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 Forum index » Discussion » Diversity in electro-music
An E-M wide project idea
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deknow



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:57 am    Post subject: An E-M wide project idea Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hi all, ...not sure if this should go here, diy, or development, but it's an idea i've had floating around in my own head for a few months...thought i would share, and get some feedback. my time is limited at the moment, so hopefully others will have input, supply links, etc.

i've been keeping an eye on the $100 laptop project....can be powered with a crank, and designed from the ground up for cooperatve projects. when i was looking in craigslist for some work recently, i saw a job listed to help get hardware developed for this platform (like cheap usb dvd player). although i didn't persue that job myself, it got me thinking. we really want diversity? lets work together on some diy hardware and software music making tools...both for ourselves, but more importantly, for the children in the developing wold that this laptop project is aimed at. i can't imagine that we wouldn't get more back (in terms of artistic output, and improved/new tools) than we would put in.

there are lots of aspects to this idea...not just production tools, but teaching tools, communitiy building, and giving kids in the developing world tools, motiviation, and eventually skills that can transform their own lives. between the genuine desire for diversity, computer skills, diy electronics skills, and love for sharing that are all present here in gobs...there could be a huge resource for really making an impact.

any thoughts?

deknow
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My first thought, on reading this, is I better think a lot more about it.
I'd imagine others are doing the same.

There are a lot of GPL tools available. That is for sure.

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deknow



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks for the reply edison...i'm hoping a little bump might get some more thinking about this.

think: part of the power of any 'platform' is it's availability...which is why pc's running internet explorer attract the most virus/spyware authors. this is a platform that will be available for kids that don't have electricity!...and designed from the ground up for group work. my idea here is actually quite selfish.....i like indigenous folk music from around the world.....i want to hear what comes out of developing countries when they have computers to work with!

http://www.laptop.org/en/laptop/start/

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm that's a good idea Deknow Very Happy

In parts of Africa, the drum is used as a communications device. In the western world it is the qwerty keyboard. However the latter device imo is less expressive. How about the idea of using a drum to interface with a computer rather than just a keyboard? Words could be typed by drumming instead! I know that this idea would or could also appeal to many visually impaired people too?

I'd be happy to help design the interface (like a moulded slit drum or whatever). I'm just finishing my degree which has been in Industrial Design- so I now know quite a bit on designing for cost optimisation etc.

I think that you will need to start by dreaming up a lot of ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem- just get them all down on to paper.

Tom

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
In parts of Africa, the drum is used as a communications device. In the western world it is the qwerty keyboard. However the latter device imo is less expressive


I´m sorry. Shocked
I got no further than this statement. I just have to comment on it.

Oh.. yes.. well..
I don´t agree. Considering that we have to adjust for the obvious differences and the context, I do think that a qwerty keyboard is more expressive. Using a qwerty keyboard you can for instance write a novel using true language, but the drum is simply an instrument ( and also a low bandwidth signaling device ).

v-un-v wrote:
In parts of Africa, the drum is used as a communications device. In the western world it is the qwerty keyboard. However the latter device imo is less expressive


It sounds good though and a bit new age as well, but... Laughing

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Laughing


Okay let me rephrase that........... Laughing

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

But in all honesty, I'd love to find an alternative to a qwerty keyboard, and have been thinking about alternative input sources for a while now.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
and have been thinking about alternative input sources for a while now.


unfortunately, there is little option around......... Shocked

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I guess you guys know about the Soundart Chameleon DSP.
I wonder, turning the 100 USD computer into something similar.. a 100% programmable ( with a complete developer kit thrown in ) audio engine + a few working skins.. does that sound like something Third World friendly?
Shocked

Sustainable fun?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think a drum inspired interface could very well be used for interesting stuff, inputting text is probably and hopefully not one of them.

Still, a drum based interface.. for something.. like entering seed and branch values into an algorithmic composing machine..or something.. cool!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:


Sustainable fun?


Talk about Mr cynical!? Rolling Eyes Laughing

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
I think a drum inspired interface could very well be used for interesting stuff, inputting text is probably and hopefully not one of them.


Why not??

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Shocked

Why?

Shocked


Well, forcing Ernest Hemingway to use a drum instead of a typewriter would probably only have made the poor thing shoot himself 20 years earlier.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, but someone like Ernest Hemmingway wouldn't have to use a drum would they?

