Ultrasonic tactile feedback – by Matthias Kispert and Sus Garcia

Miha Ciglar presented his interface Syntact™ at the Music Hackspace on Thursday 21st of June 2012. To feel the sound, in this occasion meant to place your hand in a focal point where ultrasonic transducers literally blow acoustic energy on your skin. Similar to AM radio, sound waves are amplitude modulated on ultrasound, thus the ultrasound carries the acoustic information inaudibly. The Syntact interface was developed from Miha’s interest in receiving tactile feedback in sound performance. This means there is tactile interaction while there is no physical contact with the interface, as the sound is felt by the musician.

After a presentation of the interface, developed by Ultrasonic audio technologies, the company he founded in 2011 in Slovenia, Miha Ciglar performed a short set on a no-input mixing board whose internal feedback was augmented by a Syntact interface, whose output was reflected through hand gestures onto a piezo transducer and fed back into the mixer. A different mode for gestural interaction is possible with the help of a USB camera, which tracks hand movements that are converted to MIDI data which can be assigned to software parameters.

Miha also demonstrated the Acouspade™ directional speaker which also uses amplitude-modulated ultrasound, but this time the wave is being demodulated into the human hearing range. Because of the high directionality of high-frequency waves, sounds can be focused onto a particular point with precision. While Miha aimed the speaker at different points in the room, it was fascinating to observe how these movements could be heard and located very clearly – the sounds always appeared to emerge from a point that was more defined than a real-life sound source would have been.

By Matthias Kispert and Sus Garcia

(note: images will follow)

Oli Larkin: Intro to audio plug-in development with iPlug

Ever wanted to make your own VST or Audiounit plug-ins? iPlug makes it really easy to get started. With just a basic knowledge of C/C++ programming you can make a plug-in using iPlug.
 Oli Larkin is an audio software developer and maker of Endless Series – a unique plug-in based on the Shepard Tone auditory illusion. He is also developing iPlug which is an open source project originally by Cockos (the company that makes Reaper). Oli will introduce his work and show how he develops plug-ins using iPlug.
Come to the event on July 5th, 7pm, at the Music Hackspace.

Composer residency available with the Music Hackspace

The Music Hackspace is teaming with Sound and Music to host a composer residency from September 2012.

“Embedded is Sound and Music’s artist development programme. Funded by The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Embedded places a selection of artists from a range of disciplines into real-world artistic contexts with leading national creative organisations. Aimed at talented artists at an early stage in their career, Embedded is a bespoke programme, providing practical hands-on experience and significant creative opportunities. “ (From Sound and Music call)

This residency will offer an opportunity for an early career artist to develop their skills through connecting with and contributing to the work of the Music Hackspace, and allowing both partner organisations to benefit from a sustained relationship with a music/sound creator.

The selected artist will spend time engaging with the members of the Music Hackspace, their projects, research and outreach work, before using the context and resources of the organisation as a starting point/inspiration for the development of new music or sound-based work for a range of contexts.

This residency does not dictate working process, prescribe sources of inspiration or predetermine platforms for outcome, which will be agreed by the partner organisations in conjunction with you. Agreed facilities of the Music Hackspace together with the expertise of staff there, and at SAM, will be at your disposal, along with mentoring from an experienced artist chosen in collaboration with you and in response to the needs ofyour project. A bursary (£2000) will be given for your time and some budget is available for materials and work development. A travel and accommodation budget is available if required.

The Residency

The residency will last approximately 10 months, beginning in September 2012 and requiring a total commitment of 10 weeks across the duration of the project. The scope of the residency and details of the timetable are flexible and will be discussed and agreed with the selected composer/sound artist, the Music Hackspace and Sound and Music. This can include:

– Participating in the life of the Music Hackspace through engagement with a broad spectrum of their work, including the development of new instruments, sensors and software for music production

– Utilising the Music Hackspaceʼs diverse resources and knowledge of engineering as a starting point for developing new works, performances or installations

– Working closely over an extended period with the Music Hackspace to develop a context and potential platform for new work resulting from the partnership

– Working with a mentor throughout the year chosen in conjunction with you

– Workshop and/or development time on agreed work

– Attending two Embedded professional development days over the course of the residency. This will provide an opportunity to meet with artists from other disciplines who are taking part in concurrent Embedded projects to share ideas and work

Who will this residency suit?

We are seeking an artist

– Whose work engages with music and/or sound

– Who has interest in collaborating closely over an extended period with active members of the hacking culture, benefiting from the input of project partners and their associated teams and fellow creators

– Who has an interest in creating work with new technologies and to innovate in ways to engage audiences

– Whose work forefronts creativity and bridges the gap between traditional musicianship and technology

– Who has an interest in enhancing public engagement through public facing work, including outreach

– Who has an interest in site specific performance or installation

– Who will embrace the challenge of working with engineers and technology and lead development of solutions to enhance musical expression

– Who has an interest in and is prepared to reflect on and share their own practice

– We are particularly interested in supporting artists whose practice will develop through inclusion in the programme


– you must be a British Citizen or a resident in the UK

– you cannot be in full time education during the residency period (research based PhD candidates will be considered) – you must be at an early stage in your career

How to apply:

To be considered for the opportunity:
– You must have time during the period September 2012 – Summer 2013 to spend up to 10 weeks on site and to create agreed new works

A selection panel, including representatives from the Music Hackspace, SAM and an independent artist will shortlist applicants for interview

If you wish to apply, please supply three DVDs or CDs of data. The three DVDs/CDs must each contain the following documents and information:

– your CV and worklist

– your completed application form

– two contrasting examples of your work in the following formats: e.g. PDF of a score, MP3, Quicktime movie, .WAV file, Word file, JPEGs etc. Please include recordings where possible.

