Tag Archives: remix

Remix with a new Surface

Surface with the remix project attached

Simon tweeted me about the Microsoft’s idea of a new remix platform. Some instantly thinking I wouldn’t be interested because heck its nothing like the now legendary pacemaker. My negativity is centred around things like Armin’s project which to be honest isn’t so great (still don’t know what he put his name to it).

The Surface remix project isn’t a DJ platform but rather a remix platform. Yes you could do a little mixing on it but realistically it for making music. The thing which got me interested was the interface. From what I understand about the Microsoft surface is that the keyboard is clicked on, but what if you could click other types of inputs in? It would certainly beat the problem of touching glass.

Will this extended beyond the one smart modified smartcover? I doubt it, Microsoft are well known for wanting to control everything but then again what they did with the Xbox Kinect was good news, although I’ve not seen anything like this recently. If it was a open source project with open and published hardware and software specs, I would be a lot more interested.

I’ll keep an eye on it but I don’t hold out hope for anything ground breaking…

Parody videos – the start of a remix

Hugh pointed at the importance of parody videos as the start of an important conversation.

I was speaking to a group of students at Salford University earlier this month about the cultural value of parody videos. Even the terrible ones. I made the arguement that the really terrible ones may be more important than the really good ones.

Let me explain.

As I pointed out yesterday most people are waiting for permission to make their moves. As social creatures we take our cues from those around us. We are a nation that needs nudging. We like to copy. Mark Earl talks about this in his book ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having‘.

I explained to the students that for every terrible parody video on Youtube there will be hundreds of super talented viewers saying to themselves “I can do better than that”. The terrible parody video is what it took to kickstart their creative career.

He’s right…

Growing up in cultural revolution of Acid, House and Rave. Not only were these forms of music demonised by the mainstream (can never forgive BBC Radio 1 for not playing Rave music). They claimed there was no talent involved and it was simply pressing buttons.

This may have been true in some cases but frankly it inspired a whole generation of other people to give it a try and write their own tunes. Some of them were successful and others just had fun.

So no matter how much I hate the gangnam style stupid dance. Hopefully it will encourage others to do there own thing instead of just jumping on the bandwagon.

The remix is one of the most important trends we have and it does fit with hugh’s people are waiting for permission too.

Imagine if you could remix books?

Cooking for Geeks cover

There is something about Simon Lumb, something that everytime we chat creative juices start flowing (wipe that smile off your smutty face, you know what I mean)…

Off the back of a conversation in Wagamama about Richard St John’s 8 Traits to be great, which I have a physical signed copy of after a TEDx. We got talking about how I tend to own a physical copy of most books although I also own the ebook version. Then we got talking about Instapaper and Readitlater, how they give you the ability to pull together elements from a range of sources…

Imagine if you could do the same thing as a published book? Remix books!

Books right now are like Albums, but imagine if they were more like singles and EP’s?

They could be like the Mixtape of the written word? Fits perfect with the self publishing trend.

  • Example 1: Custom cookbook. Pick a your favourite menu items and self publish your own cookbook. A bit of Jamie, dash of Heston and a lot of Nigella (yes please). Arrange them into a new type of cook book which is custom for you, or reflects your cooking style. It could be a cookbook for you or for someone else…
  • Example 2: The best of… Many times in the past, people have said the best way to learn about Z is to read chapters Y & X of book W and chapters A, B and C of book D… Want to know the best to learn how to skateboard or surf? I recommend reading my custom book which is made up of… you get the idea
  • Example 3: The best places in the world. Could be a nice mix of places you’ve never been to before, places you inspire to go or places you have been to before. Actually it kind of reminds me of off beat guides, but instead of building it from raw components its from previous decent reviews.
  • Sure there are many more including books for young children, books for different learning styles, etc, etc…

The remix methodology is actually very apt, because instead of building your own from the components, your remixing parts of others. Like a Dj remixing other peoples tunes.

