Flash Midi Server – I/O version. Work in progress

A couple of days ago, a guy called Alfonso posted a comment on the Flash Midi Server page asking if the app could pass data from a midi controller to flash. FMS had always been designed to send out data – as I was originally interested in using Flash as the driving force for generative audio apps. But adding Midi input to the setup should open some more interesting possibilities.
I spent a couple of hours setting up an Input version last night – and got a demo version working.

In the image, the controller positions on the Novation Nocturn are mirrored in the swf.

I need to add the new input functions to the current FMS server app – but expect an Input / Output Flash Midi Server to come in the next few days.

Cellular Automidi – Audio App

Presenting my latest Flash Music Toy App Thing –

Cellular AutoMidi!

Cellular AutoMidi is a generative music app, making “music” based on a modified Cellular Automata algorithm.

It’s an AIR app –

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT HERE FOR FREE!


Check it out in action in the video below, first using Flash dynamic sounds, then using Flash Midi Server to control a synth –

Cellular AutoMidi – Generative Audio Flash AIR App from Lawrie Cape on Vimeo.

According to Wikipedia –

A cellular automaton is a discrete model studied in computability theory, mathematics, physics, complexity science, theoretical biology and microstructure modeling. It consists of a regular grid of cells, each in one of a finite number of states, such as “On” and “Off” . For each cell, a set of cells called its neighborhood is defined relative to the specified cell. An initial state (time t=0) is selected by assigning a state for each cell. A new generation is created (advancing t by 1), according to some fixed rule (generally, a mathematical function) that determines the new state of each cell in terms of the current state of the cell and the states of the cells in its neighborhood. For example, the rule might be that the cell is “On” in the next generation if exactly two of the cells in the neighborhood are “On” in the current generation, otherwise the cell is “Off” in the next generation. Typically, the rule for updating the state of cells is the same for each cell and does not change over time, and is applied to the whole grid simultaneously, though exceptions are known.

…..yep! Basically – each cell can be alive or dead. Once in a generation, each cell looks at it’s surrounding cells, and dies if it is lonely or overcrowded. If a dead cell has an optimum amount of neighbors, it will come to life! Each generation, all the cells which have come to life will sound a note. The notes are assigned based on the cell’s y position, and are all in the pentatonic scale.

There’s a few controls at the bottom which change how things work too.

  • Start/Stop – Starts/Stops the automation.
  • Load – Loads a pattern from the text box.
  • Export – Exports the current pattern to the clipboard. You can send it to friends, or save it for later, then load in with the load button.
  • Clear down – Stop and clear the current pattern.
  • Law Mode – An error when coding the cell rules gave this other odd mode.
  • Skip Audio – Just show the cell animations.
  • Sing Dead – Instead of singing the recently revived notes, sing for the recently deceased.
  • Note duration – Alter the system speed.

Also, along the top there are banks of preset systems. Click play to start a saved pattern, and click assign to assign the pattern currently displayed to that button. You can also trigger each pattern with the keyboard keys 1-8.

When you press Export, your pattern is automatically copied to the clipboard, so you can save it, or share it with people. Here’s a pattern I made – you can load it by pasting it into the load box, and pressing Load!

1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1

HINT – When drawing patterns, symmetrical patterns seem to evolve nicely.

The app is fully compatible with Flash Midi Server (my Flash to MIDI audio interface app) – it checks to see if it is running when the app is launched. If it’s not, then it uses fancy Flash Player 10 dynamic audio! I’m hoping to roll this out to the Flash Midi Server class soon – so any app which tried to access the midi server and fails, will use the dynamic audio as a backup. I’ll keep you posted!

In case you missed it, you can download the app here – it weighs in at just 79kb including icons! The screenshot images above are 79k! If you don’t have Adobe Air installed, the link will prompt you to download that too.

DOWNLOAD IT HERE!

I’d love to hear what you think of it – and see any patterns you come up with, so please post them in the comments.
Have fun!
Law.

–By downloading the app, you are agreeing to the licence below —

Copyright (c) 2010, Lawrie Cape

All rights reserved.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS “AS IS”
AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE
DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR
SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER
CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY,
OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE
OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

Arduino Project + Home Office

So, I’ve been pretty busy lately – back to work, which is great – getting stuck back into interesting Flash development for an awesome client, with some really good people.

But that doesn’t mean I’m falling behind on my other on-going projects. I’ve still got 2 games almost finalised, and my interactive arts project with Josh Sadler is coming on well.

For the arts piece, I’ve recently picked up an Arduino.

What’s an Arduino?

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

Sweet! I’ve been interested in HCI, hardware hacking and alternate input devices for a while – so I really should have picked up an Arduino ages ago!

Check out this beaut –

Here’s the kit I bought – complete with LEDs, potentiometers, breadboard and LCD screen. There’s lots of possibilites here. On the day it arrived, Josh and I managed to get it hooked up to some code we’d written (in PureData and Processing respectively).

And as a bonus, just for mentioning it, I get extra added blog cred. Just check out this XKCD –

In other news, the design site Inspiredology recently ran part two of their round up of “INSPIRING WORK ENVIRONMENTS”.

It’s fun to notice how every single one is a mac! I guess mac users are just more stylish. My current “home office” certainly offers no competition –

Yeah, that’s right. I code on a stool.

New project – Arduino, Processing, Generative Audio…

I’m still searching for a nice new Actionscript Developer post, which means I’ve currently got more time for developing some of the personal projects I’ve been planning whilst away. One idea I’ve been keen on for a long time is Generative Systems – for art and music.

Generative Art

Generative art refers to art that has been generated, composed, or constructed in an algorithmic manner through the use of systems defined by computer software algorithms, or similar mathematical or mechanical or randomised autonomous processes.

Generative Audio

Generative music is a term popularized by Brian Eno to describe music that is ever-different and changing, and that is created by a system.

My first steps into this domain, was my Maths Flash Generative Art Animation from about 4 years ago. And I recently picked it up again in my Flash Media Server demos – Sonar and WebCamColours.

So this week I’ve been thinking about technologies other than Flash which could be used for some generative projects. At the minute, I’m looking at Processing, Arduino, Max MSP/PureData/VVVV, Kontakt and OpenFrameworks.

As my musical skills are slightly limited, I’ve teamed up with awesome sound engineer, programmer, musician and artist Josh Sadler. We talked over how to make a generative system sound more musically appealing, batted a few ideas round and left it at that. A few hours later he sent me the track below.

In his own words –

I had a go at making that music generator you were talking about. Here’s the result. You pick the scale hit go and there’s a button to change it up a bit, bring instruments in and out as you like, needs refining. This one was just 3 button clicks, I think it’s more musical although I’ve been listening to it for so long now I’m not sure what music is anymore

I was blown away! See what you think –

Musicgen2 by Catfurnace

I’m really looking forwards to seeing where this goes. Should be fun.
More info as it happens.