The STEIM SensorLab was one of the first small, general purpose, sensor to midi interfaces for the prototyping of musical instruments and interactive control systems. Whether the computer is a central element in an artists work or simply a tool bridging a technological gap, the need for real world input and output is essential. The SensorLab paved the way for later developments in what is now called Physical Computing, such as the ever-popular AVR-based Arduino boards.
Unfortunately, the Sensorlab is no longer for sale. More information
The junXionboard is STEIM’s second generation sensor interface. Supporting 8 analog sensors, 16 switches and 2 dedicated ultrasound channels. The junXionboard is only used for internal resident projects at STEIM, and, due to high manufacturing costs is no longer for sale.
The manual can be downloaded here.
BigEye© was one of the earliest commercially available pieces of software to perform real-time tracking of video events. Much of BigEye’s video tracking functionality has been integrated into the latest versions of junXion in the form of junXion’s camera tracking features.
BigEye is still available for download and runs on any PowerPC Macintosh computer running system 8 or 9, QuickTime 2.0 and OMS. It supports all QuickTime compatible video digitizers, including serial cameras like the Connectix QuickCam, making it usable for PowerBooks and other non-AV Macintoshes. BigEye also allows you to use prerecorded QuickTime movies as a video input source.
Typically achievable frame rates range from 12 frames per second PPC 7100/66 to (the maximum) 25 on an PPC 8500. The user configures the program to extract objects of interest, based on color, brightness and size. These objects are tracked (up to 16 simultaneously) and their position is checked against a user-defined series of ‘hot zones’. These ‘hot zones’ are drawn by the user and are grouped in ‘screens’.
Objects and ‘hot zones’ interact in three distinct ways: a zone sees a new object, a zone sees an old object moving, and a zone sees an object disappear. Each of these three ‘events’ can generate midi or cause internal program parameters to change. A simple example: the new event causes a note to be switched on, a move event causes a pitchbend and a disappear event causes the note to be switched off.
To specify the Midi to be sent out the program provides for two distinct modes: a simple mode in which the user can specify Midi parameters and screen changes; and a powerful, complete scripting language that includes a real time scheduler, conditionals and loops. In the simpler environment one can quickly link Midi to most of the causing object’s parameters, such as position, speed and size. In scripting mode one has many more parameters available. BigEye provides for 16 independent ‘channels’ which can analyse the incoming image in different ways, allowing, for instance, green objects to act completely differently from objects of other colors.
Mac OS 8.x or 9.x
BigEye is FREE. Download BigEye 1.1.4 (960k)
MidiJoy is a prehistoric version of junXion for OS 8.x and 9.x. It can be downloaded here.
The Lick Machine
The Lick Machine © (or MIDI Performance Machine) allows the artist to use MIDI controllers to conduct an electronic orchestra through completely controllable sequences. It is one of the earliest general-use pieces of software to come out of STEIM.
The program uses so called performance setups, in which you trigger and ‘drive’ a group of prerecorded sequences, the so called Licks. With a single key from a Midi keyboard a complex series of musical events can be triggered, i.e. a Lick.
Performance Parameters that can be used to control Licks:
- Tempo of Licks
- Midi velocity of the Licks
- Lick starting point
- Lick length
- Transposition of Licks
- Note density in Licks
- Pitch deviation
- Time deviation
Other Midi events may control the so called performance parameters of that Lick. The Lick Machine is very suited to expand the possibilities of other Midi controllers such as Midi guitars and Midi wind controllers, etc.
A performance setup can be organized in presets that group sequences, and each preset can also send special Midi messages to your synth(s): program changes, controller values, system exclusive, etc.
The Lick Machine contains a sequencer part, in which Licks can be recorded and edited. After having recorded a Lick, it can simply be assigned to the key it should be triggered from, and by playing this key, the Lick will start playing. While playing, the performance parameters of that Lick can be controlled by specific Midi events to be defined in the ‘Key Info’ window.
Up to 2048 Licks can run the same time
Import Midi files to use as ‘Licks’
Parameter control by any Midi event for each assigned ‘Lick’ individually
Up to 1024 Licks per Performance Setup
Up to 128 Presets, which all can have different Lick arrangements, different – Performance Parameters, etc.
Real-time recording and assigning of Licks by use of specially assigned Midi events
The Lick Machine runs on any Apple PowerPC Macintosh with System 8.x or 9.x.
The Lick Machine is FREE. Download The Lick Machine 3.3.1 (732k)