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bitKlavier v2.8 released, upcoming commissions, sample library creation…

Lots of new stuff in this v2.8, including:

  • Undo/Redo (long overdue!)

  • Harmonizer functionality in Keymap

  • Modification smoothing, incrementing, and alternating

  • Among other things!

Harmonizer view

Finally, undo/redo is possible; it can be a bit complicated, given all the preparation windows in bitKlavier, but every time you undo, you’ll see a message near the top-left telling you what was undone.

In Keymap, you can define any kind of harmonizer setup you like; some keystroke and macros are available to make some of the process easier.

Modifications have become more powerful. You can smooth a parameter change over time, allowing for fades and so on. You can also increment/decrement individual parameters. Finally, you can now use one key to trigger a modification and also revert.

Download bitKlavier v2.8

bitKlavier Commissions

I’m really exciting about a number of bitKlavier projects in the works. First off, there are the bitKlavier Commissions. With funding from the Cone Foundation, we’ve been able to commission eight amazing composers to create new works for bitKlavier:

These composers are working with me and with pianists Cristina Altamura and Adam Sliwinski, who will be recording the new works this coming summer and fall, for release sometime shortly thereafter.

New Steinway Sample Library in the Works

Andrés Villalta, Matt Wang and I spent several days in Taplin Auditorium doing the recording for a new sample library we’re creating especially for bitKlavier. Taplin has a beautiful new Steinway D, and Andrés set up 9 different stereo mic images of the instrument, including binaural and inside/outside/player perspectives. We’re at the beginning stages of editing the samples and will release the entire database along with various image mixes when it is done. We will also configure bitKlavier to be able to load these images automatically, and are in the design stages for a new Resonance preparation that will attempt to flexibly model the sympathetic resonance of the piano, bK-style.

Andrés Villalta describing the various mic images he has placed for the sampling session (with Fritz Binaural looking on).

New Tutorial Videos

This past summer Jeff Gordon, Akiva Jacobs, and Rupert Peacock began work on a set of video tutorials for bitKlavier; there are quite a few available now and they should be useful for learning the ins and outs of the instrument. More to come as well.

bitKlavier papers published in Computer Music Journal

Two substantial papers were published in the Computer Music Journal this past year, the first focusing on the history and design of bitKlavier, the second on tuning in bitKlavier.

Preludes for bitKlavier, Book I

Cristina Altamura and Adam Sliwinski are also currently working an 12 Preludes that I’ve composed for bitKlavier over the past few years, the first of 24 I’m hoping to do. I’ve really tried to imagine the hands of amazing pianists (because I am not one!) and see how they might be transformed, challenged, and enabled by bitKlavier, composer-pianists like Claude Debussy, Thelonious Monk, Gabriel Kahane and others… The plan is to record these in the coming months, for release this fall. I’m grateful to Cristina and Adam for the efforts and inspiration!

ok, back to work! thanks all, and I hope you enjoy the new version!

—Dan

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