Art + Music + Technology Podcast Interview with Bert Schiettecatte of Percussa AudioCubes

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Check out this interview with Bert Schiettecatte of Percussa AudioCubes – http://artmusictech.libsyn.com/podcasat-066-bert-schiettecatte.

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One of the bits of hardware that keep showing up around me are the Percussa Audio Cubes. I would keep on running into Percussa’s owner, Bert Schiettecatte, at trade shows, would run into users in different places, and even found out that my friends (see Mark Mosher…) are seriously into them. So when Mark opened the door for me to chat with Bert, I rushed in!

Bert’s story is a somewhat common one – a guy with a vision of a product that works hard to make it happen. But when you start talking about all the different things that he had to learn – and master – for this implementation to succeed, it seems like an impossible task. So how does one person make the impossible happen? That’s what we talk about.

I hope you enjoy this one – it is very revealing, but also points to one of the most innovative products out there. Enjoy the podcast, and check out the cubes!

See all the episodes so far here http://artmusictech.libsyn.com/. You can also Subscribe to Darwin’s podcast  in iTunes.

Some of My AudioCube Work

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In a related note, I’m still using the hell out of AudioCubes in my controllerism rig and with the 9  Box interactive social musical instrument. As was mentioned in this interview, I’m also expanding my use to create virtual patch cables for U-HE ACE (videos coming soon), and using the wireless AudioCubes to play pieces in Concrete Mixer performances.

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Below are some videos of the AudioCubes in Action.

//player.vimeo.com/video/78494505

Mark Mosher’s 9 Box Instrument / Installation at Mountain Oasis Festival 2013 w/ Bob Moog Foundation from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

//player.vimeo.com/video/63659777

Mark Mosher – Infrared AudioCube Performance Video of song “Alone” from the album REBOOT from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

//player.vimeo.com/video/61836039

Mark Mosher – Dark Scifi Controllerism Teaser Video 01 – “Control Zone” from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

Video and Photos from My 9 Box AudioCube Mountain Oasis 2013 Adventure with the Bob Moog Foundation

Wow, the Mountain Oasis 2013 festival was simply epic! As I mentioned in a recent post, I was that there at the invitation of the Bob Moog Foundation. I brought my "9 Box" installation / instrument to be part of Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience. In this post I’ll offer some photos and videos from my time at the fest.

9 Box as Part of Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience

Wireless FX Cube with receiver and 2 sender cubes in the background

For those not familiar with the 9 Box, it’s part collaborative instrument, part interactive installation — the 9 Box allows up to six casual players to instantly make music and shape sound by manipulating blocks called AudioCubes.

AudioCubes, made by California based Percussa (http://www.percussa.us), are smart wireless cubes capable of sensing each other's location and orientation as well as distance to your hands, fingers and other objects. They also emit feedback in the form of light as you interact with them.
Ultimately this hands-on approach allows players to manipulate sets of sounds in 3×3 grids — hence the name 9 Box. The 9 Box supports also supports user creatable "refills" allowing for unique and endless sonic possibilities.

So I devised the method, player’s guides and stickers, Percussa MIDI Bridge template, and Ableton Live templates and refill system.

SicImages was there and took this photo and made the comment

"These blocks were really something crazy. Infrared sensors and wireless proximity based effects manipulation into ableton….whatttt!”

The 9 Box ran for 18 hours over 3 days and was played by 100s of festival goers of all ages and went over really well.  This embedded video offers a taste of what it was like to be at the 9 Box section of the booth area. It was so rewarding see people's reactions to the 9 Box and to hear their creations throughout the weekend.

Flickr Photo Set of Overall Festival Experience

Of course besides the booth time which ran from noon to seven each day I also was able to experience performances. Highlights for me were Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails, Tara Busch, and Alan Howarth (co-composer of the soundtracks to all those great John Carpenter horror movies, and sound designer for films like the Star Trek franchise.

Below is a flickr set which offers some photos of my adventure including photos of the 9 Box plus some concert photos. I added captions to each photo so if you view the set on flicker itself you can see these descriptions – http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmosher/10647036556/in/set-72157637262339674.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984

Festival Notes

Mountain Oasis exceed my expectations in every way. There probably around 7,000 people there which was a large enough number of attendees to make Asheville feel vibrant but not overrun. I felt the festival was well organized and there was a nice mix of artists. The Arena was perfect for bigger acts like NIN and Gary Numan. The 500 seat Diana Wortham was great for more intimate performances by Tara Busch and Alan Howarth. The Orange Peel housed more beat driven shows like Laurel Halo. Moving between venues was in itself interesting as people were in costumes and there were lots of talented street musicians playing.

3 days was the perfect length as by the end I was worn out – but in a good way. After experiencing Mountain Oasis it’s clear that AC Entertainment has hit their stride with this event and Moog Inc’s lack of participation and the name change didn’t phase them. I’d definitely go back.

Thank You!

Mountain Oasis Festival was just an incredible experience all the way around. One of the coolest music-related trips ever!!! HUGE thanks to:

——

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO

“9 Box” AudioCubes Interactive Installation will be at Mountain Oasis Festival 2013 at Dr. Bob’s Interactive Sonic Experience

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HUGE news! I’ll be helping out the awesome The Bob Moog Foundation at the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit.
I’ll be flying out to bring my multi-player "9 Box" Percussa AudioCubes
casual instrument/interactive installation to be a part of the
“expanded Dr. Bob’s Interactive Sonic Experience”. What an honor! I
can’t wait. If you'll be at the fest come say hi.

http://mountainoasisfestival.com/dr-bobs-interactive-sonic-experience/.

The Bob Moog Foundation brings sonic inspiration, engagement and
education to Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit with an expanded Dr.
Bob’s Interactive Sonic Experience. Featuring an array of synthesizers,
theremins, effects, oscilloscopes and more, the Interactive Sonic
Experience will be open to all ages from 12:00-6:00pm each day of the festival in the lobby of the Diana Wortham Theatre.
The community is invited to explore the sonic universe and learn about
the fundamentals of synthesis through hands-on interaction with a range
of incredible electronic musical instruments. Marc Doty,
Education Specialist for the Bob Moog Foundation and highly esteemed
synth demonstrator with over 5 million views on YouTube, will be present
throughout the festival to guide attendees through the Interactive
Sonic Experience.

New to this year’s set-up will be Boulder-based electronic musician and performer Mark Mosher
who will be bringing his multi-player “9 Box” to Dr. Bob’s Interactive
Sonic Experience. 
Part collaborative instrument, part interactive
installation – the 9 Box allows up to four casual players to instantly
make music and shape sound using smart wireless sensor cubes called
AudioCubes made by California-based Percussa.
In addition to being a source of musical inspiration, the 9 Box and
AudioCubes are becoming popular as a teaching solution in STEM schools.

Diana Wortham Theatre
2 N Pack Square
Asheville, NC 28801

More on the 9 Box at http://9box.modualtethis.com.
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Photo: Late Night AudioCube Jam with Tone 2 Rayblaster Syntheiszer

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I’m up late doing some prep work before I start production on Album #3 in my alien invasion series. Tonight I’ve started reviewing some original patches I’ve created in various synths over the last year with the goal selecting a small number of synths for the album in the spirit of “limiting my toolset”.

I thought I'd share a photo of my experiments where I'm an AudioCube to modulate parameters Tone 2’s Rayblaster. Rayblaster allows you to assign CCs 16-19 right into the mod matrix saving you a MIDI mapping step. This makes it very easy to assign corresponding MIDI CCs in MIDI Bridge.