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Ted Levine

Page history last edited by Ted Levine 13 years ago Saved with comment

Cellphone Remix Box (Placeholder Name) Status Update



Alone in the interface room, I add some finishing touches to my project.


Two problems fixed today:


  1. When changing the genre of music, live didn't like soloing single tracks. I would solo one track, then the next, but the previous track would still be solo'd. 
    • Fix: use more god-like ctlouts to mute/unmute each genre group.
  2. When the box hears the phone ringing (using a gate), it tells Live to start playing. But  every time the gate opened, it would hit the play button.
    • Fix: Shut off the mic to the gate. Show it who's the boss.


I now expect my project to implode on itself, as nothing has gone wrong and I swear I don't have that much positive karma.





 = GOD



  • Ctlout lets me communicate between MaxMSP and Ableton Live super easily.
    • For those wanting to do this in the future, make sure to turn on Track and Remote for the maxMsp controller midi settings in Live's preferences.
    • Different genres / scene selectors have been ironed out a bit because of this discovery.
  • I installed the 30-day trial of MaxMSP on my laptop, I can get the project moving along quickly.



Quick summary of where I'm at: 


  • I got my box looking reeeaaal good. Found some black matte spray paint and from what I've sprayed I am very satisfied.
  • Many thanks to Don for finding that exact three-position switch I was looking for. And then giving me an intricate yet simple resistor solution to get Max to see it as a 3 state switch.
  • The box is almost entirely complete. The magnetic open/close sensor is in place and working, and the music selector hasn't broken yet. I also plan on gluing the sound-isolating foam into the box and spray painting everything black because it looks really stylish. Thankfully I have a wireless lav to put in the box, which means one less wire to cover up before the show.
  • As for coding, I'm happy to say Barney and I got Max/MSP talking to Ableton Live via the Midi controller interface preferences of Live. There's still some things to work out, like configuring scenes for the different music styles, but having control of the global timeline is a real plus.



Here's my game plan with patching (√ = finished with, -> = my next steps):








Interface Project Proposal: Music (Remix) Box


When you call a phone number and place your ring-enabled phone in this box, your ringtone is recorded and remixed live.

This project would require integration with Ableton Live, which Max For Live might pull off. 



1. Marimba: http://db.tt/RtII0uH

2. Boing: http://db.tt/ovA4TNw


Finer Details:

Title: Music Remix Box

Major Components: box, computer, microphone, cellphone (hopefully)

Materials: Wood/cardboard, wire, sweat

Visitor Interface: User calls a special number, places it in a box, closes the box, puts on headphones and listens

Display: See sketch diagram.

[Anticipated] Challenges: Finding a service that auto-calls back. Google Voice? Getting Max/MSP to work with Live, learning the interfaces to make the logic work. Auto-activation of the box when it closes (bend sensor?).

Objectives / Intentions: I want the user to experience their personal life being translated into my piece. I'm super interested in how everyone's ringtones are different, and exploiting that.

Engaging Viewer: Satisfying remixes. Perhaps also include a selector toggle with the box, in which the viewer can select from an assortment of genres.

Relevancy To My Art Practice: It aligns with my interest in playing with the space between the viewer and the piece, both physically and psychologically. My work always includes the viewer in the piece in some form.


Handy lessons I'm going to read up on:












Schematics & Processing:



Sketch of the installation components:


Listening Post is a project created in collaboration by two artists, Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin.

It centers around communication of the masses online. But instead of simply showing quotes of people's conversations, the system creatively forms an audiovisual experience that queues each line of conversation in a slowly progressing series of acts. In real time, the system connects to "thousands of unrestricted Internet chat rooms, bulletin boards and other public forums" and pulls phrases beginning with "I am." As the music progresses, a synthesized voice reads each quote aloud in synch to the music. 


What is missing in the youtube preview is the fact that the installation makes great use of multiple speakers - the voice reading the quotes emanates from each speaker randomly, some of which come from behind you. On the visual side is an array of over 200 small LED displays suspended from the ceiling. Sometimes the piece has each display working individually, clicking after each phrase is displayed, and other times the array of displays are used together to highlight certain movements in each act. 


From the description:

"Listening Post cycles through a series of six movements, each a different arrangement of visual, aural, and musical elements, each with it's own data processing logic. " 


What I found most striking about experiencing the piece live (in the San Jose Museum) was the fact that the piece never repeated itself. Yet there was quite a bit of control over the randomness, to a certain extent. Some of the phrases were much more mature than others, and because of that I found the wide array of voices created a kind of portrait of human interaction in the online space. The display itself was heavy and grounded, and with the mechanical voice it really felt like a machine was looking back upon the human race's history without knowledge of what events should be considered "significant." 


Another project by Ruben and Hansen on display at the New York Times Building called "Movable Type"






YouTube plugin error

Here's a news article I found on an infinitely variable gearbox by Steve Durnin.
I even watched a video on it and I'm still baffled as to how it works.

YouTube plugin error



Stalk me!



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Comments (2)

north said

at 1:42 pm on Sep 17, 2010

The D-Drive is a glorified differential gear system. I suspect he will be rather disappointed when the engineers get a hold of it.

Ted Levine said

at 8:27 pm on Sep 18, 2010

That was a brilliantly explained video on the differential.
I can see the similarity, although glorifying a differential system is pretty tough to do.
Thanks for adding it!

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