I have enjoyed listening to your creative output on YouTube, SoundCloud and Vimeo and am seeking your assistance with a project I am doing. I'm collaborating with a friend on a music-driven project for BurningMan called DanceyDance. We stole the name from the 'German Sparkle Party'. The components are an OSC connected XBox Kinect to detect body positions of a single participant/performer, Usine to provide the logic and music, lights to cast the silhouette of the performer onto surrounding screens and a stage and perimeter to hold the performer and shadow screens as well as the technology and also to simplify things for the Kinect. Image
The participant will step up to the stage and be instructed through audio to strike a pose. We'll take body position cueues to select a music genre from four or five genres. The four or five will rotate by time of day so that we can play dance music in the evening, maybe something more etherial in the early morning, smooth sounds in the dinner hours, etc. We are also mixing in more randomy ambient world and sci fi genres to keep it unpredictable and fun.
Once the genre is selected, Usine will play sample audio clips from a selection of clips broken into drum, bass, melody and voice/sound effects. The clips vary in size but range between 5 and 45 seconds. The drum loop will play constantly throughout the session because we ue it to keep time in the patch and because it is called the DanceyDance after all. The bass/melody/voice clips will repeat and trigger or not trigger according a random weighting that varies by genre. As the participant is dancing, we use body motion to calculate an 'excitement factor' and use this factor to try to spice up the song that is playing. Also, we have body position Easter Eggs that trigger specific events such as DJHold, DJStop, HPF, autopan and individual sounds like a gong or a croud cheering. The final product is supposed to sound like a randomly assembled song in a given genre that responds to the participant's excitement level and changes accordingly.
Assembling the songs so that they sound good has been the hardest part. I'm more programmer than artist, so I had a lot of missteps along the way. We were hoping to be able to grab random samples that sounded like they might go together, set them to a steady beat and let it flow. However, we learned along the way that BPM matching is really really important. After that, even if a sound is in-genre, it may not be in-timbre. Getting the loop lengths right was tricky. Figuring out what to do to a song to reflect the user's perceived energy level remains an open question. Then there's the problem of making sure a song is 'fun'. I have yet to find the patch for 'fun' in the object browser, but I continue to look. If you have any guidance for me, I'd appreciate it.
For audio sources, we had some success downloading sample kits from remix contests. They often come with all four elements, match BPM and timbre. However, since they're set for remix, they usually miss flair. We've found beat matched drum loops and added them and came up with some pretty cool automatic remixes.
and are two.
Also, the demo songs for some well known DAW programs break apart and reassempble well.
The last place we've had some success is going to our friends and artist community. We've enlisted some folks to make custom songs in Dark Wave and also Rock and Roll that since they're tailored to the project, work really well.
- So, Usiners, any interest in working with me to create about 20-25 samples in the genre of your choosing for inclusion in a project that will be exposed to up to about 50,000 people, one at a time?
- If not, do you have any suggestions for where we may be able to find song elements that we can use to make something fun?
- Do you have any advice for a composing novice as to how else to modify an existing composition to reflect a rise in excitement level on the part of the listener?
is the obligatory screen shot.
Here's last year's project - sort of a photo booth - http://www.humanument.com/archive.html.
Thanks for making it to the bottom of this message.
http://www.sensomusic.com/forums/upload … e=dan1.jpg
http://www.sensomusic.com/forums/upload … tput-1.mp3
http://www.sensomusic.com/forums/upload … tput-1.mp3
http://www.sensomusic.com/forums/upload … screen.jpg
Last edited by CleverConQueso (2011-07-21 23:05:57)
seems to be a fun project, if you want you can check my soundcloud
you'll tell if this kind of work can suit you ? if yes i can propose more
That would be awesome! 'Erratic' and 'Looper' styles would probably play well with the audience and translate well to the machine. Although I warn you, the finished sound may be a little more dense than your usual so that it can cut through the ambient noise at the event. It looks like our piece will be placed on the Burningman equivalent of a town square with lots of people walking by at all time of day and night. If you want to shoot me just a couple of files and I can send you a video of Usine assembling them, so you can get a sense of how it goes together. Thanks again. I'm looking forward to collaborating.
ok, check your mails
woa very nice project! i wanted myself once to test with the cheap dance carpets you find for young people to trig some stuff + wiimote, But your project seems pushing a lot deeper, with kinnekt must be great. im sadly totally out of time those days, but if i can find some time i would love to be able to help you too. but if in one month i guess you need stuff really quickly... Not sure it fits, but i could maybe make a psytrance, or drum and bass 40s build one of those evening maybe. very interested in what kind of links, interaction and effects you thougth about.. great stuff!
