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Trapcode – After Effects

02/11/2009

Well it seems to be that the best way to approach this track may be the Trap-code feature that codes a property to react to the music you’ve synched up in AE.

and example of this:

Motion Graphics video ideas

02/11/2009

looking around for how to approach the concept for the Co-Collaboration track, i had originally though of a really vector, bright, happer unfolding landscape for it:

 

This is a TV ad i found on youtube entitled:

Campaña de publicidad contra el castigo físico infantil

This was the sort of vector look i was kind of looking at.

 

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Loco Roco PS3 Gameplay

Once again, this is for the Vector sort of look with a landscape…

 

“cheezi-puffs”

I thought that this video was quirky…yet simple, just an idea…

 

graphic music notation

Not sure what to make of this one, but it’s neat since it’s hooked up with the sounds and animated with it….just don’t have it up too loud.

Rock Band Network in operation, some screen caps from it

02/11/2009

These pics are showing what Rockband looks like while it is being played, the program from the RBN that allows artists to establish details for the track in the shop in Magma and how the songs are actually programmed through Reaper.

in game play for Rock Band

Magma Program

Reaper Program

Case Study: Music Video Games

02/11/2009

Since 2006, Video gaming has become a close component of our everyday recreational activity. In the United States alone, over 40% of households own one of the few next-gen video game consoles (Graft, 2009). The result of this has come from the increased sales of games and TV’s making use of High Definition. Sales for HD TV’s have increased to 53% world wide (Graft, 2009) and that the creators behind the video gaming consoles have incorporated this new technology/hardware into their products. With the continual rise of gaming in our culture, an opportunity to create new and entertaining forms of media are open to any market, especially the Music industry. Music games have been around for over a decade, but they have never really had too much exposure until the full interactive experience until games like Parrappa the Rapper and Dance Dance Revolution came into international markets. However, upgrading this experience from just sequences and arcade machines, being given tangible instrument-like controllers enabled consumers to embrace a new era of Music Gaming, the Band games. Games like Guitar Hero, Rockband have presented the opportunity to not only play out your favourite tunes on “imitation instruments, but have now given musicians the chance to further produce and distribute their music to a wider market. Video Gaming has been deemed a new technology, and the advances with it seem to develop every time a new console is released, as this technology advances, so will the opportunity to market products through it.

Music video gaming has been around just as long as first person shooters have been, the exposure and credibility behind them has not always worked out so well. “For music rhythm games, it often begins and ends with the soundtrack” (Brudvig, 2007) and unfortunately, most games over a decade ago did not take this into mind. When looking at music video games, they use a simple mechanic that could engage the most patient or even the youngest of gamers, the mechanic of sequencing. Hitting the right button/ colour in time with the tune. The earliest form of this would be a product called the “Simon”. A large, thick, disc like object with 4 different coloured buttons on it. How was this played and what does it have to do with video gaming? It has everything to do with video gaming nower days. The “Simon” buttons lit up in a sequence, producing tunes that the user would have to recreate from memory by pushing the buttons.

PaRappa the Rapper and UmJammer Lammy demands that the player not only get the sequence correct but also the timing of the sequence, in a call and response format. This sequencing method had been kept within the boundaries of music games and that is what really shined back when they were released on the Playstation 1. Soon after though, the upgrade of sequencing to a fully interactive experience came when Dance Dance Revolution and BeatMania were introduced into arcade and soon after, into households. Using a Dance mat with 4 directional pads, you would hit the arrows on screen that have been correlated with varied trance and J-pop tracks. This style of music gaming lasted for just under a decade until it had been upgraded for a wider and more westernised audience.

When you mention music gaming, the thought of Guitar Hero would instantly come into mind. The premise behind the franchise began years ago with Konami’s: Guitar Freaks but didn’t grip the mainstream in the US until RedOctane teamed up with developer Harmonix and released the first of the Guitar Hero games on Playstation 2 in 2006. Since then there have been 10 games in the franchise to date. Activision (picked up the franchise since GH3) and RedOctane have directed their games at 2 demographics, general gamers and music enthusiasts. For gamers and some for the enthusiasts, they have released the general Guitar Hero games. But, for the music enthusiasts, they have released particular editions of Guitar Hero, such as Aerosmith, Metallica and the latest Van Halen. Respecting the fact that these bands still have large fan bases who value their music, Activision and RedOctane focussed on providing a product that consumers will be able to engage with and value. However, Guitar Hero is not the only music game to have taken this approach with value in music and take the consumer and creator engagement even further.