The copyrights framework will be a nightmare to work out (we’re not kidding ourselves about that) but to be honest it could be something like the music rights framework for albums and singles? Might even increase the amount of readership for some books? It could be massive changes, or little changes like the art work in the book. Instead of lovely glossy pictures of food in a cook book, it could be technical diagrams for those more interested in seeing those? Maybe the remixes will cost more than the originals but to the person who gets it, its worth so much more. You get the idea…

Crazy idea? Tell me and Simon why? Maybe you love it and want to run with it? Well all we require is attribution… This idea is open to the world… Run with it and tell us when you get rich by changing the publishing industry. This is what places like Lulu have been crying out for right? Just like… My lifestreaming dating idea and my dreamscape idea. Go get them, change the world or go Lazy web make it so…!

UGR Linux: Ubuntu Gnome Remix project

I have Ubuntu 11.04 on my laptop but I’ve added Gnome 3 and ditched Unity by adding repositories which have Gnome3. Everything kind of works but there are problems as described before here.

So I was happy to see the Ubuntu Gnome Remix project is growing and has a couple of releases such as gNatty.

This all comes at a point when I’m seriously considering wiping my laptop drive and building a version of Ubuntu without Unity from the very start. Problem is I don’t really want to loose all the applications, preferences, etc, etc… So I’ll try and get Gnome3 fully working then maybe one day soon, just do the wipe. I am hoping Ubuntu allow Gnome3 to be a part of Ubuntu or allow such projects to grow and establish themselves.

System F remix competition

To be fair the last thing I really want to do is enter another competition after the sheer Mess O’Potamia of the Lets Mix Next Generation DJ contest, I’m not so sure I really want to enter another, but remixing a range of System F/Ferry Corsten’s tunes is too tempting.

Back in 1999, System F’s ‘Out Of The Blue’ redefined trance music for a new generation. Ferry Corsten’s synth-laden classic destroyed dancefloors across the planet and became a worldwide chart hit, beginning one of the most successful careers in dance music for the Dutch maestro. 11 years on, the track is being re-released with a host of new mixes from Tiësto, Hi_Tack, Laidback Luke, Rafaël Frost, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Koen Groeneveld, Showtek and others!

To celebrate, Ferry Corsten in association with Trackitdown.net and Copa Football, has launched FC System F – the chance to become part of the greatest team in trance history! By entering the competition, users are able to remix highlights from the System F back catalogue. To kick things off, Tiësto, Laidback Luke and the above have already remixed ‘Out Of The Blue’, but there are 10 further original tracks presented in the line-up, all waiting for the remix treatment from a new star player.

Starting weekly from February 2nd, Ferry will post the original parts of a System F track on the website. After agreeing to the Terms & Conditions and registering, fans will be able to download the parts for free, and have 3 weeks to send in their remix via a download link to team@fcsystem.com

Wonder if I can use LMMS for remixing these tracks once their available?

The world’s most important 6-sec drum loop

Matt showed me this earlier in the week but I had to blog it. This is a excellent example of remix culture… Imagine if Amen had claimed copyright over the break? Or if they had licensed it only to the top producers in the music industry.

This fascinating, brilliant 20-minute video narrates the history of the “Amen Break,” a six-second drum sample from the b-side of a chart-topping single from 1969. This sample was used extensively in early hiphop and sample-based music, and became the basis for drum-and-bass and jungle music — a six-second clip that spawned several entire subcultures. Nate Harrison’s 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip.

What the heck happened to x3d?

x3d

Well it would seem the x3d community blog has the answer to my question.

5-10 years ago people were touting that it would only be a matter of time before everyone started building 3D web sites just like they were building HTML pages. What happened? Is it that 3D on the web failed? Or is it that many of us didn''t really understand that the Web is a much bigger and more diverse place than HTML pages? X3D, particularly in it's XML incarnation, is actually growing very very rapidly on the web. But it's not growing as HTML pages – it is growing as real XML-based applications that demand serious technical chops to develop

That maybe but come on, your telling me the x3d guys don't want people to mashup realtime data and api's into something x3d? Then looking back a little longer, I found this gem.