So glad you checked in. I've got a 70 BPM D&B and a 140 BPM which I'm happy to replace or give company but I definitely need a PsyTrance piece. If you've got something laying around that you can cut up into a stack of five or six, 2-8 bar drum loops, bass loops, melody loops and magic loops, I'd be thrilled to include it.
As for effects, I have to be very careful to honor my CPU budget. My regular machine is a quad-core but the laptop we'll be using because it's light on power needs, will be less fast. We are thinking of hooking one of the user's hands up to a band pass with some added noise to put them in control of a swooshing sound they can pass across the soundscape. We will take the distance of the hand from the center of their body and when it gets past a certain point, turn it on for some period of time. We'll try the same thing with the ring and the formant filters and see what sounds best with the most options.
We've also loaded some other workspaces that don't coexist with the DanceyDance that we can put on to play with while we are near the project like a hand and foot operated D&B Wobble or an invisible hand-powered wind chime. They'll be literal as instruments and maybe make some cool silhouettes on the curtains surrounding it.
So yeah, if you want to send me some sample wav files, I can put them into the machine and send you a sample of what it wound sound like. I'd love to include a piece from you if you have the time.
Your descriptions looks very interesting. What I understood is that your request aims to create a random live based on a structured composition. That's my actuel goal too, even if I plan to play with my instrument and catch some live sounds ; my movements should be recorded by embedded imu and transform sounds / composition.
I have in a sandbox a few of stratigraphic sounds, which should be added or arranged together, but I'have to dig in my drafts to retrieve and organize that, which demands some work..
Before doing that, let me know if you could be interested, you could have a look at my myspace : http://www.myspace.com/gillesdimancheelectro (much structured music - what I do todays is more experimental - but you have an idea of sonorities)
what a net brainstorming !
ccq I will do my best for the psy stuff, i had to do a remix for next week deadline, and as i finally had cj hard job to do now i didnt anticipated, i think i wont be able to finish it, but i got some 8, or 16 bars builds quasi ready so im quasi certain i could export you 6 or 8 elements next weekend with pleasure. ( im also late on usine layouts oops, back to work )
if you want a dance performer let me know
Gilles- Thanks for your interest. I followed your post a couple days ago and I'm sorry you lost your DJ. It was fun trying to listen for the role that Usine played in your performance.
I am interested and there is always room for experiments. If you want to send me just a few files to get a sense of it - I can put them in the machine and turn the crank and return an mp3 to you. My only guidance is that since it's a competitive environment for sound, it may be necessary to add more density to your composition to compete with all that is going on around. Also, some of the interactive effects we are using rely on a full audio spectrum - lows to highs. The piece will be assembled according to user interaction, which the piece itself must seed by inspiring motion on the part of the participant. Let me know your thoughts and whatever questions you have and thanks a lot for getting in touch.
Kirkoodes - Thanks for the offer. We'll have some 50000 performers this year if things go according to plan. I have been recording videos of friends so that I can tune the behavior of the DanceyDance. But we won't need a professional, per-say. We just got word that the event sold out for the first time in 25 years. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing but I know it means there will be a lot of people there.
Update on this -
We are a week away form releasing this thing into the wild. We are in the process of migrating the interface from the Kinect to the regular Usine webcam DX. The Kinect is cool because it tracks individual body parts which you can then map to events in Usine. It is a very literal connection, which was useful but not important to us. We are trying to measure energy levels which is amorphous. However, the big drawback to the Kinect is that when using the hacked drivers that interface well with OSC, the participant must first 'register' which means stand still in one spot with their hands in the air. This is tough in the environment we'll be in. Microsoft released an official SDK for Kinect which looks like you don't have to register, which is great. However, the published hardware requirements are very high. Since we'll be away from civilization, we'll have three laptops, two in backup. This means that our two backups will be below the hardware requirement. So rather than sinking time into learning the SDK and testing it to see if it would run on our hardware, we took another look at the Usine DX module.
For us, the DX module collects 'excitement level' very well. It reports the number of concurrent 'hits' and X and Y and intensity. For excitement, we look at the amount of the screen that is covered and how many concurrent hits covered it. So we reworked our patches; air guitar, formant shifter, air drum sequencer, and the DanceyDance. For the latter, we hooked the four tracks, drum, bass, melody and voice to a four way fader. As the excitement level is increased, the fader brings in more tracks. Once all four are online, more excitement adds a phaser, then a scratch from the new release, then the dj gate.
So we're going live in a week. I'll post videos including one of Nay-Seven's song when we get back.
