Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whale Costume: The Latest Software of 2008

Whale Costume is the latest in my series of hand-crafted computer programs. You can download the program for free, listen to a demo recording and find out why I code digital clothing for aquatic mammals in Missouri.Whale Costume lets you play your live voice like a polyphonic keyboard. Just put on some headphones, sing into your computer and type on the home row to make perfectly tuned harmonies like Cher!

Whale Costume works with your normal computer keyboard, but it should work with MIDI inputs as well. So give your pitch-bend wheel a spin! You could even use a MIDI sequencer to pre-program all the melodies of your favorite holiday tunes. Your live voice sings all the parts in unison to make performance fantastic!

Here is some of what I was thinking about as I made Whale Costume...
I've been interested in early animation. It must have been an amazing feeling to first make a living image of thought for all to see.

I think it would be easier to invent a new technique for communication than to dream of content that uses a new medium's full potential. I like to think about the strange possibilities early animators realized.

In the first decades of the 1900's Windsor McCay danced with dinosaurs, fed Manhattan to a dog and avoided foreclosure by flying a house to the Moon. His characters obeyed new laws of fun house physics drawn from ideas.

There was a cartoon from 1946 that I used to watch when I was a kid. It was called "Willie the Operatic Whale." It was a Moby Dick story about a singing whale with three sets of vocal cords. A sea captain is hunting Willie because he believes that the whale has eaten three opera singers. Willie makes performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York singing all the parts at once all by himself.

So I made a program called Whale Costume that lets you sing with multiple voices.
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  1. Ut ooh, the links to the WhaleCostume.dmg = broken!

  2. Ut oh, am I too late? Looks like the link is broken again.

  3. You've had bad luck! But now it's working again.

    We host some stuff on a server that's in our living room. And this weekend it expired in the heat! Luckily we had found an identical computer in our building's trash area. Switcherooo!

  4. Sweetness! Glad your data wasn't lost. Good fortunes happen to good people, yes?

    Thanks so much for sharing the awesomeness that is Whale Costume! I haven't used it in about 4 hours, so I'm pretty excited to play with it.