OK, so we've spent like 5 or 6 years moving from VRML to X3D…what's the point! Visually the advanced VRML browsers compete pretty well with X3D browsers but it's time to make the XML magic really appear.

Sandy suggestions some implementations and boy oh boy are they run of the mill. No disrespect but there pretty boring and if I saw these, I would shake my head in shame. Recently I've been very much into the visualisation of complex data and honestly I think via some very clever use of x3d you can generate something actually very useful. Lets do a better example. Take Digg data and boy oh boy you could do some very clever things to map whats hot and whats not. Through transparency and using the zindex it would be possible to show existing stories from days before and maybe there peaks. It would be like a landscape of stories with there digg totals in yindex (height), date in the zindex (distance) and maybe relvents or grouping across the xindex (across). Using your mouse you could hover over one and things would open up a little to show you more details of that story. Alright maybe my example isn't much better but at least its not your usual 3d on the web stuff.

I'm dying to try out some of this X3D stuff via XSL and the cocoon framework. I'm thinking about the fun I use to have with Povray and what I can currently do with XSL and XML. And I have done stuff with VRML and Javascript in the past, so I should be able do something quite interesting with a little time. I did download a X3D viewer the other day but only tried out the sample files.

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Visualisation of complex data

Spam architecture

I was catching up with mobuzztv today and caught quite a few things in the links, which I felt like sharing.

First up was a link to a guy who has made quite aggressive objects out of his email spam.

The images from the Spam Architecture series are generated by a computer program that accepts as input, junk email. Various patterns, keywords and rhythms found in the text are translated into three-dimensional modeling gestures.

Nice stuff, but I was thinking it would be great to see a real time view of this thing growing over days or weeks then bits getting lobbed off when he purges his spam folder. And this could easily be done with x3d, hey what ever happend to x3d? Anyway, it also seems Alex has a few projects based on visualising complex data like this one called Brecht, a VJ tool based on SQL queries.

Second through the gates, and on a simlar vein is shape of song

The custom software in this work draws musical patterns in the form of translucent arches, allowing viewers to see–literally–the shape of any composition available on the Web. The resulting images reflect the full range of musical forms, from the deep structure of Bach to the crystalline beauty of Philip Glass.

I don't what else to say but I would love to see these drawn using multiple colours and animated to the music. Which (with my remix head on) could be done using clever use of SVG. Do check out the Gallery to get a feel for what I mean.

Third but somewhat deserving to be last, Brian Eno and David Byrne offer all there song data from there latest album My life in the bush of ghosts under a creative commons licence. Great, and lots of people have already started remixing but there something I can't let go of so easily. Why wrap the whole damm site up in Flash! Its really fiddley and means I can't permalink to any of my favorate remixes or even copy the text for a blockquote. One word…. suck! Although the general idea is good. Shame its let down by some over the top flash wankery.

Oh quick plug for one my favorate blogs about information visualisation, information aesthetics. Now if only someone could make the link between information visualisation and real world remixing of xml and webservices.

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Going nuts for certain tunes while paying 200 pounds for the privilage?

dj's de laptop

I just had a quick look at my audioscrobbler/last fm rss and noticed i'm listening to the same 3 tunes over and over again. Its not a mistake, its actually me loving these tunes which I stayed up to 2am searching for the other day. I've had them all of 2 days I believe and can not wait to do a mix with these new tunes. What are the tunes, you maybe asking?

  • FB Featuring Edun – Who's Knocking (Ferry Corsten Rmx)
  • Gabriel and Dresden feat. Molly – Tracking Treasure Down
  • Kosmas Epsilon – Innocent Thoughts

.

