Lucky Frame

The ToobChopper

Category : Experiments ยท by September 11, 2012

File this one under “experiments”…

A few months back Jon started playing around with The Echo Nest API, which is an amazing set of tools for analysing musical data. Among many other things, it can works out time signatures, tonal patterns, rhythms, beats, structures, and all sorts of amazing things from songs. We though it would be really amazing to make a system for instantly remixing youtube videos – letting you be a sort of DJ and VJ at the same time.

We hatched a plan to prototype (using Max/MSP) a proof of concept of this idea, and we came up with a few different directions that turned out to be super fun.

Other projects got in the way, but the other day I was helping out at the Edinburgh Music Hack Days, and a representative from the Echo Nest was in attendance. It reminded me of our youtube remixer, so I decided to pull it out and polish it up. To make it work better I’ve cut it way down to the bare essentials:

1. Take two instances of a single video
2. Loop a segment of that video, using the Echo Nest to pick out a musical loop of one bar
3. Cut up that loop using a grid interface, again using the Echo Nest to allow you to cut it up musically
4. Change the pitch/speed, looping area, etc etc
5. Layer the two instances on top of each other in different ways

Of course there are many many other features that we could add (ability to mix different videos, record your output, share to youtube, etc) but for now I think that it’s enough to show that this is a really cool musical interface…have a look at the video of me playing around:

If you have a Mac you are welcome to download the app and have a play for yourself! No guarantees it will work on your machine, I think it probably won’t work on OS 10.5, but it appears to work on 10.6 and 10.7.
Download the ToobChopper 1.0 for Mac

Let us know how you get on! Oh, and let us know if you want to fund an iPad version. We’re all ears.

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