Gibber @ LSU

I have a backlog of people doing interesting stuff with Gibber to post about; a great problem to have! Jesse Allison has been leading a research group (the Experimental Music and Digital Media program, or EMDM) at Louisiana State University who have been using Gibber in a variety of ways. First, they’ve been using it to perform in the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana; below is a pic of a recent performance:

The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana performing with Gibber.

The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana performing with Gibber.

They’ve also been using it to teach middle school and high school students through their EDMM Academy; very cool!

The EMDM program has also released a number of interesting open source software packages. The first is a web GUI framework for digital musical instruments that recently received a major overhaul / upgrade: NexusUI. The second is BRAID, a tool for quickly prototyping digital musical instruments. BRAID currently combines NexusUI with gibber.audio.lib, and although it will support more audio libraries in the future I’m happy Gibber got to go first. These recent projects are primarily the work of Ben Taylor, an incredibly talented creative coder studying with Jesse at LSU.

Please check out their work!

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Weaving with Gibber

From the I-should-have-posted-about-this-months-ago category:

Alex McLean led a workshop on digital weaving and used Gibber a while back; for a while the “Recent” menu in the Gibber file browser was filled with examples of weaving done by participants using Gibber’s 2D graphics mode. You can read about Alex’s work and also get a link to a Gibber publication to try out your hand at weaving a la Gibber:

http://yaxu.org/weaving/

alex mclean – digital weaving in gibber

The workshop was part of a grant involving a number of people titled “Weaving Codes, Coding Weaves”. Live coder / artist / developer Dave Griffiths has since done some really impressive work on software (and hardware!) for digital weaving:

http://kairotic.org

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Gibber Updates

Going to try and be a little more active on this blog; I especially want to highlight all the work other people have been doing involving Gibber / p5.gibber. But to start, some info about some nice feature updates to Gibber.

First, the new pattern library. There are now lots of ways to manipulate the underlying values of audiovisual sequences. You can reverse, invert, rotate, scale, transpose, crop… many tools for creating variation over time in sequences. Check out the Gibber pattern tutorial for details (just close the welcome screen that pops up):

http://gibber.mat.ucsb.edu/?path=charlie/publications/Patterns%20Tutorial

I’ve also added some tools for visualizing pattern manipulations, you can see them at work in this video:

One common request for Gibber is for more instruments and styles of sounds. I’ve addressed this to some extent by adding SoundFont integration to Gibber. SoundFonts are collections of samples that match the General MIDI spec (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_MIDI). Adding the SoundFont means there are now a variety of more traditional sounds (piano, organ, cello, flute etc.) that can be used in giblets. You can try out the SoundFont integration here:

http://gibber.mat.ucsb.edu/?path=gibber/publications/SoundFonts%20*audio*

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Upcoming performances and talks

A few events coming up in the next couple of months. First, a long-form performance (~ 1 hour?) on October 26th as part of the ACADIA Conference (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) in Los Angeles. I’ll be performing during their hackathon session: http://2014.acadia.org/hackathon.html

Next, multiple performances as part of the ACM MultiMedia Conference in Orlando. I’ll be performing twice a day on the 5th and 6th of November as part of the interactive arts program. I’ll also be presenting a long paper on Gibber on the 4th. http://acmmm.org/2014/

Finally, I’ll be giving a talk about / performing with Gibber as part of jsConf.Asia: http://2014.jsconf.asia. Really looking forward to sharing Gibber with some other JavaScript nerdz.

Most importantly, I’m hoping to release a significant refactoring of Gibber sometime in the next couple of weeks before all this happens…

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Gibber.lib.js & p5.gibber.js

I’ve had requests from a couple of faculty members at different universities to bring the audio portion of Gibber into its own library so that it could be used outside of http://gibber.mat.ucsb.edu. I had always intended Gibberish to fill this role, but Gibberish is fairly low-level and doesn’t come with a number of Gibber’s features that make it easy to get started making music:

  • Basic music theory
  • Synth presets
  • Simple sequencing

I think those three elements in Gibber really do speed up the process of making music, as opposed to making DSP graphs. With that in mind, I’ve gone ahead and created Gibber.lib.js, which can be used inside of any web page. It can also be used inside of node.js thanks to the excellent web-audio-api module by S├ębastien Piquemal.

While I was at it, I performed some very (very) slight modifications to make Gibber.lib.js play nice with p5.js, the newly released port of Processing to JavaScript. Although there already is a p5.sound.js library, I’d argue that, like Gibberish, it’s too low-level for music making; it lacks the elements I listed previously: theory, synth presets, and easy sequencing. However, it’s better for sound effects and whatnot as it uses buffer-processing with browser-native audio nodes, while Gibber performs per-sample processing using JavaScript and is thus less efficient (although arguably more flexible).

Please try out p5.gibber.js and Gibber.lib.js and let me know what you think!

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Gibber 2.0

I’ve been hard at work on a new version of Gibber. It’s got some features I’m pretty excited about:

  • Live coding of GLSL shaders (vertex and fragment)
  • A 2D drawing API primarily based on the HTML Canvas context
  • Some really nice mapping abstractions that make it simple to map audio to graphics and vice-versa, as well as making it easy to setup interactive controls.
  • A database backend so users can publish files and browse other peoples sketches (now known as giblets)
  • A chat system that also allows realtime collaborative code editing (like Google Docs) and remote code execution for networked live coding performances
  • Improved audio performance by including the newest version of Gibber, which also has some extra ugens to play with
  • A module system so that end-users can easily extend Gibber and share their extensions with others
  • Improved error reporting with line numbers via an extra parsing stage
  • Mouse and keyboard bindings
  • Integration with Interface.js and Interface.Server

Ack. There are too many features to list them all. Those are the important ones though. Gibber 2.0 is not quite ready for prime-time, but it’s getting close. My main task at the moment is to work on the publication system / browsing of publications. You can try out the new version here:

http://gibber.mat.ucsb.edu

There’s also a new forum there… I’ll probably closing the forum here in favor of using that one. Let me know what you think! – Charlie

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Big Gibber update is live

The newest version of Gibber is now live, and contains a number of substantial improvements:

  • new default demo song
  • new minimal color scheme
  • a pretty slick freesound integration (if I do say so myself), with an included tutorial
  • more graphics demos
  • code fades when you’re not typing if you are using graphics (thanks to livecodelab for the inspiration)
  • beatboxing drum kit demo is now included (thanks karl)
  • electronic drum kit is now used by default by the Drums object
  • boids / flocking audiovisual demo
  • various bug fixes

Try it out!

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Gibber #5 – Mono x2

This is a recreation of a performance I did at a bar last week in downtown Santa Barbara. It uses the Gibber monosynth a bunch and has some granulation at the end. It also has a few mistakes, most notably at the start of the trumpet part.

What was especially nice about this performance (as opposed to previous ones) is that I didn’t have to worry about CPU usage at all, thanks to the new custom-written audio backend for Gibber. Even with screen capture software running (which takes quite a bit of CPU) there weren’t any glitches.

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Gibber #3

Here is my latest performance recording; the new Gibber default script is based on tweaks to this performance. It makes extensive use of Karplus-Strong and lots of flanging. It also shows the new verbose constructor syntax for objects, where you can pass any parameter to the constructor by name. There’s still a few objects I have to implement this for…

I’m feeling reasonably confident that this is how the Gibber syntax is going to look, and thus, getting closer to removing the “Beta” label and publicizing Gibber. Please let me know if you have feeedback!

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