s a fabulous example of convergence!

I think if I was still performing techno music live this is what I would be using. Hooked up to a Lemur, natch…

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