Whaoo, great news, can't wait to see those videos and wish you the best for this performance
And glad you finally found a compromise with the video module, certainly less problems and error possible to manage.
And have fun !
Hi CCQ, sorry ive been overbusy and i left to a one week festival, I at last manage to finish (nearly, anyway, no more time)some stuff,
so if not too late for you, you could choose a time part u dlike me to export as separate subparts in this track:
sorry if too late..
Awesome. Never too late. Well, Friday would be too late. Listening now, sounds great. And it sounds to me like the tracks will slice up nicely and fit into the DanceyDance's different sound buckets - drum/bass/melody/voice,effects. The syncopation in there is really neat - it may not come through on the DanceyDance, though, but we'll try.
A way to slice it may be like this -
Four bars of the drum beat.
Four bars of the drum beat where it stops a beat before the ending.
Four bars of the drum beat where the kick is on the 'and' rather than the one.
There are several bass lines in there. Basically four bars of each one. (What are you using for the bass? Sounds so good.)
There's a laser sound bouncing around.
Some pad, like near 7:40
The clubby synth at 1:40
The progressions like at 2:00 and 2:14
The sequencer like at 3:05
The vocal samples with effects applied.
Laser sounds like at 4:00
Maybe some of the gate stops?
Are you game?
A French magazine with some good pictures of 2011 Burning Man festival
Thanks for the link above, Nay-Seven. The map image is from that article. The DanceyDance was at that location from about mid-day on Tuesday through to mid-day on Saturday. The computer logs estimate that we had about 2000 visitors while it was on.
It was too hot to run the laptop during the day so we set it to turn on at sundown and stay on until about 8 AM. We had a backup laptop and dispite the dust, needed it only for when the power gave out on the first one.
We ran the dance music looper project above from 8PM through 2AM. Then switched to a more ambient camera driven synthesizer until 4AM. An air guitar project we called 'You in the Throne Room' ran until 6 until another project whcih was literally a camera driven synth that sounded like a dark chorus of angels played from sunup though to about 8AM.
Our goal was to create a moment for someone leaving one of the nearby crowded frenetic dance clubs in the wee hours. As it turned out, we had that moment for ourselves. We went to check on the DD and adjust the solar cells around 5AM one morning. We dusted off the panels, moved them towards the morning sun, checked the laptop and power inverter. Walked onto the stage to dust off the lights and the guitar song (You in the Throne Room -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07XF5uKZlgw) started playing according to our motion. It played for a while and it was as we hoped, exactly the song we wanted to hear since it was playing according to our motion. We played for a while until the song stopped and the dark angels started singing to greet the rising sun. We sat and after a while some other folks walked by and joined us. We left to watch and they sat and chatted, watched the sunrise and everyonce in a while reached a hand up to trigger the camera. Another traveler (wearing a full wet suit head to toe) joined them. As we turned to leave, the breez parted the curtains at the back of the DD and revealed a massive fire-breathing dragon/art car in the gap silhouetted agains the horizon.
Thanks all for your guidance and musical submissions. We've been asked to bring the piece to a Burning Man post-event which we're anxious to do except for the part where we burned everything that wasn't electronic... We have until October to come up with something.
- CCQ -
Glad to know that all was ok for this performance and you have others proposition to follow
any pictures/ videos with visitors..?
Right. Video. Long story short, we don't have video. Originally we were thinking of just using the camera on the DanceyDance to record. But there's this whole aesthetic about taking pictures at BMan. BM put's a bunch of restrictions around it so that folks don't feel inhibited or spied on or profited on. (True story - I was once in a 'Girls of Burning Man' video. That's me in the background scowling at the camera while some actress wades into the middle of a crowd of music fans and starts posing and stripping. Weird.) Plus there's a lot of (amateur) naked people who probably don't want to be in someone's vacation photos... Anyway. I didn't bring a camera so the photos I got are other people's. In fact, I'm in front of the camera on two of the one's above. So yeah, sorry about that. I would have liked to have video but in the end I didn't want it to get in the way of the experience and frankly, the pictures never do justice.
not sure to understand why you have a wavefile in an external editor here...?
Good question - the screen grab didn't capture audio since it's ASIO and I didn't want to bother with jacking. So I recorded the audio using USINE. In order to sync the audio and the video I added a video track with Audacity so I could see the drum hits. I liked the perspective the whole wav added so I left the clip in the video. To do over again I would make the cameraDX screen much bigger and add lights indicating the MIDI chord, the bass trigger, the drum trigger and the camera logic in there and probably lose the Audacity screen. I didn't use Audacity at all to create the audio.
ok, i understand ;-)