Rock Band differs from Guitar Hero in a few minor yet recognisable aspects, the main one being “it’s not about one person’s experience. This is a group effort and the game play is geared towards teamwork.” (Goldstein, 2007). With the latest release of Beatles: Rock Band, music gaming sales have been re-established and have been higher than ever. Working with the prospect of creating a game/album of a particular band (as previously handled by Guitar Hero developers), Harmonix have been able to produce a game that not only gives the fans what they want, but really re-creates the essence of the Beatles in interactive experience and the psychodelic visuals. “There’s a care and attention you won’t see from Activision’s Metallica or Aerosmith one-offs…The Beatles went out of their way to do new things. So it’s no surprise that a Beatles game doesn’t feel at all like the traditional music title.” (Goldstein, 2009). Although Rock Band hasn’t been as exposed in the gaming market as the “Hero” games have been, Harmonix’s: Rock Band has established itself as not only as a form of entertainment for most ages, but has recently become a tool for upcoming artists to create, promote and distribute their music tracks. The Rock Band Network “enables songwriters and musicians – at any stage of their careers – to create their own paths through the interactive music realm.” (DeGooyer, 2009) This methodology of co-creation has proven strength and stability of Microsoft’s game development tools, technologies and services allowed Harmonix to focus on making an easy-to-use experience for authors without needing to reinvent the wheel (Mitchell, 2009). However, the programs themselves have been tested to take 20 – 40 hours for first time music track creation, the process is easily adjustable over time, so licensed users and artists will be able to adapt quickly to the layout and order for the RBN programming. Another addition that has been pushed in Rock Band is it’s downloadable content. Giving consumers the chance to purchase and play tracks from selected, well-established artists and bands (i.e. Foo Fighters, Guns and Roses, Queen). The download track listing is updated weekly with new songs and the pricing for songs vary between $1 to $2 a song. Even though it doesn’t have as many titles produced from it, Rock Band/ Harmonix knows how to work within its market.

Video Gaming technology and music seems to have really been pushed within the last 5 years, and it looks as though it won’t be disappearing anytime soon. As access to online technologies has become easier, creators distributing and producing music games as an interactive experience for consumers has become so common that the creators have given the consumers a chance to co-create with the games that they may love.

 

The year is 2015…

23/10/2009

This is from the New Technologies Research discussion board. It was my last written response to the readings, and I thought I’d put it up to share, as it’s got some fairly relevant material to read through.

My topic for New Technologies Research looks at how music and new technologies influence each other.

Through the research into the issue, a number of key themes have emerged. Presented below are several ‘futurecasts’ relating to where music ‘may’ be tomorrow…

The year is 2015.

Music police patrol the streets, cracking down on ‘unlicenced’ or illegitimate music…

With personal rights stripped to all time lows, governing bodies like APRA, the RIAA or the PRS for Music (Australasian Performing Rights Association, Recording Industry Association of America and the former Performing Right Society, UK,) have field workers whose sole occupation consists of walking the streets, apprehending people listening to personal music devices (the new ‘moonwalkmen’ are now the leading personal music player of choice, tapping into a wave of retro sentiment and tieing in with the recent multi-national space program launched to send Metallica and Elton John to the moon for a one off promotional concert for ‘SonyAppleVirginEmiMetallicaEltonjohn’ – SAVEME Corporation), and ensuring that all the music contained on said personal music device is legitimate.

No tunes are safe. No singing in public is allowed, unless cleared in writing through three tiers of legalese bureaucracy… welcome to the Recording Industry’s dream of tomorrow.

The year is 2015.

Music is free for all. Thanks to the visionary pioneering of proletariat heroes such as Richard Stallman, Shawn Fenning and the now deceased martyrs formerly known as ‘The Pirate Bay’ (rest in peace), music is no longer a commodotised, capitalistic and consumption driven industry.

Social support networks like Australia’s Centrelink meanwhile, are now facing massive problems due to understaffing, lack of resources and a sudden, suspicious rise in the number of slightly hungover scruffy looking musicians hanging around waiting for cash.

The recording industry is no longer. Thanks in no small part to the efforts of file sharing networks like The Pirate Bay, BitTorrent and Napster, it is now almost impossible to pay for music legitimately.

Hordes of angry collectors surge on music stores like Collector’s Corner for the monthly ration of new vinyl shipments. Small children are hoisted onto the tops of packed crowds in order to stand a better chance of getting to the front of the queue, desperately trying to secure their copies of the latest children’s music craze, Eminem’s magnum opus ‘Spell like this B*tches’.

Music is no longer a commodity.

The year is 2015.

Subscription based models rule supreme.

Now, everything you purchase is paid for on a subscription basis.