Applications should be sent to:

Sound and Music Embedded Residency – Music Hackspace
3rd Floor, South Wing
Somerset House Strand
London WC2R 1LA

Hand delivered applications should be delivered to the West Water Gate entrance to Somerset House (on the Victoria Embankment)

For any queries please contact Richard Whitelaw at Sound and Music, or come to the Music Hackspace on a Thursday evening.

Deadline for applications 15:00 on Monday 13 August 2012. Your application must arrive by this date and late applications will not be considered. We will acknowledge receipt of your application when the call closes.

Please do not send originals, as we will not be able to return work. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by 3rd September 2012. You must be available for interview during the week commencing 10th September 2012, interviews will take place at Somerset House in London.

Sound and Music promotes challenging contemporary music and sound art through a range of projects, incorporating live events, learning, artist development, and digital platforms. We embrace complexity and risk-taking and invite the audience to listen in new ways. Embedded, Sound and Musicʼs artist development programme, partners a selection of ambitious artists with pioneering arts organisations and ensembles in the UK. This rolling programme encourages professional development for artists alongside the opportunity to create new work in close collaboration with high quality partners over a sustained period. For further information please visit www.soundandmusic.org/projects/embedded

Download the application form

Interview with the Audio Podcast

The Audio Podcast interviewed Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut about the Music Hackspace on Monday 25th of June 2012.

The interview was part of their 61st show, which is recorded weekly by Scott Hewitt and Samuel Freeman, PhD students from Huddersfield university. The podcast – subtitled All About Audio –  lasts 50 minutes and covers in details a wide array of new technologies and innovations. Follow them on Twitter @theaudiopodcast.

The interview is visible here and the audio is available for download here.



Max MSP meet up, 28th of June

On Thursday 28th of June 2012, we will host the 2nd London Max MSP meet up at the Music Hackspace.

Presentations by Patrick Henegan, Bas Vellekoop and Ivaylo Chichanov. Advanced and novice welcome.

Max Patch developed by Autechre.

I Dream of Wires

Robert and Jason, the team behind the new modular synthesizer documentary I Dream of Wires, came to HQ on the weekend. They travelled all the way from the US to talk to us!

Actually that’s not true – they came here to interview our friend Dom Butler from Factory Floor. Nice people that they are, after seeing some of what we do here they agreed to point the camera our way. Hopefully the footage will be up on their website at some point.

It looks like it will be a fantastic movie. As well as making a feature length film, they are documenting the inside world of the modular community at a very, very interesting time. Some of the many interviews they’ve filmed are already available to view on the website, so make sure to head over there: I Dream of Wires. And support them on IndieGoGo!

BEAM Festival

We went with the London Music Hackspace to the BEAM festival this weekend.

Had a great time, met lots of lovely people and saw some amazing performances!

On the Sunday we played a set with the Hackspace Big Band, which was a lot of fun: Stoicheia and a few prototypes featuring as part of the improvised performance.

Massive thanks to Atau Tanaka and the organisers, hope to enjoy much more of this in the future.

Today’s Links

  • Online Sales
    We made an announcement yesterday on the venerable muffwiggler forum to introduce Stoicheia. It was greeted with such enthusiasm that we decided we should make a few modules available for immediate purchase. We have therefore put a small number of Stoicheia modules … Continue reading
  • Stoicheia Video
    Here’s a user video of our Euclidean Sequencer – Jim Credland rockin’ out with one of the very first prototypes!
  • Euclidean Sequencer Published
    Our first module Stoicheia, the Euclidean Sequencer, is now available. We are publishing the source code, which you can access via github, as well as the hardware design. We hope that this will encourage tinkering, bending, extensions and improvements – … Continue reading
  • Synthesizer Day
    Big thanks to everyone who came to talk to us yesterday, and big ups to Andreas Schneider for organising the event! We had a great time, and got to talk to other makers such as vxxy and AlphaSphere. We also … Continue reading

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Music Hackspace at BEAM Festival

The Music Hackspace is going to BEAM!

We will be there from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th of June 2012. We will show the SOLARIS project (Jean-Baptiste Thiébaut and Thierry Guibert), Michael Page’s mechanical step sequencer, Martin Klang’s Euclidian Sequencer, Ariel Elkin’s AriVibes, Tasos Stamou’s bended toys, Jag’s din is noise, and more…

On Sunday, we  perform together as the Hackspace Big Band. Exciting stuff.


Stoicheia Video

Here’s a user video of our Euclidean Sequencer –

Jim Credland rockin’ out with one of the very first prototypes!

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