RubyConf 2008: Two Turntables And A Git Repo

Posted in Conferences, Development on December 16, 2008

RubyConf 2008: Two Turntables And A Git Repo

Over the last year, there has been a huge increase of interest in using Ruby to create and manipulate music. If you're interested but haven't been paying attention, or have just been sitting on the sidelines, we're here to show you how you too can be a computer DJ.

First, we'll set the scene with some information about the technologies involved. We'll get you pushing notes with Ben's MIDIator library, and get you set up with a software synthesis environment so that you can play along at home. Best of all, we'll do it all on the cheap.

Then we'll get into the actual music, demonstrating how to represent actual, legitimate music in code using a project Jeremy Voorhis has been working on, and how to manipulate it and play it back. We'll make some beats with Giles Bowkett's Archaeopteryx, and take a brief tour of how it works under the hood.

If you're not into making your own music (be it beats, tones, or just "damn noise"), you're going to need to work with music that someone else has made. Being a good DJ and reacting to the crowd is no walk in the park, and while making a good playlist is easier, it's still no cakewalk. With the right tricks up your sleeve, you can let your computer build a playlist that's unique but still sticks to your personal style. We'll show you what Yossef has tried and learned.

About Ben Bleything, Yossef Mendelssohn
Ben Bleything is a Rubyist, hardware hacker, and musical dilettante from Portland, Oregon. Sometimes he does other things. He has not yet found a quote that adequately sums up his personality.

There's a famous reddit comment that says "Learning how to program might get you paid, but learning how to dance will get you laid." Well, Yossef Mendelssohn can do both. He also aspires to be a better dance DJ and use his laziness and programming know-how to help.

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Tags: Conferences, Ruby, Git, music, MIDI, Confreaks, Archaeopteryx, RubyConf 2008