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Eric writes in with some great electronics classes in NYC! –

“Registration for January/February classes at LEMURplex is now open. Exciting new class topics include Robotics, Controller Building and Audio Processing, plus additional core and special topic offerings including Max/MSP/Jitter, Arduino Microprocessors, Video Tracking and Fiberglass Fabrication.”Link.Build Your Own Music/Video MIDI Controller
Building a Sensor-Based Instrument with MidiTron
Tuesdays 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 6:30-9:30 pm

Imagine waving your hand and having an orchestra at your fingertips or tapping on a surface to explore a video landscape. This is all possible through the use of MIDI and sensor-based technology. In three sessions, you will design and build a controller to create your art with the easy-to-use MidiTron interface.

Emphasis will be on hands-on learning and construction. Basic electronics and Max/MSP/Jitter programming will also be covered. No previous knowledge of electronics, sensors, or programming is assumed. Background information will be covered and the bulk of the class will be focused on building a working controller that you will take home and begin to create with. This is of interest to artists, musicians, dancers, actors, engineers, programmers, lighting, sound and graphic designers, and others.

Instructor: Leif Krinkle

Cost: $495, including lab fee. Lab kit includes MidiTron, electronic components and selection from a variety of sensors.

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Advanced Audio Processing Techniques
Mastering Many Methods in Multiple Programs
Wednesdays, 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 6:30-9:30 pm

This class is designed to provide students with strong fundaments of digital audio with techniques and practices common to DSP, synthesis, interconnection, multitracking, mixing and mastering. Using MSP as a springboard, important aspects of signal processing will be covered, such as building effects, sampling theory, latency and frequency-domain thought process. Sound synthesis practices including amplitude and frequency modulation and granular synthesis, as well as newer developments in the field such as scanned synthesis will also be explored through Max/MSP and in popular pro-audio software such as Logic Audio, Reason, Reaktor and Ableton Live. ReWire and Soundflower will be explored as platforms for interconnecting audio programs for production and performance using Max/MSP, Logic Audio and Ableton Live. Concepts common to production and post-production will be explored in Logic Audio, including mixing and mastering.

Instructor: Roberto Osorio-Goenaga

Cost: $300

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Intro to Max/MSP
Manipulating MIDI and Audio Live and Interactively
Thursdays 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 6:30-9:30 pm

A gentle introduction to the Max/MSP MIDI and digital signal processing environment. Students will learn how to use the program for live performance, installation or non-linear audio manipulation and editing. The class will cover language structure, message passing, MIDI, DSP basics, networking, building interactive software interfaces and synchronizing and controlling audio with external data and video. No prior experience is necessary (though students are encouraged to download the free demo of Max/MSP and go through the first ten tutorials before the class starts).

Instructor: Liubo Borrisov

Cost: $300

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Intro to Video Tracking
Computer Vision Techniques with Jitter
Monday 2/5, 6:30-9:30 pm

This course will serve as an introduction to the use of a video camera as a sensor with Jitter projects. Movement tracking, color tracking, face recognition, object recognition- all of these techniques are possible with extensions to Jitter and a degree of patience. Students in the course will gain both an understanding of how the objects and techniques are actually used, as well as best hardware methods for mature video tracking and suggestions on how to use these techniques in real world practice.

The primary tool taught will be Jean-Marc Pelletier’s cv.jit suite. Students should come prepared with a rudimentary knowledge of Max, although understanding of Jitter is not a necessity.

Instructor: Joshua Goldberg

Cost: $100

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Fun With Fiberglass
Basic Composite Fabrication
Monday, 2/12, 6:30-9:30 pm

Learn the skills and techniques used to build custom objects using fiberglass and epoxy. Students will get hands-on experience in various stages of the process, starting with sculpting a foam pattern, followed by glass lay-up and final finishing. Materials will include partially completed samples to work with so we can move between stages without waiting for epoxy to cure. Discussion will include ideas on how to integrate sensors, lighting or haptics into any project, and students are encouraged to bring their own project ideas to the class. Bob will also give a brief, inside-out tour of the Bean, his own composite sensor-based musical instrument.

Instructor: Bob Huott

Cost: $115, including lab fee. Lab kit includes fiberglass fabricating materials.

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Intro to Jitter
Video Processing in the Max/MSP/Jitter Environment
Tuesdays, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, 6:30-9:30 pm

This is a three-session introduction to Jitter, Cycling ’74’s video & matrix processing environment. On a very prosaic level, Jitter can be used to build custom-tailored VJ applications, but even the most cursory exploration demonstrates that this tool is capable of so much more. Our class will cover those prosaic examinations, move into the much more exciting realms of 3D OpenGL visualization and computer vision techniques, and culminate in an exploration of the arcane realms of synesthesia and visual music.

A basic familiarity with the Max programming paradigm is greatly encouraged; this will be a very exciting, very fast-paced course. However, smart and flexible people may be able to pick up the basics as we go along.

Instructor: Joshua Goldberg

Cost: $300

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The Mechanics of Robotics
Using Motors, Solenoids, and Other Devices in Kinetic and Robotic Art
Wednesdays, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28, 6:30-9:30 pm

A three session introduction to the wide world of motors and mechanical systems suitable for use in kinetic and robotic artworks. We’ll cover the basic motor and solenoid types, including AC, simple DC, DC gearhead, stepper and hobby servo. We’ll play with examples of each type of motor and talk about which ones are suitable where. We’ll look at some basic mechanical parts and systems like shaft collars, slip rings, gears, belts, pulleys, etc. We’ll also talk about sourcing components, creative reuse of found materials, material selection, building for durability, etc. This class will not go in depth on motor control or electronics but will mostly focus on the electro-mechanical side of robotics.

Required materials: work clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, safety glasses

Recommended materials: an old electro-mechanical device (printer, scanner, fax machine, blender, something that moves!) for sacrifices, charged 12v battery (~5 amp hours – email if you have questions about what to get), soldering iron, small hand tools (snips, screw drivers, etc)

Instructor: Douglas Repetto

Cost $300

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Microcontroller Progamming for Artists
An Introduction to the Arduino System
Thursdays, 2/15, 2/22, 3/1, 6:30-9:30 pm

Have you ever wanted to build a robot or an interactive art installation? Have you ever wondered how LEDs, sensors and motors work? Through collaborative exercises and the development of a final project you will learn how to program and prototype with an Arduino microcontroller. This class is geared towards beginners, and no prior knowledge of electronics or programming is required.

This class will demonstrate programming and electronics basics through hands-on microcontroller projects. You will learn digital and analog input and output techniques for controlling motors and interpreting sensors, as well as the programming skills necessary to use these components effectively. We will also explore advanced concepts in interface, motion and display based on student interest. By the end of this class students will have a firm understanding of how microcontrollers, sensors and actuators work and how to utilize these tools in their own creative projects.

Instructor: Roberto Osorio-Goenaga

Cost: $375, including lab fee. Lab kit includes Arduino board, electronic components and sensors.