Your local fast food restaurant offers 12 month subscriptions to their ‘Pizza per week’ club. Clothes are paid for via one yearly transaction, and your subscription allows for a total of 24 torso garments per year, 12 lower body garments and 4 footwear units.

Music is now a subscriptions based ‘good’… Apple offer one convenient ‘Technotainment’ package, that includes personal computer, mobile telephone, personal music player and personal medical monitor in one handy 3D hologrammatic unit, stored inside your ear canal and connected directly to your cerebellum via the latest in nano-neuro technology.

You pay Apple $1200 per month for the privilege of unlimited, unfettered, unfiltered technotainment. Music, movies, television, podcasts, blogs, social networking sites, news sites, reddit… All delivered directly to your neurocortex for a mere 76% of your total income, as a highly sought after well paid design director at one of Chinostralia’s longest established designspeak firms, Ministry of Ideas.

The remainder of your income goes to filtering services, tailored to ensure that you as a time poor consumer aren’t overwhelmed by the petrabytes of technotainment swamping you on an hourly basis.

Scenarios should be as startling as possible in order to best demonstrate where complacency and stagnation exist. Through shocking and highly exaggerated forecasts, today’s areas of stagnation are identified, and it is in those areas that the unknown, unpredictable innovations of tomorrow are most likely to have major impact.

I’d like to finish this set of readings highlight a quote from Forge, Blackman and Bohlin that I found slightly ironic. Throughout their article discussing the future they have employed a seemingly self contradicting blend of acknowledgement of their inability to predict, coupled with an epistemic arrogance that somehow, their lack of being able to predict will stand them in better stead than yours or mine.

‘Identify the key variables (including the unknowns) for each scenario’

If only we could ‘identify the unknowns’…

Almost unbelievable… almost.

22/10/2009

Found this little gem (thanks Reddit) while having a ‘last look online before heading to sleep’ net browse.

Recording Industry Does It Again

Crux of the story goes something like:

– Shop told by record industry legal team to lose radio play in store without paying performance licences (surely the radio stations are supplying these licences?)

– Staff member at shop starts singing to herself while shop is quiet

– Shop is told that staff member will be fined thousands if singing continues

The sad thing is that this isn’t a joke.

Vinyl Record Development

22/10/2009

Following on from my most recent post, this post discusses the plan for our ‘extravagant’ flavour of musical release: 12″ vinyl record.

I love vinyl. There’s something about the tactile nature of it that just… ‘gets’ me. It hooks me, it draws me into the music in a way that digital just doesn’t. I think it goes back to my childhood.

My first memories of music actually reflect CDs. My dad was the prototypical ‘early adopter’ of music formats – he bought a CD player when there were a total of 6 albums to purchase within Australia. A year later there were several hundred!

We always had vinyl records around however – and I was always careful with them. I love/d that you had to be careful with the format. I think the care needed to ensure the longevity of vinyl is part of why we appreciate vinyl as being something a little more valuable than digital.

So, to turn to our vinyl offering.

As spoken about in my most recent post, we are releasing our audio product across a range of formats – and vinyl is our top of the line, extravagant version.

So, given that it’s meant to be extravagant… I thought we may as well go the whole way and make it a picture vinyl.

For anyone unfamiliar with what a picture record is, it’s pretty straightforward. It’s a record. With a picture in it.

There were a series of super distinctive vinyl records created in the 70s in the leadup to the introduction of CDs, and picture vinyls were a common way of differentiating a normal vinyl record from a collectable release. There were also some really interesting things done with form cuts into vinyls, and a whole bunch of neat tricks nicely presented in a book titled ‘Extraordinary Records’, initially released as a project within Colors magazine by Italian collector Giorgio Moroder. The book looks really, really good… but I may have to wait ’til I finish studying before I can add that to the collection.

So to emphasise the fact we are releasing this on vinyl to reflect the extravagant, collectable style of music release, our vinyl record will be a picture record.

The picture that will feature on the vinyl will become a central aspect of the whole project. As the centrepiece, it needs to carry it’s own weight and in a (scary) way, will almost be the representation of the whole project…

I’ve been racking my brains trying to figure out what should take centre stage. There are so many different aspects that need to be represented – tactility, tangibility, ephemerality… music. And today, the concept has been nailed down.

Following the lead of one of my personal favourite artists – Pink Floyd – the picture disk will be an illustrative interpretation of the ideas and subject matter researched within the TouchTunes release.

The logotype will be projected onto a hand, shot in darkness. This illustrative technique summarises our research area, and indeed is a strong representation of the issue of music (an ephemeral, essentially non-physical entity) and physicality, and the interaction between those factors.

A conceptual mockup of the artwork is attached below, in addition to some images of various picture vinyl.