They've been on my list for quite some time but finally went actively searching for them on Trancetraffic and found them all there in 320kps Lame encoded Mp3 format. Mighty impressive quality and great tunes which could not be found on iTunes and Allmp3.com.

I simply will not buy music which is DRM'ed, practially Fairplay DRM (what a joke for a name) does not play on my ipaq, mobile phone and certainly not in my Dj application Virtual DJ. I mean why the heck would I buy music from the iTunes store and put up with the fact that I could not mix with it? Insane I tell you. So much for the mix in Apple's Rip Mix and Burn tagline from years ago.

Anyhow talking about Insanity, dance music and mixing. I saw this Digital DJs Unaware of Copyright Law on Slashdot recently.

The BBC reports that if you're a DJ, playing your digital copies of files off a laptop or mp3 player is illegal. The UK royalty collection agency, PPL, demands that such DJs pay £200 for a license in order to do so. From the article, 'Many DJs are still unwittingly breaking the law by playing unlicensed digital copies of tracks months after a new permit scheme began, the BBC has found. This includes legally-purchased downloads, which are normally licensed only for personal use, as well as copies of tracks from records or CDs.

What the heck? Geez this is the kind of thing I hear about in America not in the UK. Going through the comments it seems this headline grabbing story may not be all its craacked up to be. The first informative comment goes like this

I think the article summary is a touch misleading. My reading was that the public performance of songs whose copyright the DJ doesn't hold is what's illegal, and the £200 is for a licsence that remedies the situation. Nobody is telling anybody they can't play music on their laptops, and I'm sure the submitter didn't intend this, but I think it's important to point out that this only relates to public performance. Additionally, DJs do not need to pay the liscence if they are playing from CD or vinyl.

So this still applies to someone like me it would seem? I don't get it why because its digital I have to pay a license fee on top of all the music I'm playing on my laptop? As someone said, its a specific license tax on just those who utilize digital delivery systems. Some comments which sum up better than myself.

So a DJ can play a CD, but if she plays the same track ripped to an MP3, she has to pay an extra 200 pounds for a license? Where's the sense in that? The US compulsory license scheme actually seems sane by comparison.

Hey you thief, don't you dare be playing my tracks where lots of young impressionable kids will get to listen to them and then afterwards possibly go out to their local DJ shop and buy my records/CDs! Well unless you give me 200 big ones!

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Visual mixing with creative archive footage?

BBC Radio 1's Superstar VJs

So finally the BBC has launched its first lot of creative archive licenced material. There will be some kind of major vj competition to follow. I think this is all good stuff, except a couple of things.
1. UK only? this is a real shame for the billions who happen to live outside of the UK.
2. No P2P downloads of the files. I thought there would be somewhere on the site where you could download everything in one go. But nope it looks like a click and browser type of affair. I did look around to see if anyone had hosted a torrent for this, but I cant find one. Its tempting to do so myself and try and restrict or at least inform the downloaders of the licence rights. I'm sure under the creative archive licence I would be in my rights to do so? And wasnt this the point of a creative commons type licence? I would be interested to hear if the BBC are using Geo-ip type blocking for downloads or relying on the licence conditions. Found out there using Geo-IP

I know Bit Torrent has a bad rep when it comes to most mainstream businesses. But the simple fact is that it works. You can distribute large files around the net without hammering one server farm. I even believe its possible to tell the Bit torrent tracker to use Geo-ip type systems when deciding who should and shouldnt beable to download the files.

Till number 2, the distribition of the files are handled differently, superstar vjs is going to require alot of clicking and browsing. So close, but so far…

Update – It would be more than my jobs worth to recommend using a Proxy to bypass the Geo-IP system. I also would not link to such proxy servers in the same post. But we all know once its online, location makes no difference. Just making downloading difficult is not ideal when thinking about the audience. But if it serves the purpose of convincing the lawyer, that a certain percentage of the rest of the world wont download the UK only content. Well theres no more to say.

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