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Gesture controlled java worms drive spectral synthesis--a garden of wormasonic delights

(85 Votes)
1.3 (Updated 16 years ago)
June 23, 2004
Reaktor 5 or lower


Nematodes are loose in the sound garden, worming through the spectrum....


jambientNematodes uses a gestural interface, written in Processing (an extension of java, to control a Reaktor synth. To use ... select a snapshot in the Reaktor side (this specifies the sort of synthesized sound you'll get) and draw gestures with the mouse in the Processing side (this specifies travelling patterns of pitch, pan, amplitude--the interpretation depends on the settings in Reaktor).

The ensemble demonstrates the use of external graphical interfaces with Reaktor, via OSC (Open Sound Control). It builds on Golan Levin's Processing applet call Yellowtail ( and Norman Wilson's Sparky (Reaktor), and is inspired by and dedicated to the nematodes that rid my lawn of grubs. Ideas for further development (too tired, too tired...) would be a harmonics generator, with harmonics determined, e.g., by the pressure value.

NOTE: The ensemble can only be controlled via OSC when run in standalone mode, not as a VST. I didn't realize this when designing it. I am considering redoing the interface via MIDI.

Because of the use of OSC and Processing, setting up to run is a small fuss. See the enclosed jambientProcessingOSC document for setup and starting the Processing interface.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT DOWNLOADING: At the moment, NI's library won't allow jar or gz files in zips, so you'll have to get the Processing part from the bottom of the downloads page at Unzip the file you get there into the directory where you unzip the library file.

NB: Because the Processing->OSC->Reaktor hookup is novel, please let me know about problems via the "report an error to" function in the library.

v 1.2: Better, smaller browser window for opening the java app--you can get this at the jambient website.


8 years ago
I like experimental synths, so I will give it a try! Thank you!
cool breeze
9 years ago
Well, some seven and half years later I wonder how many ever went the whole hog and tried this. I didn't.
jan saxton
17 years ago
i get it. this is good work. now i understand what osc is for.
David Morris
17 years ago
Mark, thanks for the response. I can see your point...but the effort here is to have an interface that is at present impossible in Reaktor & to do demonstrate OSC functionality. Actually the main emphasis of this experiment is on the visuals--why just stick with knobs and XYs if there is another way to work with sound? Why do our instruments have to look like hardware synths when we are going native on computers? In any case, I think the point about security is moot. The jambient browser I uploaded to the library is an installer package for a VB app, with exe files included--surely more of a risk than java, which at least has a built in idea of security. Anyway, it looks like no-one is 'getting' this experiment, given the votes...
Mark Bonnington
17 years ago
There's a reason NI won't allow java... security risks and liability stuff probably. How about a version of this that doesn't mess around with java visuals, and instead just gives sound instead?
Norman Wilson
17 years ago
Wow, my first name check.