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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2019 » September » 24


What if your gear could MIDI map itself? This open schema and iOS app do it now

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 24 Sep 2019 7:03 pm

So, you’ve got a plug-in or a hardware synth – and you want to control part of the sound with a physical knob or some iPad modulation. One clever iPad app and an open source scheme could make what happens next happen faster.

Early 1980s MIDI still gets the job done in a lot of ways. But then you hit this problem of mapping. Let’s say you’re an app developer, and you want to support a whole lot of different synths. (You know, like your customers may have been reading CDM and Synthtopia and Sonic State and bought, like, everything.) Your time is valuable, so you don’t want to spend all of it mapping gear.

Users, of course, have the same issue – from controllers to desktop software to apps, we often find ourselves having to manually create templates.

Developer Eokuwwy Development (aka Steven Connelly) faced this challenge with the app MIDI Mod. MIDI Mod is clever stuff, and worth a separate article – it gives you a ton of modulation options you can use to control gear, and then the ability to modulate the modulators internally (routing an LFO to the modulation that’s then routed to your synth). So you can get a bunch of elaborate changing, morphing sounds on whatever you choose.

The breakthrough from Mr. Connelly was to establish a standard schema for defining all those parameters to control. Got a Roland System-8? A Behringer Neutron? Yamaha Reface? BigSky reverb pedal? Moog Minitaur KORG volca sample IK multimedia Uno? Even other iOS apps? He’s got all of them. (Here’s a list.)

Other developers have done things like this before. (Native Instruments Maschine, for one, had similar mappings – though unfortunately, the engineers working on this support were to my knowledge included inthe layoffs last month.)

This developer is going one step further, by releasing the entire schema on GitHub for manufacturers and developers. And it could be relevant to anyone – someone making a hardware synth, a Web-based tool, an iOS app, desktop software, whatever.

As a user, you may not necessarily need to know how this works – only that it allows makers of software and hardware to make more stuff compatible, and work more consistently, faster. But the basic idea is, this not only defines a consistent way of defining parameters, but tools for automating testing and supporting control. (There are even just-added tools for generating specs from CSV files and HTML documentation from specs .)

Got a synth you want supported? Make the document once, and then – once they provide support for this schema – other tools will be able to work with your tool, check for errors, and even generate code and documentation. It’s a JSON schema, plus a whole bunch of useful examples. iOS developers should be able to get going really fast – even using Swift – but it’s pretty clear to everyone else, too.

I remember this conversation going on for at least a decade, even specifically talking about “wouldn’t it be nice if there were a JSON schema” for this. The reason is, Web developers do this sort of work all the time. It’s just that these were in the form of APIs for Web applications that … uh, stole all your data from a weird online survey that then sold that data to foreign spies or whatever the heck has been going on for the intervening time. I’m kidding, mostly – okay, most of this sort of JavaScript work is more like boring day job stuff.

Isn’t it about time that we applied that intelligence to music?

I don’t know that this particular implementation is perfect, but it is open source, it has everything I and others I had talked to wanted for such a thing, and so it seems time to put it out there.

(Yeah, maybe like minijack MIDI, we can all talk about this now, rather than wind up with two competing formats. Just a thought.)

I know there have been similar discussions to add this sort of functionality to a future version of MIDI. But this particular kind of schema doesn’t require anything in the MIDI spec itself – it’s only built around it. So this is something that works with MIDI 1.0.

Developers, have a look and let us know what you think. Maybe you can add to that list of apps supporting this.

Users, well, you don’t have to wait – you can check out MIDI Mod now, if you have an iPad. (And I better take the opportunity to make some docs for all our MeeBlip synths.)

https://github.com/eokuwwy/open-midi-rtc-schema

https://github.com/eokuwwy/open-midi-rtc-specs

MIDI Mod at the App Store

Developer site and a lot more info: https://eokuwwy.blogspot.com/

The post What if your gear could MIDI map itself? This open schema and iOS app do it now appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Court of Appeals Rejects FCC Ownership Decision – Putting All Ownership Reform on Hold

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Tue 24 Sep 2019 4:12 pm

Yesterday, a panel of judges from the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided by a 2 to 1 vote to overturn the FCC’s 2017 decision that made significant changes to its ownership rules (see the decision here).  The Court sent the case back to the FCC for further consideration.  The 2017 decision (see our article here) was the one which ended the ban on the cross ownership of broadcast stations and daily newspapers in the same market and the limits on radio-television cross-ownership.  The 2017 decision also allowed television broadcasters to own two TV stations in markets with fewer than 8 independent owners and made other changes to the radio and TV ownership rules.  Yesterday’s decision also put on hold the FCC’s incubator program meant to assist new owners to acquire radio stations (see our summary of the incubator program here).  All of this was done without any analysis whatsoever as to whether marketplace changes justified the changes to the ownership rules or of the impact that the undoing these rule changes would have on broadcasters and other media companies – including on radio companies hoping for changes in the radio ownership rules in current proceeding to review those rules (see our articles here and here).

