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.

Spatial Music Visualizer

Inside Music is a Google WebVR Experiment that lets you step inside a song, giving you a closer look at how music is made. The bonus is the music is spatialized as well so you get a completely different audio experience from a normal stereo mix.

Open the Song Visualizer in a new tab: https://sonicviz.gitlab.io/sonicviz-spatial-music/
You can move around using the WASD keys and mouse, just like a regular game controller mode.
Note: Best used with Google Chrome browser with no other tabs open.

“Interaction
Select a song from the menu. The stems of the song will appear in a circle around you, each represented by a sphere. In 360 Mode, tap the spheres to turn them on or off. In VR Mode, you can use your controller to toggle their state. On Google Cardboard, you will have a retical (a small circle in front of you eye) which can be used to turn the stems on and off.”

I thought it would be a good opportunity to pull apart and test it with a couple of my own songs:

There’s huge potential with spatial music to revolutionize music production and delivery, and we’re only just getting started. For some more info on this you can read my blog post on “Immersive Audio and Musical AI“.

There’s a bit of a process to go through, including configuring your development workflow and tools but in the end it’s a pretty cool way of getting inside the music. I also used it as an opportunity to test gitlab CI and page hosting.

Next step will be to extend it with some custom visualizations, refine the asset pipeline workflow. I’ve actually had a similar concept bouncing around to do in Unity3D so I’ll probably do that at some point.

See also: https://www.canvas.co.com/creations/3901

Streaming Live Music

A long term action research project on networked virtual live streaming music performance, virtual experiences, and interfaces.
Solo performances and collaborative live networked real time music jams with musicians around the planet.

Live Music has long been the “Killer App” of the SecondLife online social experience, acting as the glue that binds people to come together for shared experiences.
I’ve produced and performed at 1000+ events in SL and have learned a lot over this time in areas as varied as:

  • Virtual event production
  • Virtual set production
  • Platform evaluation
  • Technology strategy
  • Streaming Audio and Video
  • Virtual platform economics
  • Virtual event management

See also:

I developed an interactive reactive AI controlled rhythm section that responds to my playing dynamics in real time.

Networked live music with musicians from two countries  (Japan/Canada) simultaneously.

Networked live music with musicians from two countries (Japan/Taiwan) simultaneously.

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