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Mobile Phone Instruments, the Possibilities of Networks, and OSC

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Mobile Phone Instruments, the Possibilities of Networks, and OSC

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Presented to music composition faculty and students at BYU February 9, 2015. Topics include mobile phone ensembles, mobile music apps, and networked instruments. Long setup times for networked mobile music configurations make for barriers to wider adoption among the public. Proposed solutions via OpenSoundControl are discussed.

Presented to music composition faculty and students at BYU February 9, 2015. Topics include mobile phone ensembles, mobile music apps, and networked instruments. Long setup times for networked mobile music configurations make for barriers to wider adoption among the public. Proposed solutions via OpenSoundControl are discussed.

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Mobile Phone Instruments, the Possibilities of Networks, and OSC

  1. 1. Mobile Phone Instruments, the Possibilities of Networks, and OSC Nathan Bowen, PhD Moorpark College nbowen@vcccd.edu
  2. 2. isolation vs. community passive vs. active music making
  3. 3. Nathan Bowen, PhD Moorpark College nbowen@vcccd.edu
  4. 4. What is the landscape of mobile music today? T. Kell & M.Wanderley, ICMC | SMC 2014 poster
  5. 5. What does this survey tell us? • Most ‘music’ apps do not engage user as primary music maker • Most music app instruments are ‘pocket’ versions of existing instruments • Emphasis of mobility and novelty • Still, significant sector that leverage unique qualities of mobile phones (network!) • Potential is there for truly new forms of expression (infant stages)
  6. 6. Mobile Phone Ensembles
  7. 7. • Set up time. • Ubiquitous music hardware lacks a ubiquitous software layer for music. • Does the instrument support sustained practice and mastery? (and is it interesting to watch someone perform?) Challenges for mobile music
  8. 8. • OpenSoundControl (OSC) version 1.0 does not support instrument profiles or zero- configuration. • This must be built manually at the application layer. • Most OSC-based apps require a knowledge of ip addresses and ports by end-user Set up time
  9. 9. • Exchange of state • Management of services • Header plus data • Zero configuration – Advertisements by devices – Three-way handshake • (Wireless devices talk behind the scenes) Solution: OSC as Protocol
  10. 10. • OSC is a data format built for flexibility, but rarely encourages interoperability • /mrmr/acceleratedX/3/Nathans-iPhone .002 - .514 .288 • /accxyz/ .002 -.514 .288 • /sensor/accel/ .002 -.514 .288 • Everyone is accessing same data, but calling it different things Lack of Standardization
  11. 11. • Standardize (through community consensus) the order of tokens • /public vs. /vendor • /public/sensor/accelerometer • /vendor/mrmr/acceleratedX/3/Nathans-iPhone .002 -.514 .288 • /vendor/touchosc/accxyz/ .002 -.514 .288 • Preserve flexibility while encouraging interoperability Solution: OSC as Global Namespace
  12. 12. • Must be physically demanding to master • Must still reward novices and cursory exploration • Performance practice needs authentic physical movement that communicates well to audience Building an instrument worth practicing
  13. 13. Other challenges for mobile music • Mobile phones are disposable. We typically associate instruments as valuable and precious (heirlooms) • Just because everyone has a mobile phone doesn’t mean they’re interested in making music – (not all people like to use their voices to sing) • Sound quality: amplification, timbre • Instrument needs to be carved out from a device normally associated with phone calls • Mobile phones are rapidly evolving. Will phones of future even be physical handheld devices?
  14. 14. Nathan Bowen, PhD Moorpark College nbowen@vcccd.edu

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