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Month: September 2011

“Sonifying Processing: The Beads Tutorial” Introduces Sound Art Creation In Processing

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering Oliver Bown’s wonderful sound art library, Beads. Beads is a library for creating and analyzing audio in Processing or Java, and it is head-and-shoulders above the other sound libraries that are available for Processing. From the ground up, Beads is made for musicians and sound artists. It takes ideas popularized by CSound, Max and other popular sound art environments, and intuitively wraps them in the comfort of the Processing programming language.

Today I’m proud to announce the release of my free ebook on sound art in Processing, Sonifying Processing: The Beads Tutorial. Also available in print and Kindle editions from

The cover of the print edition of my book on sound art in the processing programming language.

The book covers all of the standard sound-art topics in straightforward tutorial style. Each chapter addresses a basic topic, then demonstrates it in code. Topics covered include Additive Synthesis, Frequency Modulation, Sampling, Granular Synthesis, Filters, Compression, Input/Output, MIDI, Analysis and everything else an artist may need to bring
their Processing sketches to life.

It’s true that these topics are well-covered by other environments in other places. There are a plethora of sound art platforms these days. I love Pure Data, Max, SuperCollider and even Tassman and Reaktor. But there are a million people out there making visual art in Processing who don’t have a good way of exploring multimedia in the environment in which they’re comfortable. This tutorial is aimed at Processing programmers who think that sound art is a bridge too far.

In fact, Beads makes sound art incredibly easy while staying within the comfortable confines of Processing. So stop reading blog posts. Download the Beads Library. Download the book. Download the source code. And get to it!!

Beat Me by Oliver Szymczak

BeatMe is a solo performance with video projection, sound and double bass.
The video/sound/Text is handled with Max/MSP, triggered by a midi-foot switch, giving the control of what is happening while playing the music.

Thinking about the relation of music and moving images gave me the idea of bending the codes of composition for visuals and music a little, changing the rules of narratives to repetition and variation, bringing them closer, making the images dance and give the music a different sense. It is all about perception, thinking and emotions. We have ideas and a feeling about ourselves in the world and all that relations inbetween. All that processes that determine who we think we are and how we feel about that. We live in an optical and sound situation.

Seeing and hearing through the things.
What you see is not what is there. Don’t misunderstand. What you see is what your neuro-circuits are allowing you to see. Waves and particles of molecularities hitting on your sensory system recalling/actualizing knowledge bases built up in the past and you are using them to look into the future, forgetting about the moment. Can this be correct?
The things you see are always representations of yourself. And you are ab/using them to reflect yourself, to tell to yourself what you dis/like about yourself. The world as you see it is nothing more than a mirror, reflecting back your desires and your fears.