~Proceedings ICMCISMCI2014 14-20 September 2014, Athens, Greece i-score, an Interactive Sequencer for the Intermedia Arts Pascal Baltazar L' Arboretum pascal@baltazars.org Th6o de la Hogue GMEA theod@gmea.net Myriam Desainte-Catherine LaBRI myriam@labri.fr ABSTRACT The i-score intermedia sequencer allows to design complex interactive scenarios by coordinating heterogeneous and distributed media systems. Based on software frameworks issued by several long-term research iniatives, this application does not produce any media of its own, but rather controls other environments parameters, by creating snapshots and automations, and organizing them in time in a multi-linear way. In this article, we describe the main features of the software, in order to guide the workshop participants towards actual creation of interactive scenarios by controlling their favorite software environment. 1. INTRODUCTION Recent technological developments in real-time media computing, as well as aesthetic evolutions of the contemporary arts converge in the generalization of distributed technical setups for media-management. Even though, some of these setups include systems for scripting scenarios in time, it is very often complicated to coordinate these heterogeneous systems with the ease and flexibility that the artistic process requires. Furthermore, while the temporal scripting in the context of fixed-time media (such as in DAWs) has now come to a mature state with well-defined and stable userinteraction paradigms, the introduction of interactivity renders these paradigms almost inoperative. Time-scripting in interactive works (such as performances or interactive installations) is typically managed with cues, as points of synchronisation throughout a scenario, with very few possibilities for designing evolutions of expressive parameters in time, compared to what automations in fixed-time media softwares do. The Ableton Live 1 or Qlab 2 applications offer such cue management with some capabilities for automation editing. More experimental sequencers such as Duration 3 and Vezer 4 allow even more complex automation capabilities. However, cues and automations are managed in these softwares as a linear list of events to be successively triggered, without further temporal organization. 1 https://www.ableton.com 2 http://figure53.com/qlab/ 3 http://www.duration.cc 4 http://www.vezerapp.hu Copyright: @2014 Pascal Baltazar et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the C 'n r u np.r. Li, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Also, even if they are capable of controlling remote applications and devices through the OpenSoundControl protocol, the manual management of OSC addresses is often a tedious process involving a lot of typing. The i-score interactive sequencer proposes solutions to these problems by offering an organized way to structure events in time, while keeping degrees of liberty for interactivity. It is also built upon the concept of networked devices, presented as a visual interactive tree structure in order to intuitively control them in the scenario. The workshop will focus on hands-on practice: participants will use i-score with their favorite multimedia environment and will be guided, following the article's structure, towards the actual creation of interactive scenarios. 2. PROJECT HISTORY i-score s is the result of several research initiatives along the last fifteen years. The paradigm of using temporal relations in order to keep temporal consistency in a scenario was introduced in the Boxes[1] spectral composition software. Further implementations of this paradigm were carried on in Boxes 2, Acousmoscribe[2] and Iscore [3], an implementation for the OpenMusic composition environment. Interactivity was introduced during the Virage research project, under the concept of trigger points, and it was implemented in the liblscore library. This library was used as an engine for both Acousmoscribe 2 and Virage sequencer[4], the latter addressing specific problems of the performing arts, in particular those relating to the concept of flexible time, as pointed out in [5]. As both of these softwares used similar user-interaction concepts and were based on the same engine (liblscore), the decision was taken to merge both development efforts into one and only software. This was achieved by injecting concepts and designs implemented in the Virage sequencer into the Acousmoscribe 2 code, in order to create the i-score sequencer. Many efforts on user-friendliness and ergonomics were made in the process, in order to turn proof-of-concept prototypes into actually usable professional software. Further development of the system was carried on in the frame of the OSSIA 6 project. In the first place, the liblscore library was refactored on the basis of the Jamoma framework[6] in order to create the Score library, which will be further described in Section 4. i-score was then refactored 5 http://i-score.org/ 6 OSSIA is a collaborative research project financed by the French National Agency for Research. It aims at the formalization of logicotemporal constraints for hierarchical, non-linear and multi-user interactive scenarios, for the contexts of video-games and museal installations - 1814 -
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