Mazetools Updates Let You Synthesize With Body Movements

Ectoplastic Lab let us know that they have ‘fundamentally updated’ their Mazetools sound and music apps, adding motion-tracking features that let you control sound and music with gestures and body movements.

Thanks to the TensorFlow integration, the applications’ tracking now works via the normal device cameras of mobile and desktop devices (iOS, Android, Windows). They say they have also greatly improved room-scale tracking from Kinect, RealSense, etc.

Here’s what they shared about the updates:

“The introduction of Kinect 2 brought about a significant change in media art, and now, in 2024, motion tracking through TensorFlow can be accomplished using any standard webcam.

After two years of research and development, this technology has been effectively integrated into Mazetools, resulting in enhanced quality and performance. We have recently made improvements to our motion tracking capabilities, with a particular focus on controlling sound and music through body movements and gestures.

Our tracking system now functions seamlessly with the cameras on a range of mobile and desktop devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows. In addition, we have implemented a motion recorder and made significant enhancements to our room-scale tracking for Azure Kinect and RealSense.”

Mazetools currently offers two applications: Mutant and Soniface: Mutant serves as a loop machine and operates with a set number of instruments, while Soniface is more flexible in terms of adding instruments and integrating them with visuals.

Mazetools Soniface Update Version 4.2

Soniface now supports, beside Kinect v2/ Azure Kinect, the use of a webcam as a motion-tracking sensor to control music and sound through body movements.

With the new demo version available on Steam, users can easily try out Soniface. In addition, Linux support has been added along with several useful features. These include a new optional user interface design, making it more user-friendly on smaller displays. On iOS, Audiobus and Inter-App Audio routing, MIDI In & Out routing, and Airplay for visual output are now supported.

The new version includes a new feature for modular linking of controllers, allowing complex interconnections of mazes and instruments to create synth and effect chains for live performances.

New Features and Improvements:

  • Enhanced app performance, structure, audio, and image quality
  • New design mode for small displays (simple design)
  • Visual interface for the mobile Pro version
  • Webcam-based motion tracking for sound interface
  • New preset structure for all instruments
  • Rhythm sequencer pattern mode
  • Parametric EQ for Master, Rhythm, and Sampler
  • Notation interface with chord and scale selection
  • New automation interface: modular linking of all controllers across mazes
  • Keyboard and live pad for dynamic instrument input
  • New guide, improved in-app help in English and German
  • iOS: Background audio, Audiobus support, Inter-App Audio, MIDI In&Out, Airplay visual screen support

Here’s an example of Soniface Pro in action, featuring Tomoko Nakasato & Ectoplastic:

Mazetools Mutant Update Version 1.5

Mazetools Mutant enables loop-based music production. The software features synths, drums, samplers, sequencers, filters, and effects, all of which can be played on a square surface. These instruments collectively form the Hypercube, a dynamic space that alters the music from various perspectives.

The latest update introduces the Mutant Cloud, which allows you to store your own sound scenes, beats, and presets; an updated interface and more.

New features and improvements:

  • Enhanced app performance and audio quality
  • New scale and chord interface
  • Snapshot Cloud: to load snapshots into a 3D cloud (offline), defined by mood, energy, and structure
  • Interactive cloud navigation and snapshot filtering by author, key, and tempo
  • Snapshot Mutation Interface for merging two snapshots
  • Improved setup interface
  • New guide, improved in-app help in English & German

Here’s an example of Mazetools Mutant in action, featuring a live performance by Dr.Eck, Fly:

In addition to the updates, they announced upcoming dates for performances & workshops:

05.04.2024 Leipzig, Germany, Kurzsüchtig XR Festival
13.04.2024 London, UK, Crux Festival Audiovisual Performing Arts
14.04.2024 London, UK, Crux Festival Audiovisual Performing Arts
09.05.2024 Leipzig, Germany, Take Off Sound Performance with Tomoko Nakasato Schaubühne Lindenfels
11.05.2024 Cottbus, Concert, Spreewald Bahnhof
13.052024 Bautzen, Concert, Happy Mondays
16.05.2024 Berlin, Germany, Superbooth
31.05.2024 Geneva, Switzerland, AI FOR GOOD with Portrait XO
13.07.2024 Rudolstadt, Schlosskulm Summer Theater Workshop
19.07.2024 Usti nad Labem, Phonon Ambisonic Summer School

See the Mazetools site for details.

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