Sound/Music R&D

I completed a Music Masters degree in 2002 focused on Real Electronic Virtual instrument design and performance (see also http://www.linseypollak.com/past-projects/rev-real-electronic-virtual/ ).

I’m deeply interested in music technology and new music genres across all boundaries. I’m also a producer/developer of educational apps such as Fopra and the benchmark Harmonica training app HarpNinja. As a Creative Technologist I also work with many different technologies across many different areas.

Currently exploring new areas in music and sound with VR/AR/MR, AI/ML,  and spatial audio/music with various projects and collaborations, such as:

Groove Pilot

Wings

Spatial Music Visualizer

Immersive Audio and Musical AI

Since 2005 I’ve performed online in virtual worlds like SecondLife playing solo (with and without my robot backing band) and also real time music jamming with multiple musicians located in different countries. You can read more about that in the Streaming Live Music project.

Here’s a video demonstrating live networked music performance between myself in Tokyo and fellow SL musician Hathead Rickenbacker in Toronto, Canada.

Generative music systems are an interesting area that I’ve done a lot of research and experimentation in as well.
Moozk was an experimental audio visual app I developed for public use using a wacom pen tablet to drive a painting application that also produced generative music as you drew. Kids seemed to love it.

Blue Noise was an experimental audio visual performance using an eBow, slide guitar, digital effects and a PC running audio responsive custom designed graphics.

I’ve given some talks and performances about live music in SecondLife:

. Mixed Reality Komuso On The Future of Music Online

. SynaesthAsia: Dynamic, Live Music/Visual Spectacular from Musicians in Two Countries

Wings

Wings: Therapeutic VR prototype with interactive music and procedural visuals/camera.

The environment (time of day, speed, cloud cover etc) + adaptive music score (high quality emotive orchestral cinematic)  is driven by AI or responsive to bio/neuro feedback.

I did a talk about the development approach at VR Hub Tokyo Year-End Meetup Vol.4 | Health & Fitness with VR and ARtitled “Design Framework for a Therapeutic VR app”. Related projects are:

Some video from the presentation:

VR app test version video:

Groove Pilot

Groove Pilot is a prototype interactive spatial music mixing “experience”.

As part of my continuing series of explorations around spatial music I threw together this prototype to play with some ideas about:

  • Spatial music
  • Real time mixing
  • Interaction

VR version: Video of prototype VR app version.

How to play?

  • You must use headphones or earbuds to experience the spatial music
  • Collect all 14 sound orbs to complete the level.
    • Collect each sound orb before you run out of fuel.
    • Each one collected will give you a bonus fuel boost as well
  • As you collect each sound orb it enables another layer of the downtempo chill music track to play.
  • Each layer of music is located in 3D space so is mixed relative to all the others as you move around, dynamically changing the music mix and experience on the fly.
  • In a sense it’s a generative music piece controlled by the players movement through 3D space.
  • Each sound orb/music track/stem is also visualized procedurally​​ in different ways with real time signal processing to drive reactive graphics.
    • Note: Sound visualization currently only works on desktop version, working on a fix for the WebGL browser version.
  • Best used with an XBox360 type controller to fly.
    • Left Stick: Pitch/Yaw
    • Triggers: Roll
    • Button A: Start/Brakes

Try it out: https://groovepilot.netlify.com    Note: This is WebGL and best used in Chrome/Firefox with minimal tabs open.

Research and Development

I did a talk about the development approach at VR Hub Tokyo Year-End Meetup Vol.4 | Health & Fitness with VR and AR titled “Design Framework for a Therapeutic VR app”.

Related projects are:

Sound/Music R&D

Web playable non-vr prototype submitted as part of Procjam 2017  @  https://itch.io/jam/procjam/rate/194089

Technical details.

Built in Unity 3D.

Desktop only as Unity WebGL is currently not supported on mobiles.

Orbon

Orbon is a collaborative game development learning project with my 6 yr old son Oscar.
(You can read more about his game based learning adventures here: http://www.coplay.ninja/ )

Orbon ™ is an endless play experience designed to test your thinking and reactions, that requires focused concentration and timing.
It’s currently in open alpha testing phase on Google Play, coming soon to iOS.
https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.sonicviz.orbon
App page: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sonicviz.orbon

Technology: Unity
Team: Me and my 6 year old son as co-designer
Process: It started out as a small project I put together to test some Affective AI plugins I was evaluating for client projects. Affective AI is software that responds to the users emotional state through different sensors and emotive state pattern detection.

While testing these out I thought of a side project to do some game development with my son, to show him a little of the process of development and engage him in some high level design and play testing. We talk a lot doing that so it’s great for his english skills too;-)

The goal was to develop something fun but quickly with high quality art, music, and sound. We developed the core mechanic first (the toy) then built some gameplay around it with a little story backdrop. Art style I was originally looking to do something quite abstract but we took a U-turn into the current style instead. I spent a bit of time choosing the music and sound FX as this is a key part of the experience as well.

I heavily leveraged the Unity Asset store for some key subsystems and art, most of which I already had. It was very much an iterative process to explore what might work, then implement and test. Total project length was ~4 weeks.

It’s quite a complex little game under the hood. I surfaced a few gnarly bugs in some of the 3rd party subsystems I used, so that involved some back and forth with the devs. Fortunately I chose packages wisely and these were all great devs who support their products really well.

I decided to release it into the wild for some early alpha testing to tune the gameplay, difficulty progression, and pacing with some more inputs from a wider audience.

Feel free to have a play and let us know your thoughts!

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