Coming soon…

Many of you already know what I’ve been working on for the past few months with Jon and MikeMujik, a charming and fun music toy for the iPhone. We have submitted version 1.0 to Apple and we are just waiting for them to approve it and put it on the app store. In the mean time, here are two sneak peek videos that show what Mujik is all about…check back very soon for more details. Lots more to come!

Dispatches from the Maker Faire

The Maker Faire was absolutely incredible for all sorts of reasons, not the least being meeting all sorts of brilliant people working on amazing projects. I brought my camera along to San Francisco with the aim of interviewing some of the other musical Makers. These videos are now on Create Digital Music, but I thought I would post them here too.

First up, Elly Jessop, a Masters Student at the uber-cool MIT Media Lab, and her Vocal Augmentation and Manipulation Prosthesis (VAMP):

Next, Barry Threw from Keith McMillan Instruments shows off the K-Bow (and accompanying software) for extending stringed instrument performance into the digital realm:

And finally, the amazing Moldover and his totally bonkers Syncomasher:

Unique Beats

Last week I was sorry to miss the amazing sounding Unique Beats festival of electronic music here in Edinburgh. I was able to make a few short appearances via video, though! Here is the first video I made for them, a tutorial explaining how I made the Wii BeatLooper in MaxMSP:

The Unique Beats podcast also features an Amazing Rolo song in episode 1!

Maker Faire Day 1

Goodness me, yesterday was amazing. I met tons of interesting people here at the Maker Faire, and I’m sure today will be no different! Thanks to everyone who dropped by and said hello and played with the Jam Jars and the Wii LoopMachine. My favorite moment so far?
Boyfriend: “beep beep boooop” (playing with jars)
Girlfriend: “What’s it for?”
Boyfriend: “What do you mean ‘what’s it for’? It’s awesome!!”

I’ll be posting the schematic and directions for building your own Jam Jars in the days following the Maker Faire, I’m afraid I don’t have time to do it right away! So check back soon for all of that. In the mean time, if the first people to come down to booth number 121 (next to the Tesla coils) today and say “Jam Jars For Life!” get a free Amazing Rolo t-shirt!

Okay! They just made the announcement that the doors are opening for day two in less than five minutes. Let’s power up those Jam Jars!

Wii BeatLooper download

Rolo YeloThe Wii BeatLooper, which I showed off a couple of days ago in this video, is now available for download! Click here to download the standalone application for Mac OS X, as well as some free samples, a pdf that explains connecting the Wii remote to your computer, and the Max/MSP patches for anyone who wants to play around!

The Wii BeatLooper

Here’s a demo video of a new mini piece of wii music software, made in preparation for my trip to the Maker Faire next week. The BeatLooper is a fun scratching looping device! I’ll be posting this software very soon, along with the Max Patch, and of course there is much more on the way!

Another sound toy

I’m quite busy these days working on my thesis – I’m making an interactive sound installation based on movement. It’s very cool but very stressful! So all of my other projects have taken a bit of a backseat for the moment.

Well, almost all of them. I have found the time to make a new little bit of software for you. In audio-geek-speak it’s an FM synth where the modulating frequency is generated using subtractive synthesis. The frequency and harmonicity ratio are controlled by seperate step sequencers. In non-geek-speak it’s a fun sound toy that generates rhythms and melodies.

Download (mac osx only for the moment), unzip, and play around:
The Amazing Rolo’s Filtractive Synth 2.0
Update 7.29.07 :: I just uploaded a new and improved version, so click the link again if you already tried it.

I’ll also be playing a gig at the Forest Cafe on August 7th, with some other sound designers. Details to follow.

Rolo Speaks

Category : Software, Wii

Hello all, sorry for the long delay in posts. I’m currently in Paris with my brother Cory doing original music and sound design for a play written and directed by our cousin Fabrice. It takes place on the grounds of a 13th century abbey in Maubuisson and features some amazing new songs by my brother and some pretty bizarre sonic creations by me! Read more about it here (page in French only).

In other news, I’ve been interviewed by the website node3000 about my Wii Loop Machine. Go read it! Thanks to Martin for the interview, and thanks to Agata for the photo!

Wii Loop Machine 1.1

Category : Software, Wii

The response to my Wii Loop Machine software was truly overwhelming, it took me completely by surprise. It has motivated me to work much harder on it, and today I finished a website dedicated to the Loop Machine where you can download the new version 1.1:
The Official Wii Loop Machine Website

This update only changes a few things (described on that page), but over the next couple of months I hope to keep working on it to incorporate most of the suggestions people have made – bpm/tempo settings, quantization, and audio input, to name just a few. Check back often for news and updates. As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch with comments or questions.

Wii Loop Machine

Category : Software, Wii

This weekend I finished the Wii Loop Machine software that I started a few weeks ago. It’s a system for using the wireless Wii remote to sync, control, and manipulate loops in real time.

It’s now ready for download as a standalone application…if you have a Mac with OSX (10.4.8 or 10.4.9 recommended) and bluetooth and a Wii controller then you should give it a try:
Download the Wii Loop Machine Version 1.0
[edit] Please go to my new website dedicated to the Wii Loop Machine, there you will find the latest version of the software as well as a FAQ and more:

It uses the aka.wiimote object for Max/MSP by Masayuki Akamatsu.

Download it, unzip it, and follow the directions in the patch (it will probably take a couple of tries to get it working). It will automatically load in the samples that are in that folder, but you can load your own as well. If you don’t have any other samples you can download these samples from my song “Hold still for a sec” off my album.

Please let me know what you think, what you would like to see improved. Send me an email if you would like to see the code – I would especially like to hear from you if you would be able to make a Windows version.

And now you can watch a video of me looking ridiculous while playing with this software…

[edit] If you’re having trouble with anything, check the comments for this blog for some tips. Next week I’ll post some help videos and better directions.

A few wii projects

No music this time, but here are a couple of other things for you.

As I mentioned earlier, one of my current school projects entails making “Loop Composer” software that uses a Nintendo Wii wireless controller as an interface.

I’ve finished a very early prototype, which you can play with if you happen to have Max/MSP, a Wii controller, and a bluetooth enabled computer. Click here to download the Max patch, directions, and a pdf of a short presentation I will be giving on thursday. If anyone does test it I would be grateful for feedback. Right now it is quite skeletal with very few features, but it responds well enough and I’ll be using it at my show tomorrow night. [edit: this version is no longer supported! go download the new, much fancier version]

Which reminds me, I’m playing a show with a lot of friends tomorrow night at 8pm in the Forest Cafe here in Edinburgh. It’s free and it should be a good time!

Last week I wrote a film sound analysis about silent Soviet film of the 20’s. Read it here! It’s called “The Sound of War in Silent Soviet Film” and talks mostly about The Battleship Potemkin and The End of St. Petersburg.

One of the scenes (from “The End of St. Petersburg) I talk about can be watched on youtube.

For some reason the other scene (from “The Battleship Potemkin”) won’t upload to youtube, but the full film is available for free download at