This past Saturday (July 23, 2022) marked the first in a series of in-person events focused on experimenting with sound and code. That’s right, we spent the day hacking music at New Media Manitoba in the beautiful Dingwall Building!
We had 18 folks at our peak, which is an amazing turnout for a niche event. The day went by in a flash. Like a good party, I was left feeling energized and inspired, but also with a melancholic sense that there wasn’t nearly enough time to get to know / catch-up with all those in attendance.
The day started with some lightning talks on Sonic Pi, Chuck, a musical instrument built using Scratch, and the wonders of Ableton Link. The rest of the day was full of cool experiments like:
- A gamepad controller drum machine built using Godot.
- The coding of a Sonic pi version of the 80s anthem Take on Me.
- Generative music built using Node.js synchronized with tunes from a digital DJ deck using Ableton and (I believe) Serato.
- Sonic Pi controlled in real-time using a hardware midi device.
- An “augmented trumpet” converted into a midi controller using machine-learning pitch detection: source code and video. (This is the project I worked on.)
- A number of folkds explored Sonic Pi for the first time. Some reverse engineered the code for DJ_Dave’s blockgame to learn about live loop synchronization and text-based drum patterns.
There were also folks with awesome hardware gear and lots of great conversations on the possibilities of combining code with music. Some attendees assembled instrument and drum kit sample packs and surfaced this great CC0 fake acoustic drum kit pack.
Based on the event turnout, I’m already pondering Sound + Code Volume 2. I’d love for the second event to be slightly more structured to ensure that everyone has a chance to work on a collaborative project.
A big thanks to New Media Manitoba for the event space and to Prairie Dev Con for the delicious lunch. (The 2022 Winnipeg Prairie Developer Conference will be this November 7th and 8th!) I’d also like to thank the Winnipeg Game Collective community for being the initial inspiration for the event.
To get a better sense of what’s possible in the space of algorithms and music, I’ve included a few videos below.