What led the Court to overturn the decision if it was not the Court’s disagreement with the FCC’s determination that change in the ownership rules was needed?  This Court, in fact these same three judges, has overturned the FCC three times in the last 15 years, stymieing ownership changes because the Court concluded that the FCC had not sufficiently taken into account the impact that rule changes would have on diversity in the ranks of broadcast owners.  Here, again, the Court determined that the FCC did not have sufficient information on the impact of the rule changes on ownership diversity to conclude that the rule changes were in the public interest – and thus sent the case back to the FCC to obtain that information before making any ownership rule changes.  What led the Court to that conclusion, and what can be done about this decision?

In reviewing the FCC’s decision, which had paid significant attention to minority ownership issues, the Court made several criticisms of the FCC’s methodology, finding that the FCC did not have accurate information about the actual minority ownership of broadcast stations and how it has changed over time.  The Court concluded that without that information, the FCC could not make proper assessments about the impact of the rule changes on diversity in ownership.  The Court also faulted the FCC for not making determinations as to the ownership of broadcast stations by women.  Finally, the Court said that the FCC decision in adopting its incubator program to make small businesses the beneficiaries of the incubation process, rather than making minority or female owners the beneficiaries, did not sufficiently analyze the impact that using the small business definition would have on ownership diversity.  The FCC had found that it could not use racial or gender distinctions to determine the beneficiaries of the incubation process as that would be constitutionally suspect – but the Court concluded that, even so, the FCC needed to assess the impact on diversity of the rules it decided to use.

Note that Court did not decide that any of the rule changes made in 2017 were necessarily problematic.  In fact, the Court said that, even if the FCC determines the rules that it adopts adversely impact minority ownership, those rule changes may still be permissible if the FCC decides that the public interest requires changes in the rules despite their impact on diversity.  So, at the end of the day, the gathering of the required information could lead to the exact same result that the FCC reached in 2017.  The potential for that result seems to be reflected in the opinion of the dissenting judge, who notes that the world has changed in terms of media competition, that the 2017 rule changes were justified based on that change,  and that the needed changes in the rules should not be held up while the FCC is sent on what may be an impossible task of trying to document in a manner satisfactory to the Court’s majority how its rule changes will affect minority ownership.

What happens next?  The Court sent the case back to the FCC for further consideration, where the 2017 decisions would probably be added to those issues already under consideration in the current Quadrennial Review (see our article here on those issues).  However, instead of immediately taking up the Court’s remand, an appeal of this decision is possible.  In fact, Chairman Pai, in his statement after the decision, seems to suggest that the FCC will appeal the decision.  The first step may be to ask the other judges on the Third Circuit to rehear the case to determine if the three-judge panel was correct in its assessment.  An appeal to the Supreme Court is also possible, though that is a much lengthier process that could take longer to resolve than if the FCC considers the matter on its own.  We should see in the next month or so where the FCC decides to go on this matter – and how it affects pending applications that rely on the 2017 rule changes as well as future changes in the ownership rules.

FCC Extends Deadline for Regulatory Fees to September 27

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Tue 24 Sep 2019 3:55 pm

Annual Regulatory fees were to be paid by today (see our articles here and here).  But yesterday, the FCC issued a Public Notice giving all those procrastinators in the communications industry a few extra days to pay their fees.  Those fees are now due on Friday, September 27.  It’s your last chance – don’t be late to pay those fees.

Gary Numan review – terrace chants for thrashing synthpop star

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Tue 24 Sep 2019 1:23 pm

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea
The Numanoids are out in force for their idol, who throws in guitar and beefy rhythms for this 40th anniversary tour

Gary Numan’s latest UK tour comes under the banner of a 40th anniversary, although it doesn’t say of what. Perhaps it doesn’t need to. Everyone with even a passing interest knows 1979 was Numan’s annus mirabilis: two No 1 singles and two No 1 albums, and a sense that the future was here. Few things said “the 80s are coming” like Numan performing Cars on the telly, every musician prodding at a synthesiser, not a guitar in sight; his star briefly burned so bright that his idol, David Bowie, felt threatened enough to write a song slagging him off.

You definitely wouldn’t need to remind tonight’s audience, heavy on Numanoids, the diehards who sustained him through his subsequent lean years before he was hailed as an influence by everyone from Detroit’s techno pioneers to Marilyn Manson and Trent Renzor. Less inclined to dress up like their hero than they once were, they nevertheless have their own terrace chant, deployed before, after and occasionally during songs: “Nuuuuu-muh-un! Nuuuuu-muh-un!”

Related: Gary Numan: ‘Eye contact is something I find incredibly difficult’ | This much I know

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