I'm afraid your reaction is quite typical of someone who is quite happy with picking up a book and reading it from cover to cover. Some people find it hard to do that. You should consider yourself lucky that you are in the majority who can.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK, I see, but how do you think a drum interface could be used?
Drumming phrases / codes is of course one option, but sensibly translating a full language into a low bandwidth drum protocol thingie.. wouldn´t that be hard and possible counterproductive? And possibly far less user friendly?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes- good points.

However, you could choose which ever input option that you felt the most comfortable with. fwiw, the qwerty keyboard was only arranged so that mechanical arms in the first designs of typewriters didn't stick together when used by fast keying types.

And what is that other system which is already built into the Apple OS? Dvorak simplified keyboard system?

Deknow? your input?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Of course there must be better schemes for the keys than qwerty, but that is another issue altogether.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

well....i'm trying to imagine a drum with velocity quantized to 26 levels....trying to "bang" an "s" rather than a "t" would be....frustrating Smile

alternative input? have you tried naturallyspeaking?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
Yes, but someone like Ernest Hemmingway wouldn't have to use a drum would they?


well, even richard feynman liked to play drums (and chant)!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, any interface would

- need to consume almost no power (USB, natch)
- be durable and cheap
- have functional software to use with it (GPL, preferably)
- be capable of serving more than one purpose

A percussive input device can conceivably be used for more than one thing. I'm just having trouble thinking what else it can be used for.

Very interesting discussion.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I would think for kids it would need these things:

Network-ability. Kids do things together. And it's a good lesson. Kids in proximity running some program can begin jamming together, or just join in a jam. Maybe effecting another's sounds. Something like a ReacTable, but with kids and their laptops. How cool would that be?

Realtime. Forget recording, laying tracks, and such. Kids remember. They also need instant response. No program it in Chuck, then run it, see what happens. ANd when they've done this long enough, they'll already know about recording software and how to use it. Pick up a crayon and draw. Doodling to discover. That's how kids learn art and expression. Ever see a 2 year old sticking his finger in the electric socket while you yell at them? Are they looking at the socket, or are they looking at YOUR expression, and how they're effecting you? Let them play.

Use the laptop. These are devices for 3rd world countries. Whose gonna buy a friggin interface? If it's too cool, you're going to see them all stolen and being sold on ebay somewhere. Stick with the interface that every kid that has one of these things has. Kids will find uses for the keys. And any other sensor they build into these things.

Just my opinion.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:

Use the laptop. These are devices for 3rd world countries. Whose gonna buy a friggin interface? If it's too cool, you're going to see them all stolen and being sold on ebay somewhere. Stick with the interface that every kid that has one of these things has. Kids will find uses for the keys. And any other sensor they build into these things.


Yup. These things have a tablet mode. Perhaps there is something that can be done with that.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

EdisonRex wrote:

Very interesting discussion.


Thank you Paul! Very Happy

At least I can rely on someone Wink Laughing

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
I would think for kids it would need these things:

Network-ability. Kids do things together. And it's a good lesson. Kids in proximity running some program can begin jamming together, or just join in a jam. Maybe effecting another's sounds. Something like a ReacTable, but with kids and their laptops. How cool would that be?

Realtime. Forget recording, laying tracks, and such. Kids remember. They also need instant response. No program it in Chuck, then run it, see what happens.


This is one of the things brewing in the back of my mind and has been since early summer.

I'd like to do a rhythmical instrument (drum/sequencer/pattern-based-synth/whatever) build from the ground up for playing with (at least) two people, like quatre mains piano, except with more interaction and controlled by two of those dance-pads.

Technologically speaking this is quite easy, I could have a playable prototype in 12 hours max. *THE* issue, however, is a good design for such a instrument, one that encourages interaction and offers different ways of it that are communicative amongst the players so they can compete and collaborate or (more likely) do a little of both while it all remains interesting for a audience. Please send good ideas, I have some but not enough ATM.

Re; Tom&Stein; you are barking up different trees as you accidentally substituted "text" for "communication", or so it appears to me.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

Re; Tom&Stein; you are barking up different trees as you accidentally substituted "text" for "communication", or so it appears to me.


err- no I didn't? Did I? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I'm only throwing ideas in at this stage- everything is possible Very Happy

The Sinclair ZX80/81/Spectrum had a command on each key making data input a lot easier. Tap a surface with a series of taps = one word. Velocity could also change the meaning of that word etc

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