Strum It Like It's Hot

Sep 1, 2008 12:00 PM, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly

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Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

The Wiitles (pictured from left: Ryan Peoples, vocals; Nick Kneece, guitar; Steven Legrande, bass; and Ian Vargo, drums)

The Wiitles (pictured from left: Ryan Peoples, vocals; Nick Kneece, guitar; Steven Legrande, bass; and Ian Vargo, drums)

Okay, we can see the attraction of the Video Games Live! Concert — where else can you hear an orchestra play sounds from Pong through a full-on P.A.? Taking the live game music concept to a whole new level, The Wiitles (pictured from left: Ryan Peoples, vocals; Nick Kneece, guitar; Steven Legrande, bass; and Ian Vargo, drums) play their instruments onstage using Nintendo Wii-motes, working exclusively in Max/MSP (one instance of Max/MSP running on a single Macbook). According to Peoples, the four Wii-motes each have their own subpatch. “The different subpatches work in different ways,” he explains. “For the drum patch, each button on both the Wii-mote and its corresponding nunchuck triggers different drum samples (WAV files). The bass patch works the same way, except that the individual samples are made by synthesis from scratch. The guitar patch triggers WAV files, but is unique in that movement by the accelerometer allows the triggered sample to play, so the player must actually ‘strum’ the nunchuck for the sample to be triggered. The vocal patch is essentially an effects processor.”

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Video of the Wiitles in Action

The buttons on the Wii-mote activate different effects (e.g., delay, octave, harmonizer and, for the song “Robot Love,” a vocoder) in the vocal patch. “Each of these patches only receives information from an individual Wii-mote,” he continues. “The only other equipment we use is a FireWire interface that takes the sound from the Macbook to the P.A. via a single mono out; we could do stereo if we wanted, but none of the P.A.s we have used so far have been stereo. All of the mixing is done in Max/MSP.”






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