I don’t usually gush about musical interfaces, and haven’t really since grid controllers (like the monome) started to gain in popularity. However, this is a wonderful, visually appealing idea that deserves a look.
Now, while I am still firmly against fully supporting such a closed platform as the iPad, these music apps show what is possible with a clean, mulitouch interface. Developers shouldn’t have to hack the iPad to support all of the great features they have in mind. I’m hopeful that the iPad will at least accomplish the goal of driving down the price of multitouch hardware, and that Apple’s patents don’t continue to stifle innovation in that area.
And while we’re visiting CDM, here’s another cool article: Sonification: Thermonuclear Testing, Made into Music, 1945-1998
Here, the artist Isao Hashimoto has taken data representing nuclear tests performed by various countries from 1945 to 1998 and sonified the data. (I wish someone would make a decision on the word we’re supposed to be using. The concept is sonification, but I’ve heard others use sonified, sonificated, audiated, and more.) Each second of the audio is one month of the year. Events like new calendar years, and new countries entering the arms race have their own sound effects. Each detonation produces a tone with the pitch corresponding to the horizontal plane of the map. Because the sounds are all so simple, the effect is much like a Geiger counter. The visualization also matches quite well with the style of the sounds produced.