Monday, 26 September 2011

New (Superseding) Blog

This will be my final post on this Blogger blog. From now on, updates on my projects and more can be found here.

I will leave this page here untouched as an archive of my older projects. See you on the other side!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

A much overdue post...'s been a busy past couple of months for myself and now that I've had time to relax a little I thought it was probably about time I posted a little update here too:

I have now finished my degree at the University of Hull and will be graduating next month. With all of the marks I've had thus far I am still on track for a first class finish so here's hoping that's still the case when I receive my final set of marks in about three weeks.

What next? Following an interesting talk given by Atau Tanaka last month, I have been inspired to further explore new concepts of audience and artist relationships with a particular focus on technology and interactivity (my key area of interest after 3 years of studying). I think a masters course that allows me to work within this field is what I shall be pursuing, so long as funding permits!

In terms of current and recent projects, I realise that my website is now due an update too and hopefully this will happen at some point in the next couple of weeks. To give a idea of what I've been up to since my last post:

Back at the end of April, I went to Germany with my traditional folk group Frozen Gin. We played a very enjoyable set to one of the most welcoming crowds I have ever had the pleasure to perform to and made some great friends who I hope to see again! Gleichen zeit im nächsten jahr? Studio recordings of some of the tracks we played that night are also available to download here.

Around the time we played that concert I also got my hands on a new iPad and have been having plenty of fun it. Having made plentiful use of apps like TouchOSC in the past on smaller iDevics I've been experimenting with some ideas, creating some new MaxMSP patches to use it with. One of those which I have pursued a little further I have decided to call PhatPad (or I should say 'had'):
WIP icon and WIP title for my latest creation.

It turns out someone has already made a completely unrelated app called PhatPad so this probably won't be its final name, however the concept is something that's proved to be quite useful. Given the restricted number of dials on my Moog Little Phatty (yes I have far too much gear) I decided to make a TouchOSC/MaxMSP combination that allows more flexible control utilising multiple faders and XY pads etc. I also get semi-wireless control (the iPad communicates with the MaxMSP patch over wi-fi which passes along MIDI messages to the Moog) which is especially useful given that I've been building in a mini-sequencer too!

I'll get some videos posted of that as soon as I've done some more work on it. With all the more pressing work I've had to complete since I got the iPad, I've not had much chance to look at it since I first worked on it!

I've probably missed something but I've got far more time on my hands now so updates should come a little more quickly (I hope). Additionally, from the end of this month I'll be based in Manchester. Fancy that!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

March Update

Not much to report for this month:

  • The versions of my applications on my site seem to be okay now, just a couple of small problems that had to be fixed.
  • I now have a Twitter account which has a balance of personal and 'professional' posts, I'm trying to expand my online presence just a little more
  • Despite having a lot of work on at the moment for my final semester of university, I'm trying to come up with some cool stuff to do with my new Eigenharp Pico, it's certainly an interesting performance tool to experiment with. As I've said on some forums, as soon as I have something worth showing I'll try and get some videos sorted.
  • Next week should see my final recording sessions for my latest batch of material. As part of a module in which I'm submitting two collections of recordings, I've recorded some similar fusion-ish tracks similar to 'Drench' and will be recording some folk music with Frozen Gin next weekend. As soon as the tracks are ready for listening they will reach my Soundcloud and my site. Unfortunately, although I'd like to be more prolific in uploading tracks to both of these pages, I don't often have time or ever get round to finishing off any of my compositional or experimental ideas. After university, I'll make it my late new year's resolution to change this!
  • A friend of mine has just finished off mixing some tracks that a classic rock covers band I play with recorded last month. I play a little organ and Moog on the first 3 tracks, all pretty raw heavy rock. Give them a listen!
More updates soon, stay tuned!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

New Files Uploaded

The newer versions of my applications have now been uploaded, hoepfully any problems experienced should now be fixed. Please let me know if anyone is still having problems, thank you!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Corrupted Files - iTouch Synth, Jag-U-Synth

It has been brought to my attention that both of the applications available for download at my site may not be working properly for some users. The problems are with the TouchOSC layout files, which I've managed to sort out and will upload later. The second problem has been with the .zip compression, I'm going to either put the disc images up just as they are or compress them differently to fix this issue. Not many people have experienced it but it will be addressed!

If you've been trying to use my applications and struggled I apologise! Hopefully these problems will all be fixed very soon!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

February Update - BUSY!

It’s been a while since I last posted, things have been very busy for me recently. Over the past couple of months I’ve had plenty of work to complete and things going on that have set my blogging back. A few interesting events:

Last month I was part of a site-specific performance entitled ‘Life Behind Glass’ by GlassHouse Theatre Company at Crescent Artspace in Scarborough. The piece comprised dance, music and video exploring the concept of being behind glass, particularly in relation to our daily lives. We gave three performances for both university students and lecturers and while the piece was not as well-received by tutors as our previous piece, ‘Dinner In Three Movements’, all of the performances went down very well, many thanks to anyone who came!

Quite an unclear picture of 'Life Behind Glass'!
 ‘Jag-U-Synth’, my guitar and iPhone controlled virtual synthesiser created using MaxMSP was completed on schedule for my university assignment. The synth is now available to download as a Mac application from the ‘Work’ section of my website (right down at the bottom of the page). If you have an electric guitar, audio interface and iOS device sporting the wonderful ‘TouchOSC’ app, please download the instrument and let me know what you think. I’m hoping to make the video demonstrations submitted as part of this and my previous assignment (included in the downloads) viewable on YouTube in the near future. Video footage was also taken of the ‘Charms Of The Sea’ installation that I recently worked on, I’m hoping this should also be made available soon!
After quite a while in the making, 'Jag-U-Synth' is now available to download on my site!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Guitar Synth Project - Changes

It's been a while since my last post about my guitar synthesiser project 'Strat-O-Synth'. In the past few days I've made some final changes to the project. To start with, it's now called 'Jag-U-Synth'. For quite a while after my early experiments with squeezing in electronics I've been working with having the Arduino controller in an external enclosure to be attached to the back of my Fender Jaguar.

Additionally, Arduino control is something I've scrapped. The controller pictured below is now an image of what might have been, as I have detailed in my accompanying documentation, my own limited electrical skills have meant that throughout this project, durability and quality of my  home electronics have not been up to the standards I might have hoped for. As a result, to make sure I still get the most out of this project that I can, with what I see as a small amount of compromise, I have decided to incorporate iPhone control once again. Whilst keeping the level of tactile expression given by using the guitar, having a controller that offers flexibility, ease of modification, expressive options, stability and reliability in a small lightweight device that has wireless functionality, using a customisable touch screen environment is arguably the more sensible option for a project such as this, at least until more experience in the various custom hardware options can be gained by myself. Had I had a longer time frame in which to work, I would have pursued the Arudino hardware further, it's still something I'll definitely use again in the future.

I'll be posting a video of the synth in operation as soon as possible, as part of the University assignment submission I'll be creating a short video demonstrating how the program works. Stay tuned for more news of my other current projects too, 2011 should be a busy year.


The hardware in its most complete state. As well as 3 potentiometers, a movable FSR was also part of the project, all with switchable control functionality.
How the original program used to look, tying in with the hardware controller.

The iPhone attached to the Jaguar, positioned for easy changing of parameters when playing.
The updated program GUI, designed to match the style of the TouchOSC controller.